Fleet Logistics Support Squadron FOUR ZERO (VRC-40), was established on 1 July 1960, is tasked with providing Carrier Onboard Delivery (COD) services to the Navys Atlantic and Sixth Fleets. VRC-40, homeported at Naval Station, Norfolk, Virginia, operates the C-2A "Greyhound" and reports to Commander, Airborne Early Warning Wing, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. VRC-40 was the first VRC squadron in the Navy.
Maintaining and flying the squadrons 12 aircraft are nearly 300 enlisted personnel and officers. Unlike most squadrons, VRC-40 does not deploy as a unit. Instead, two plane detachments aboard each deployed aircraft carrier provide continuous fleet support. VRC-40 supports the fleet from ships and bases as far north as Norway, down the Eastern Seaboard and Gulf Coast, throughout the Caribbean, in Central and South America, and all over the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern theaters.
After flying the C-1A "Trader" aircraft for over 26 years, VRC-40 completed a transition to the C-2A in 1986, marking the end of the reciprocating engine era in Naval Aviation history. VRC-40s continuing mission is the efficient transportation of passengers, mail, and cargo to and from carriers at sea, as well as airborne insertion of Special Warfare personnel.
While speed and efficiency are requisite to completion of the squadrons mission, safety is of paramount importance. Every year, VRC-40 carries over three million pounds of mail and cargo and effects over 1,000 arrested landings. Astronauts Alan Shepard and Scott Carpenter, numerous Congressional and Cabinet members, business leaders, and entertainers such as Whitney Houston, Charlie Daniels, Jimmy Buffett, and Meat Loaf have all flown with the "RAWHIDES".
VRC-40 is expanding its traditional role as a carrier onboard delivery platform to include such missions as Special Warfare insertion and cargo air drops. The C-2A is capable of dropping up to 14 combat loaded personnel or 20 without combat gear in support of Special Warfare operations. These jumps may be executed in either the static line or free-fall method. Cargo drops include packages varying in size from four to 2,500 pounds. They can be delivered manually by the loadmaster, or released using a roller rail system. Each package has its own parachute which is deployed via a static line. These missions emphasize the ever increasing role the C-2A and VRC-40 play in supporting the fleet.
Among VRC-40s many achievements, is the receipt of the coveted Chief of Naval Operations Safety Award. VRC-40s enviable mission accomplishments serve as an example to others and symbolize our motto of "Service to the Fleet with Safety, Dependability, and Courtesy."