US Navy Fighter Squadron 193 (VF-193) Ghostriders was established on August 24th, 1948 flying the F4U Corsair. It made two deployments to Korea with the Corsair before entering the jet age with the F2H Banshee in 1953. In 1958 it switched to the F3H Demon but then in 1963 it moved on to the F-4 Phantom II and was redesignated VF-142. After flying the Phantom for 11 years, including several combat tours in Vietnam, the squadron adopted the F-14 Tomcat in 1974. In 1976, the Ghostriders conducted the first ever F-14 intercept of a Soviet Tu-95 Bear bomber. The squadron continued to fly the F-14 for a total of 21 years before finally being disestablished in 1995.
Designed to carry the formidable long range AIM-54 Phoenix missile, the Grumman F-14 Tomcat was first flown on December 21st, 1970. Made famous by the Hollywood film Top Gun, the F-14 replaced the F-4 Phantom II as the US Navy's primary maritime air superiority fighter. Its design includes a variable geometry wing that can sweep back for high speed supersonic intercepts and forward for improved positioning in air to air dogfights. Nicknamed "Bombcat," the F-14 spent much of its late career in an air-to-ground role, carrying the Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night (LANTIRN) system.