Caskey Group, an integrated marketing communications company, is proud to announce a partnership with VFW Post 8896 in East Berlin, Pennsylvania to restore a Grumman F-14B Tomcat Jet. The F-14B Tomcat is one of only two jets located in Pennsylvania, and has been on display at VFW Post 8896 since 2007.
“We are thrilled by this opportunity to work with VFW Post 8896 on such a unique project,” said Tony Rife, Caskey Group’s President. “The goal is to rejuvenate the exterior of the F-14B Tomcat to restore it to an accurate representation of the jet when it was operational.”
Starting in July, Caskey Group will begin extensive cleaning of the Grumman F-14B removing built up dirt, smoothing out and removing any imperfections to the jet and having minor repairs done. During this process, Caskey Group’s professional graphics team will photograph, measure, and map out every graphic on the F-14B for replication. This is a critical step in the restoration process and will ensure all markings and decals will be restored to match the original look of the F-14B. Once cleaned and prepped, Caskey Group will begin painting the two-toned body scheme of the F-14B. All paint colors, insignia, squadron markings and graphics will be matched using U.S. Navy records. All markings will be restored using a combination of stencil and vinyl graphics.
This will be an ongoing project for Caskey Group, and will take roughly 3 months to complete. Caskey Group and VFW Post 8896 plan to hold an unveiling ceremony in September upon completion. Until then, we invite you to visit our Facebook page (@CaskeyGroup) as we document our journey.
History of the Grumman F-14B Tomcat No. 162916
On 29 April 1988, F-14B, 162916, was delivered new to Fighter Squadron 101 (VF-101) The Grim Reapers. She later served with The Pukin’ Dogs of Fighter Squadron 143 (VF-143), The Ghostriders of Fighter Squadron 142, (VF-142), The Diamondbacks of Fighter Squadron 102, (VF-102), and finally, the Swordsmen of Fighter Squadron 32 (VF-32). While assigned to VF-143, F-14B 162916 flew missions during OPERATION DESERT SHIELD, the run-up to OPERATION DESERT STORM. While assigned to VF-32, she flew combat missions during December 1998 in OPERATION DESERT FOX, the bombing campaign against Iraq in retaliation for its failure to adhere to various UN Resolutions. F-14B 162916 was involved in many firsts during this deployment, including, the first GBU-24’s to be combat use of the LANTIRN targeting pod, the first autonomous F-14 delivery of a GBU-24’s to be dropped by the Navy in combat, the first multiple GBU-24 drop by any platform in combat, the first combat use of the LANTIRN targeting pod, the first autonomous F-14 delivery of GBU-10/16/24, and the first use of Night Vision Devices (NVD) in combat. During OPERATION DESERT FOX, 162916 dropped sixteen GBU-10s, sixteen GBU-16s, twenty-four GBU-24 Laser-guided bombs and was mission ready 99.7% of the time. Following the attack on the World Trade Center, 162916 made two deployments in the International War on Terror. The first time between December 2002 and May 2003 and the second cruise between October 2004 and April 2005. During the first war cruise, 162916 flew 131.5 combat hours during 28 missions, expending twenty-nine GBUs-12s, one GBU-16 and five GBU-31s (JDAMs). She returned to NAS Oceana on April 18th 2005. By September 2005, 162916 was retired from flight status as the squadron prepared to transition to the F-18F Super Hornet. By March of 2006, 162916 had been repainted by VF-32 personnel. The Tomcat was put on public display at the 2006 Oceana Air Show and was later offered to the Richard J. Gross VFW Post, East Berlin, Adams County Pennsylvania. She was delivered to that venue on 15 February 2007 and reassembled by a group of volunteers from NAS Oceana.