Naval Base Ventura County had the sound of afterburners again when they played host to two squadrons from NAWS China Lake in February 2014. All images copyright of Alan Kenny.
NAS Point Mugu used to be home to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Four (VX-4) and VX-5 until the Tomcat was retired in 1994. Since then, the only fighter jets have been visitors passing through. For half of January and up until the third week of February, the base housed VX-9 ‘Vampires’ and VX-31 ‘Dust Devils’ while their home base of Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake had the runway resurfaced.
The base is home to a number of squadrons and has a wide mix of aircraft. Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Thirty (VX-30) has a diverse fleet consisting of a variety of differently configured P-3 Orions, three S-3 Vikings and KC-130 and C-130 Hercules. All of the aircraft are used by the squadron on the Sea Test Range off the coast of California.
Also on the base are four Carrier Airborne Early Warning squadrons, which all operate the E-2C Hawkeye. The squadrons are: Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112 (VAW-112), VAW-113, VAW-116 & VAW-117.
The Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC) provides the US Navy and US Marine Corps with dissimilar air combat training or red air. They use enemy tactics to train pilots for combat. They use the F-21 Kfir, Hawker Hunter and L-139.
Co-located within the base is the Channel Islands Air National Guard Base, where the 146th Airlift Wing of the California Air National Guard are housed with their C-130J Super Hercules.