[Photo] F/A-18E Super Hornet VFA-81 CAG bird (with POW markings, sharkmouth) during night ops aboard USS Carl Vinson

F/A-18E Super Hornet from the Sunliners of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 81 about to be launched from flight deck of USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).

U.S. Navy CAG birds (aircraft in special liveries, officially assigned to commanding officer of United States Navy Carrier Air Groups) take part in air strikes in Syria and Iraq alongside all the other warplanes wearing standard paint schemes and low-visibility markings.

The photo in this post shows the striking F/A-18E Super Hornet BuNo 166830, Modex “200”, CAG bird of the VFA-81 “Sunliners” with POW-MIA art work on the tail and sharkmouth applied to the aircraft back in 2013, being marshalled onto the catapult during night ops.

The aircraft does not seem to carry weapons, hence it was probably only involved in a routine training mission.

USS Carl Vinson is currently supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, launching air strikes against ISIS targets in both Iraq and Syria from the U.S. 5th Fleet AOR (Area of Operations).

Image credit: U.S. Navy

 

About David Cenciotti 3868 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.