Alameda Naval Air Museum

VAQ/VAK-208 "Jockeys" Tactical Aerial Refueling Squadron 208

VAK-208 "Jockeys" Patch

When the Naval Air Reserve was reorganized in 1970 Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 208 was established on July 31 at NAS Alameda, California, as part of Carrier Air Wing Twenty.

Equipped with KA-3Bs to support CVWR-20 operations, VAQ-208 also began providing air refueling and pathfinding for Navy and Marine tactical aircraft being ferried to Southeast Asia.

During the 1971 India-Pakistan conflict and the 1973 Yom Kippur War, VAQ-208 jointly with VAQ-308 provided crews and aircraft to support emergency deployments of U.S. Naval aircraft.

During the seventies, the squadron also provided tanking platforms for test and development of the Lockheed S-3A Viking and Grumman F-14A Tomcat. On 1 October 1979, in recognition of its primary use as a refueling and pathfinding unit, the squadron was redesignated VAK-208. They were disestablished 30 September 1989.

VAQ-208 KA-3B Skywarrior
KA-3B Skywarrior of VAQ-208 --provided by Mr. William T. Larkins.
VAK-208 KA-3B Skywarrior
DN-SC-87-06167 (15 September 1985) Flight deck crewmen perform a preflight check on an Aerial Refueling Squadron 208 (VAK 208) "Jockeys" KA-3B Skywarrior aircraft of the Naval Air Reserve at NAS Alameda, California, aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). U.S. Navy photo. --provided by Mr. Robert M. Cieri.
KA-3B Tanker from VAK-208 in July of 1985 --provided by Mr. Robert M. Cieri.
An EA-3B of VAQ-208, taken on 19 March 1973 --provided by Mr. Robert M. Cieri.

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Credit:Photos provided by Mr. Robert M. Cieri and Mr. William T. Larkins.