Home of the Warlocks. Comprised of officers, enlisted members and government civilians, the mission of the squadron is to operate and maintain uniquely configured P-3 and C-12 aircraft in direct support of Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) airborne research projects. Additionally, the squadron provides reporting oversight for nine
ScanEagle UAS and the Department of Defense's only airship, the MZ-3A. It's a mission that the squadron has safely executed for more than 50 years.
The Warlocks have a proud history dating back to 1963. Designated as the NRL Flight Support Detachment, the detachment became renowned for the distinctive orange and white paint schemes which donned its aircraft. For forty years, the detachment served as NRL's airborne arm for Science and Technology (S&T) research, conducting worldwide detachments in support of the Navy, Department of Defense, and other government agencies that contribute to Naval research. In 2004, faced with increasing complexity, operations tempo, and worldwide deployments, the Chief of Naval Operations established the detachment as a stand-alone shore activity, designating it as Scientific Development Squadron (VXS) 1.
Today, the Warlocks endeavor to carry-on the proud tradition of superlative S&T support left by its forbearers. Gone are the stalwart orange and white P-3s, but the squadron's fleet of two NP-3Cs and one RC-12M provide the necessary footprint to meet the demand signal required by its customer base. Deploying around the globe in support of a wide range of S&T research projects, the Warlocks strive for technological enhancements that can directly augment existing fleet capabilities. Indeed, recent squadron operations both abroad and at home have made important, tangible contributions to Navy readiness. Understanding the critical link between readiness and safety, the squadron seeks ways to weave a safety-minded consciousness throughout its daily activities. The squadron's stellar flight safety record which spans more than 50 years and 69,000 mishap-free flight hours is a continuing source of pride.