NAS Lemoore

400 miles from Los Angeles to Sunnyvale. Nothing but cows, trucks, and fields. Well, that and the US Navy’s newest and largest master jet base. Home to 21 squadrons, flying the F/A-18A/B/C/D Hornet and the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, NAS Lemoore is the largest concentration of Hornets and Rhinos anywhere; and a perfect stop on a long drive.


So with the help of one of the coolest PAO’s in the Navy, Mr. Dennis McGrath, I was able to spend August 13 hanging out with some of the Navy’s finest people. I also took this opportunity to meet with the XO of VFA-122 “Flying Eagles,” Cmdr. Art “Kato” delaCruz, and present him and the squadron a pair of framed VFA-122 images. Years ago, the Flying Eagles gave me a rare opportunity to capture images of a brand new tactical demonstration team; the F/A-18 Super Hornet Demonstration Team. Spanky and The Dude launched that bird into the sky and never looked back. Dozens of demos later, I still look at the Rhino and awe at what this magnificent plane can do. The Flying Eagles still use my images on their website, and I proudly thank them for the chance that they offered me.


VFA-122 Super Hornet Demo Team at Salinas, CA.

After accepting Kato’s thanks, Dennis and I wandered down to the various flight ready rooms and visited the geedunk lockers to satisfy my craving for squadron patches and coins. Oh, yeah, and I took a few pictures along the way too! It didn’t help that 2/3’s of the squadrons were deployed, but still, it was sweet.


A pair of VFA-211 Fighting Checkmates heading out to play at the ranges.


VFA-125 Rough Raiders bird taking off on a military exercise.


VFA-25 Fist of the Fleet tails lined up.


VFA-94 Mighty Shrikes CAG bird waiting to launch.


XO’s bird from VFA-125 Rough Raiders sits in the hot Lemoore sun.


VFA-125 Rough Raiders blue camo bird torn down for a major inspection.


VFA-113 Stingers heading back to his ramp.


NAS Lemoore Tower keeping a vigilant eye on the air field.


A special thanks to the kind folks at NLC Tower, VFA-22, VFA-25, VFA-94, VFA-97, VFA-113, and VFA-125. And an extra special thanks to Kato from VFA-122 and Dennis McGrath for taking the time out of their busy schedules to meet with me and to show me around.

13 Replies to “NAS Lemoore”

  1. Just to let you know it is VFA (not VMFA) 125 located on NAS Lemoore. I did a tour with them from 2003 until 2006. But you have a lot of great shots.

  2. Served at NAS Lemoore from 1985-1989 in COMLATWINGPAC. Great place in my opinion, being an old country boy and all that.


  3. Thank you for posting these pictures! They look great!

    I have a question. I’m a civilian and I’m interested in checking
    Lemoore NAS out as a tourist. How close can civilians legally get to the base?

    I ask because I love the Hornets and Rhinos and I’ve been dying to get a couple of
    shots of the Super Hornets.

  4. I am currently stationed at VFA-122 NAS Lemoore.

    You can get right up there and touch the birds but you need a military escort.

  5. I was sent to NAS Lemoore when it was about 2-3 years old. I was discharged 6 April 1966 as an ETN3. We have had three runions there, and the changes are numerous.

  6. Thanks for the site. I was stationed with VFA-22 from 1997-2001, with CSFWP and CSFWP DET AIMD from 2001-2004. I was discharged at the end of my enlistment in 2004. Very cool pictures. I remember the good ole days. I miss them.


  7. Hey great job with the photos! Having Flown mostly East Coast NAS Oceana Squadrons, I did have many fond memories of LeMoore, while making countless Cross Country NAVFLTS. As a retired Aviator with nearly 9000 hours, I hope your photos seen by others, are a small viewing of How great a career in Naval Aviation can provide. Working with or flying the best Jets maintained by the best Ground Support Personnel the Navy can find. Thanks again.

  8. Nice to see your still around Sagar! I appreciate the accolades above and can still remeber that day at Lemoore. I'lll be back in Lemoore here soon; maybe we can set something up.

  9. y isn't there any pictures of vfa-97? or any of the other squadrons for that matter? i sure see 125 a lot.

  10. I was there '85-'88 when I wasn't embarked with VA-22 (1st cruise) or AIMD SeaOpDet (2nd cruise). With no planning and a few dollars on a Sunday afternoon I could take my scooter down to San Luis Obispo, walk Pismo Beach, eat a tri-tip sandwich and drink a beer, and head back to the barracks before it got dark.
    Have to say, it beats talking about watching onion skins blow across the tarmac… are they still farming right up to the flightline?

  11. It's funny I was in VFA-22 and CDR Dela Cruz "Kato" was one of my CO'S while I was there. i did 4 deployments on CVN-76 while with them.

  12. I was stationed there in Jan.1981-84. Was one of the first members of VFA-125. Only had 2 F/A-18s at that time. The Base was being updated at the time as well and Staffed. Was an AT but worked in Corrosion Control Dept. and with the SeaBees. Was trying to see what changes had been made after 27yrs. I enjoyed my time there greatly. I spent lots of time in Hanford, Fresno, Bakersfield, and L.A. Have not heard of any Reunions there but plan to visit anyway. It's funny to see how up to date the Old Base is now but Glad to see it is alive and well unlike RTC in San Diego.Ca. All Stationed there or visiting, Enjoy like I did.

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