Squadron To Be Disbanded At End Of Month
It's the end of an era, as sailors from the "Shamrocks" of Sea
Control Squadron (VS) 41 bid farewell recently to their last S-3B
Viking as it departed for its final take off from Naval Air Station
North Island (NASNI), CA on September 19. VS-41 is the last West
coast S-3B Viking squadron.
The disestablisment ceremony for VS-41 was held July 27, but the
squad will be officially disbanded September 30.
"It’s a sad feeling sending out our last aircraft," said
Cmdr. Derek L. Teachout, executive officer of VS-41. "I had
16-years of experience flying this type of aircraft. Now it’s
VS-41 was commissioned June 30, 1960 and received its first
Viking February 20, 1974. Since then, the training squadron has
logged more than 347,000 flight hours, made more than 48,000
carrier landings, and has trained more than 35,000 personnel.
According to Teachout, the aircraft were sent to various
locations, including museums -- but most were sent to Davis-Mothan
Air Force Base in Tucson, AZ
The only remaining Viking at NASNI will be taken to
Davis-Mothan, where it will be preserved and restored.
"The fact that we’ve done this decommissioning in a safe
manner made us proud," said Teachout. "Sailors stayed focused all
the way and today marked the very end. It’s exciting that
they see the last aircraft leave as closure to their hard
The Navy’s plan is to replace the Viking with multiple
aircraft, using the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, P-3 Orion, and SH-60
helicopters for future missions.
"I feel relieved that this day has come after preparing for a
long time," said Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Kisung
Chon. "But at the same time, I feel sad because this is my first
command and I had a lot of good memories and good experiences."
For Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class Don Salice, even though VS-41
will be disestablished it’s another opportunity for Sailors
to move to a new platform, and getting a sea duty billet is a new
start for him.
"I feel sad to see our last aircraft leave and the squadron is
decommissioning," said Salice. "But we all have a job to do and my
job is to be out to sea."
(Aero-News salutes Mass Communication Specialist Seaman
Apprentice Rialyn C. Rodrigo, Fleet Public Affairs Center,