VA-125 HISTORY OF THE ROUGH RAIDERS
VA-125, known as the "Rough Raiders", was originally established on 11 April 1958 as Attack Squadron 125 at NAS Moffet Field, California. Its mission then, as now, was to provide combat readiness training to Fleet Replacement Pilots and Fleet Aircraft Maintenance Personnel. Today, re-designated as Strike Fighter Squadron 125, the squadron trains pilots and maintainers to fill F/A-18 billets throughout the Navy and Marine Corps. VA-125 was originally commissioned as an F-9 "Cougar" squadron but was quickly transitioned to the A-4 "Skyhawk". In July of 1961, the squadron moved to Reeves Field, NAS Lemoore, California. From then until the autumn of 1969 the squadron flew all models of the A-4, sending over 2,000 Replacement Pilots and 12,000 Maintenance Personnel to the Pacific Fleet. During this period, the squadron had over 100 A-4's and 1,400 officers and enlisted personnel making it the largest squadron in the Navy.
In September of 1969 the "Rough Raiders" received their first A-7 Corsair II, beginning the transition to the newest attack tactical jet of the time. VA-125 graduates carried the brunt of the Vietnam air war. The end of the war called for a reduction in force which eventually led to the disestablishment of the squadron in 1977. On 13 November 1980 the "Rough Raiders" again made their mark on Naval Naval Aviation history when they reenacted as VFA-125, the Navy's first F/A18 squadron. Their first aircraft did not arrive until five months later when VX-4 transferred Hornet number F-11 after completing their fleet evaluation process. Today, VFA-125 averages 1,500 flight hours monthly and trains approximately 120 pilots and 3,500 maintainers each year. Pilots from the United States Navy, United States Marine Corps, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Air Force, Hellenic Air Force, Kuwait Air Force and Canadian Air Force, have been trained by VFA-125. Flight training is supplemented by the latest state-of-the-art computer flight simulators and academic aids to enhance understanding of the new F/A-18 systems. The squadron continuously conducts training detachments to MCAS Yuma, Arizona; to NAS Fallon, Nevada; and on board aircraft carriers in both the Pacific and Atlantic Fleets.