NORFOLK -- The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye officially became ready for tasking with Airborne Early Warning Squadron 125 (VAW-125) during a ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk Chambers Field, March 27.
"This is a revolutionary jump in capabilities," said Capt. Todd Watkins, commander, Airborne Command Control and Logistics Wing. "The E-2D serves as the eyes of the fleet. If it's out there, we will see it."
The "Tigertails" of VAW-125 are the first Navy squadron to become fully operational with the Advanced Hawkeye, the newest, most technologically capable variant of the venerable E-2 airborne early warning command and control platform.
The E-2D is expected to be instrumental to how the Navy will conduct battle management command and control. Able to sweep ahead of the strike, the E-2D can manage the mission and keep carrier battle groups out of harm's way.
"We were very excited to be the first squadron to receive the [Advanced] Hawkeye," said Lt. James Beaty, a naval flight officer who has worked extensively with the E-2D. "It's been a challenge, but I've enjoyed learning everything this aircraft is capable of."
The E-2D's advanced technology makes it a multi-mission platform through its ability to coordinate concurrent missions which may arise during a single flight. These missions can include airborne strike, ground force support, rescue operations and managing a reliable communications network capable of supporting drug interdiction operations.
"I laid down the challenge to learn this new platform and defend the fleet," said Capt. William Ewald, commander, Carrier Air Wing 1. "Today, the "Tigertails" are ready for tasking and I can assure you, they will succeed."