VR-57 is a Naval Reserve Force squadron comprised of active duty and Selected Reserve personnel. The squadron provides around-the-clock, world-wide logistics support for the Navy and Marine Corps regular and reserve forces. The squadron operates four McDonnell Douglas C-9B "Skytrain II" aircraft. Each aircraft is normally manned with a crew of six, and is capable of carrying 90 passengers or 27,000 pounds of cargo or a combination of both. VR-57 is one of eight jet logistics squadrons in the United States Navy. The Commanding Officer of VR-57 exercises operational and administrative control of the squadron reporting directly to the Commander, Fleet Logistics Support Wing based at Naval Air Station Dallas, Texas.
Fleet Logistics Support Squadron FIVE SEVEN (VR-57) was established at NAS North Island, San Diego, California, in November 1977. Formal commissioning ceremonies were held in April 1978 with the delivery of the first C-9B aircraft. In 1987 and 1990, the VR-57 "Conquistadors" were awarded the Noel Davis Trophy for the Reserve Force Squadron achieving the highest level of mobilization readiness. In 1988 and 1992, the squadron was awarded the CNO Safety Award for its outstanding safety record. In 1988, VR-57 was the recipient of the Commander, Fleet Logistics Support Wing's Retention Excellence Award.
VR-57 conducts extensive training programs to ensure the highest degree of proficiency and readiness among its pilots and aircrew. This readiness was validated when, with little notice, the squadron was mobilized in December 1990, as part of Operation Desert Shield. For four months, operating from Sembach Air Base Germany, the squadron aircrews carried troops, supplies and munitions throughout Europe, the Mediterranean, Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Gulf. For this effort, the squadron was awarded a Navy Unit Commendation by the Secretary of the Navy.
Cargo has included everything from Beluga whales to combat troops in support of Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Most importantly though, the missions have been carried out with a near 100% completion rate. The expertly trained crews, coupled with the C-9B's sophisticated navigation and communication equipment, are the key elements in the squadron's global reliability.