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The VMA-211 Avengers, which suffered a devastating Taliban attack on 14 September at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan that resulted in six aircraft destroyed, two damaged, and the death of their commanding officer, resumed flight operations within weeks of the attack. Lt. Col. Christopher Raible was killed in action while helping to beat back the Afghan insurgents who infiltrated the camp's perimeter and assaulted the squadron's flight line. Sgt. Bradley Atwell, an instrument and flight control systems technician with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 16, was also killed in the firefight. The attack on Camp Bastion was the largest loss of U.S. aircraft in combat on a single day since the Vietnam War, when on the night of 20-21 December 1972 seven aircraft were lost (four U.S. Air Force B-52Gs and two B-52Ds in raids over Hanoi, and one U.S. Navy A-6A Intruder in a raid over Haiphong).


More than 50 years after its first deployment, USS Enterprise (CVN 65) wrapped up its final deployment just before undergoing inactivation on 1 December. Until recently, official records had listed the total number of deployments for the carrier at 22. Researchers at the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC), however, have determined that the ship actually has deployed 25 times. The error appears to be one of basic record keeping. Enterprise served in the Pacific from the mid-1960s until 1990, during which time the carrier's deployments were often listed sequentially as "WestPac" deployments. "The problem began when later history reports used the same number sequence but dropped 'WestPac' from the description," said NHHC historian Mark Evans. "The refueling reports failed to re-account for the three deployments Big E made to the Mediterranean Sea between 1962-64."


In a move to increase the integration of the MQ -8B/C Fire Scout into the fleet, the Navy established Unmanned Helicopter Reconnaissance Squadron (HUQ) 1 on 1 October. The unit will serve as the fleet replacement squadron for Fire Scout vehicle and mission payload operators. Unmanned detachments (or "udets.") from HUQ1 will serve on littoral combat ships and other surface combatants and be integrated into MH-60R/S dets.


The VAW-77 Nightwolves, the Navy's only dedicated counter-narcotics squadron, is scheduled for disestablishment on 31 March 2013. Stationed since 2008 at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, the squadron has operated out of several Central and South American locations, including Panama, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, and the Netherlands Antilles.


"Year in Review 2011"

D. Gordon, C. Martin, J. Phillips, Summer 2012, p. 22-35 Corrections: On page 25, the entry for 6 August 2011 should read "A CH-46 Sea Knight," not Chinook. And on page 35, the strike, electronic warfare, and early warning squadrons listed for the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group are incorrect. CVW-9 consists of VFA-14, VFA-41, VFA-97, VFA-192, VAQ-133, and VAW-112.
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Author:Babb, Colin E.
Publication:Naval Aviation News
Date:Sep 22, 2012
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