Araujo, Richard, AOC

Aviation Ordnanceman
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Current Service Status
USN Retired
Current/Last Rank
Chief Petty Officer
Current/Last Primary NEC
AO-0000-Aviation Ordnanceman
Current/Last Rating/NEC Group
Aviation Ordnanceman
Primary Unit
1997-2000, VS-22 Checkmates
Service Years
1976 - 2000
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AO-Aviation Ordnanceman
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Master Training Specialist US Navy Retired 20

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Order of the Shellback Order of the Arctic Circle (Bluenose) Navy Chief Initiated Persian Gulf Yacht Club

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Management Analyst, South East Regional Maintenance Center

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  1997-2000, VS-22 Checkmates

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VS-22 Checkmates Unit Page

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 VS-22 Checkmates Details

VS-22 Checkmates
disestablished Mar 08


Two distinct squadrons have been designated VS-22. The second of these is the main subject of this article. Officially, the US Navy does not recognize a direct lineage with disestablished squadrons if a new squadron is formed with the same designation[2]. Often, the new squadron will assume the nickname, insignia, and traditions of the earlier squadrons.


new anti-submarine squadron VS-22 was established at NAS Quonset Point,Rhode Island (USA), on 18 May 1960. From 1960 to 1976, the Checkmates flew the Grumman S-2 Tracker, better known as "Stoof" from its pre-1962 designation "S2F". VS-22 was assigned to Carrier Anti-Submarine Air Group 54 (CVSG-54) at NAS Quonset Point and operated from Essex-class anti-submarine carriers, mostly in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea:

USS Lake Champlain, June 1960 - May 1965;
USS Essex, June 1967 - August 1967;
USS Wasp, March 1969 - November 1971;
USS Intrepid, March 1972 (as part of CVSG-56).

Besides the typical submarine hunting role for which the aircraft was designed, the Checkmates held a significant role in the United States space program.Naval aviator Alan B. Shepard's Freedom 7 spacecraft, the United States' first manned spacecraft, was tracked and located by VS-22 on 5 May 1961. In August 1965, while embarked on USS Lake Champlain, VS-22 recoveredGemini 5 astronauts Gordon Cooper and Pete Conrad. Finally, VS-22 was engaged in the recovery of Apollo 7 astronauts while deployed aboard USSEssex.


Jet transitions started in the summer of 1974 with pilots training in Rockwell T-2C Buckeyes and Douglas TA-4JSkyhawks at NAS Meridian, Mississippi, making VS-22 the first east coast based S-3A squadron. With the retirement of the anti-submarine carriers the anti-submarine squadrons were integrated into the former attack carrier air wings. From 1976 to 2001 VS-22 was assigned to Carrier Air Wing Three (CVW-3). Between 1976 and 1980 VS-22 made four deployments aboard the USS Saratoga. The squadron transitioned to the S-3B in 1987.

This was followed by seven cruises aboard USS John F. Kennedy, including participation in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm in 1990/91. Operation "Desert Storm" commenced on 17 January 1991. VS-22 aircrews flew over 1100 combat hours and 324 combat sorties in direct support of the coalition forces.Target information gleaned by VS-22 aircraft played a major role in the suppression of enemy air defences during the first days of Desert Storm. From 22 January 1991 until the cease-fire on 28 February 1991, the Checkmates flew in every CVW-3 strike against Iraq . VS-22 was also employed in support of CJTF-4 counter narcotics operations during the last part of 1991 through the first part of 1992 earned the Checkmates the "Joint Meritorious Unit Award" for locating over 1500 contacts, confirming 50 as suspected offenders. After a long pre-deployment work-up schedule, VS-22 embarked on the carrier USS John F. Kennedy in October 1992.

Concentrating on multi-national Mediterranean and Adriatic Sea exercises during the first half of deployment, VS-22 provided initial in-flight refueling training for Egyptian Air Force Mirage 2000 pilots and practiced ASW skills while leading over 40 multi-national, integrated and air wing exercise strikes against NATO ships. Later VS-22 participated in Operations Provide Comfort and Provide Promise, providing radar locating and command and control information. In February 1994, VS-22 joined CVW-3 and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. It was at this time that United States Congress passed laws permitting the embarkation of women in combat units. VS-22 had the distinction of being the first S-3B command to be assigned female sailors. On 16 April 1995, VS-22 returned from their Mediterranean deployment onboard Dwight D. Eisenhower. On 26 November 1996, VS-22 deployed onboard USS Theodore Rooseveltto the Mediterranean and the North Persian Gulf. VS-22 participated in operations "Southern Watch" and "Decisive Endeavor" as well as numerous other joint exercises. On 21 April 1997, in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Checkmates became the first S-3B squadron to launch the AGM-65F Infrared Maverick missile. VS-22 next deployed onboard USS Enterprise. VS-22 participated in various exercises such as Operation Desert Fox,Juniper Stallion and Noble Anvil, mostly providing electronic warfare support.


In November 2000 VS-22 and CVW-3 embarked on USS Harry S. Truman's maiden deployment. On 16 February 2001, CVW-3 participated in strikes against Iraq as a part of Operation Southern Watch. The Checkmates deployed for a second time with the Truman in December 2002, this time participating in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, launching missions from the Eastern Mediterranean. October 2004 saw VS-22 deploying with CVW-3 andHarry S. Truman for the last time. VS-22 flew 1170 sorties and 3220 hours in support of "Operation Iraqi Freedom", patrolling the oil infrastructure in the Persian Gulf during "Operation Sea Dragon II" missions.

VS-22 deployed in 2006 on USS George Washington, being assigned to CVW-17. VS-22 last carrier embark was from 7 April to 27 May 2008, aboard George Washington for the transit from Norfolk around South America to San Diego,California. Less than a week after returning from GW, VS-22 was ordered to deploy to Iraq as a land based squadron. The squadron operated from Al Asad Air Base in Al Anbar Province until their return to NAS Jacksonville on 15 December 2008. VS-22 was the last squadron flying the Viking, and was disestablished on 29 January 2009.

Air Units - Fixed Wing


Parent Unit
Fixed Wing

Air Squadron

Created/Owned By
Not Specified

Last Updated: Sep 1, 2009
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122 Members Also There at Same Time
VS-22 Checkmates

Ehlers, Mark, LCDR, (1980-1997) Lieutenant Commander
Brooks, Scott, SCPO, (1974-2008) Senior Chief Petty Officer
Clay, Tim, SCPO, (1982-2003) Senior Chief Petty Officer
Orzechowski, Tony, SCPO, (1977-2002) Senior Chief Petty Officer
Smith, David, SCPO, (1984-2004) Senior Chief Petty Officer
Mincey, David, SCPO, (1981-2007) Chief Petty Officer
Armstead, Frederick, CPO, (1987-2007) Petty Officer First Class
Ferdon, Donald, CPO, (1988-2007) Petty Officer First Class
Geddes, Lesa, SCPO, (1989-Present) Petty Officer First Class
McCullough, David, PO1, (1986-2006) Petty Officer First Class
Patterson, Danny, SCPO, (1990-2016) Petty Officer First Class
Walls, Keir, SCPO, (1990-2007) Petty Officer First Class
Carley, James, PO1, (1987-2007) Petty Officer Second Class
Delgado, Daniel, PO1, (1998-2007) Petty Officer Second Class
Hing, Lloyd, CPO, (1998-Present) Petty Officer Second Class
Inman, Lucas, PO1, (1997-2007) Petty Officer Second Class
Lansdown, Angela, PO2, (1993-2004) Petty Officer Second Class
McDuffie, John, PO1, (1998-Present) Petty Officer Second Class
Noe, David, CPO, (1986-2007) Petty Officer Second Class
Puckett, Jonathan, PO2, (1994-2008) Petty Officer Second Class
Roy, Clint, PO1, (1995-2007) Petty Officer Second Class
Schons, Matthew, CPO, (1992-2007) Petty Officer Second Class
Stromberg, Kory, PO1, (1989-2007) Petty Officer Second Class
SUPINSKY, PAUL, PO1, (1989-2008) Petty Officer Second Class
Austin, Tim, SCPO, (1990-Present) Petty Officer Third Class
Gonzalez, Douglas, PO1, (1997-2008) Petty Officer Third Class
Hadley, Julia, PO3, (1995-2001) Petty Officer Third Class
Hammett, Erik, PO3, (1995-1999) Petty Officer Third Class
Helbling, Andrew, PO3, (1996-2001) Petty Officer Third Class
Hubbard, Linda, PO1, (1998-2007) Petty Officer Third Class
Hunter, Brandon, PO1, (1999-2007) Petty Officer Third Class
Monahan, Justin, PO2, (1999-2007) Petty Officer Third Class
Bendert, Betty, AN, (1998-2003) Airman
Russell, Janet, PO1, (1994-Present) Airman
Smith, Matthew, PO2, (1999-2007) Airman
Wood, Erica, PO3, (1997-2005) Airman
Camargo, Willington, PO1, (1994-2007) Airman Recruit
Galvan, Araceli, ENS, (1998-2007) Airman Recruit
Joseph, Mindy, PO2, (1998-2007) Airman Recruit
Paul, Carson, PO1, (1995-2007) Airman Recruit
Squibbs, Douglas, PO1, (1997-2007) Airman Recruit
Reed, Michael S, CAPT, (1975-2009) OFF 132X Commander
Eyre, Mark, LT OFF 132X Lieutenant
Fierstine, Kory, CDR, (1987-2009) OFF 131X Lieutenant
Harvey, Art, CDR, (1979-Present) OFF 633X Lieutenant
Parks, Kevin, LCDR, (1993-2004) OFF 131X Lieutenant
Kelly, Edward, LCDR, (1988-2009) OFF 163X Lieutenant Junior Grade
Avery, Frederick, CWO4, (1978-2007) OFF 736X Chief Warrant Officer 4
Bullard, Ronald Scott, SCPO, (1984-2008) AME AME-0000 Senior Chief Petty Officer
Lemon, Joe, MCPO, (1981-2003) 00 8800 Senior Chief Petty Officer
Schons, Matthew, SCPO, (1987-2015) AD AD-6418 Senior Chief Petty Officer
Attebury, John, MCPO, (1988-Present) 00 8347 Chief Petty Officer
Crawford, Susan, CPO, (1982-2002) AMH Chief Petty Officer
Grizzell, W, CPO, (1980-2001) 00 8347 Chief Petty Officer
Holden, Kevin, MCPO, (1983-Present) 00 8347 Chief Petty Officer
Ipar-Marshall, Laurie, CPO, (1981-2001) 00 00-0000 Chief Petty Officer
Kadolph, Dawn, SCPO, (1983-2009) AW AW-7834 Chief Petty Officer
Schuler, Scott, CPO, (1982-2002) 00 8347 Chief Petty Officer
Barrozo, Armando, PO1, (1977-1997) AD AD-8346 Petty Officer First Class

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