NORFOLK (NNS) -- Fleet Composite Squadron (VC) 6 was deactivated Aug. 7, in a ceremony held on Naval Station Norfolk.
Established in 1952 as Utility Squadron 6, VC-6 was originally designed to provide aerial target services for U.S. Naval forces in the Atlantic Ocean. After changing their name, the Firebees of VC-6 expanded their mission to include providing airborne reconnaissance and real-world threat simulations.
In 1958, VC-6 established a detachment in Dam Neck, Va., to provide surface and aerial target services for the Dam Neck Gunnery School, specializing in the BQM-74E Aerial Target Drone. Another detachment was later created in Patuxent River, Md., in 1986, to develop an experimental Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) system. This later developed into the Pioneer UAV system, the nation's only 'forward from the sea' UAV.
"I'm sad to see it go, but the members of VC-6 are going to move on and continue to support the fleet," said Personnel Specialist Seaman Paul Richards. "I'll be taking the VC-6 pride and dedication to all my commands in the future."
"It is all about the people, the relationships you make, the spirit and camaraderie," said Cmdr. Gary Deal, VC-6 commanding officer. "That type of spirit is not just going to affect my Navy career, it's going to affect my life."
VC-6 provided support in the Persian Gulf for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and their UAV detachments supported combat operations in Kosovo and Iraq. The squadron also supported the war on terrorism.
"The squadron has a tremendous legacy of operational accomplishments which are inspiring," said Deal.
The ceremony celebrated the various accomplishments of the squadron and highlighted the Firebees' history of providing quality service to the fleet.
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