What is Side Number?
Side Number meaning Unique 3-digit number assigned to every bird in the airwing. Side numbers are based on what squadron the aircraft is in. 1XX and 2XX used to be VF (fighter) squadrons. However, since the retirement of the F-14 Tomcat these are now applied to F/A-18 (VFA) Super Hornet Squadrons. 3XX and 4XX are for ‘Baby’ Hornet (F/A-18 C and D model) squadrons. 5XX side numbers are assigned to EA-6B (VAQ) squadrons, and 6XX are for the VAW squadrons flying the E-2C Hawkeye. 61X side numbers are for the HS helo squadron, and 7XX goes to the VS squadron, which flies the S-3B Viking. The only carrier aircraft that do not follow this scheme are the C-2A Greyhounds. See COD.