US VMFAT 101 FA 18 164203 KNKX 07Nov18 Sebastiaan Does 1 640VMFAT-101 Sharpshooters deactivated

On 29 September 2023, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFAT) 101 Sharpshooters ('SH-xxx') operating the classic F/A-18C and F/A-18D Hornet was offically deactived.

The unit has been operating the classic Hornet since 1988. Originally operating from MCAS El Toro (CA), where they arrived in September 1987 to prepare for duty as the Marine Corps' dedicated F/A-18 Fleet Replacement Squadron, the unit was transferred to MCAS Miramar (CA) on 1 October 1998 following a Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRCA) directed change of duty station.

VMFAT-101 has been deactivated as part of the Marine Corps tactical air (TACAIR) transition plan, the transition from the F/A-18 to the F-35, in alignment with Force Design 2030.

VMFAT-101 as a dedicated training unit had three times the number of aircraft of a typical F/A-18 squadron. The squadrons training mission will transfer to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 323 Death Rattlers ('WS-4xx') also operating from MCAS Miramar.

The decommissioning ceremony commenced with the tradition of 'Flying the Barn', featuring eighteen F/A-18C and F/A-18D Hornets executing synchronised maneuvers in formation. Fox 5 San Diego News was a guest to the ceremony the and published a nice video of the event.

Credit photo: Sebastiaan Does (Scramble Archive)

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