Viral Super Hornet Video from VFA-27

The Royal Maces are having altogether too much fun in their jets. Strike Fighter Squadron 27 is a US Navy Super Hornet fighter squadron based in Japan. Naval Air Facility Atsugi, in the Kanagawa Prefecture, is the largest US Navy air base in the Pacific.

1968 – Introducing the VA-27 Royal Maces.

The attack squadron was established in 1967. The squadron’s insignia, designed by the first members of the squadron, includes a gloved hand holding a large mace and they are known as the Royal Maces. The spikes on the tail were also designed by the squadron members and are meant to represent the spike tips on a mace.

“The design of the Royal Mace and the name came from the Senior Chief that was the plank owner QA Chief in the squadron and also quite an artist. I don’t recall his name right now, but will get out a cruise book and look it up. He was a heavy smoker and was medically retired with emphysema after our first cruise.

The “saw tooth” rudder tail markings that were on the original aircraft, were the brain child of the line division officer, Bill Matto. He had a plane painted with them and showed the skipper. The skipper reamed him out for painting the planes without his permission and made Bill remove them. Then he told Bill to repaint them(now with his permission).

….Bud Biery

However one might feel about the American politics, there’s no denying that these young pilots are risking their lives in some of the most dangerous arenas of the world. They have the best pilots in the Navy and repeatedly have been awarded the Battle Efficiency and Safety awards in the past decade. In 2009 they reached a new milestone: 100,000 hours without a Class “A” mishap.

The Royal Mace mission is to be prepared to conduct sustained combat operations from sea on short notice in support of national policy. We will be ready to provide fused ordnance on target, on time, anytime, anywhere.

In February, the squadron were upgraded to the latest Super Hornets with better systems. They were given heavy training at Air-to-Ground and Air-to-Air events before flying the new Super Hornets back to Atsugi.

On 11 March 2013, CDR Braden “Jimmy” Briller, Commanding Officer of the VFA-27 Royal Maces stationed in Atsugi, Japan, flew the squadron’s brand new 200 jet in loose formation on an Air Force DC-10 tanker prior to receiving fuel. The squadron had completed their transition to new F/A-18E Lot 34/35 Super Hornets, and was en route to Hickam AFB, HI from NAS Fallon, NV on their way back to Japan. (Photo: LCDR Justin “Jugs” Halligan)

I don’t know who had the brilliant idea of giving them GoPro personal video cameras while they train and patrol there but the results are simply amazing. The 5-minute teaser was released on YouTube last week and swiftly gone viral:

The high-definition video from recent patrols includes trips along the Australian and Japanese coasts and incredible footage of an aircraft maneuvering through the Japanese Alps.

“It’s a low-level route we fly all the time — it just happened to be a pretty day,” Matson said.

The full video, Shoot ‘Em If You Got ‘Em, promises 27-minutes fast action, with more low-level flying, carrier operations and footage from the Philippines. It’ll be launched at the NAF Atsugi Spring Festival next weekend and I sure hope there will be a copy online for us all to watch!

Category: Fun Stuff,

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