The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a twin-engine, variable sweep wings capable of supersonic flight. The aircraft is crewed by a Pilot and a Radar Intercept Officer who share the tasks of navigation, target acquisition, ECM and weapons usage. The Tomcat was operated by the United States Navy and the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force only. The name “Tomcat” is said to come from the Grumman aircraft feline names.
VF-213 “Black Lions” was established on June 22, 1955. VF-213 received its first F-14D in 1997 and in March, 2006; onboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt they completed their last cruise flying the F-14D. From September 2005 to March 2006 VF-213 operated in the Persian and Arabian Gulfs in support of “OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM”. Returning home on March 10, 2006 the next month they began to transition to the new F/A-18F Super Hornet requiring a unit name change to VFA-213. During the last cruise Lt. Cdr Meagan “Slick” Flannigan (nee-Varley) flew her F-14D.