The McDonnell Douglas Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet is a twin-engine multi-role carrier-based aircraft. The “E” variant is single-seater while the “F” variant is a tandem-seat configuration. The “E” is a much larger, more advanced and more capable variant of the F/A-18C. The Super variant can carry a larger array of weapons as well as more of them and is capable of returning to the carrier while still carrying unspent munitions, a big savings in dollars. The first F/A-18E flight was in 1995 and began delivery to the USN in 1999.
VF-102 was established on July 1, 1955 in Jacksonville, Florida equipped with the F2H Banshee and then the F4D-1 Skyray followed by the F-4 Phantom II and the F-14A. After Jacksonville their home bases have been NAS Oceana, Virginia Beach, Virginia, NAS Lemoore, California where they were renamed VFA-102 training to use the new F/A-18F. Finally in 2003 the Diamondbacks moved to Atsugi, Japan. In 2005 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the squadron F/A-18F 165882 received an eye-catching paint scheme of red and white with a Diamondback snake on the tail.