Sea Control Squadron 33 Disestablishes at Coronado

Story Number: NNS060622-03Release Date: 6/22/2006 11:54:00 AM
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By Photographer’s Mate Airman Apprentice Joshua Valcarcel, Fleet Public Affairs Center, Pacific

CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- The Navy disestablished the "World Famous Screwbirds" of Sea Control Squadron (VS) 33, one of now five remaining S-3 Viking Squadrons, during a ceremony June 15.

"The squadrons are going away because the [S-3 Viking] aircraft is going away," said Lt. Michael F. Parker, pilot for VS-33. "The aircraft was developed back in the '60s, and the technology is approaching the end of its life cycle."

The Viking's various anti-submarine warfare capabilities are being replaced by the F/A-18 Super Hornet and MH-60 Seahawk, which are capable of aerial refueling, dropping sonar buoys and generating surface contact pictures using radar.

"The capabilities of the Sailors here will carry on to other platforms," said Lt. Cmdr. Jon R. Labruzzo, executive officer of VS-33. "All good things come to an end, and now it's time for more good things to come about."

VS-33 was commissioned April 1, 1960, as Air Anti-Submarine Squadron (VS) 33 in San Diego. They were the first fixed-wing anti-submarine squadron to be commissioned under the Navy's carrier group concept.

They originally flew the Grumman S-2 Tracker. VS-33 introduced the S-3A Viking in 1975, and in 1991, they transitioned to the S-3B Viking.

"This ceremony is a historical event celebrating a great command; I'm very disappointed to see it go," said Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class (AW) Omar S. Evans, maintenance control coordinator and most recent "World Famous Screwbird" Sailor of the year. "The aircraft are aging, but we had great mechanics and great leadership."

Vice Adm. James M. Zortman attended the ceremony and was a guest speaker.

"VS-33's aircraft and Sailors will disperse to other aviation communities, taking with them their many capabilities," said Zortman. "The spirit of VS-33 will live on in the rest of naval aviation."

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Two S-3B Vikings assigned to the Screwbirds of Sea Control Squadron Three Three (VS-33), perform a fly-by.
Official U.S. Navy file photo of two S-3B Vikings assigned to the "Screwbirds" of Sea Control Squadron Three Three (VS-33).
June 2, 2005
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