VFA-201 was the seventh tactical Navy reserve squadron mobilized since the Korean War (three East Coast based and three West Coast based USNR squadrons were activated during the Vietnam war on 28 January 1968), and were one of three reserve squadrons to deploy for combat operations (the other two were HCS-4 and HCS-5). After completing the Strike Fighter Advanced Readiness Program (SFARP) from their home base in Fort Worth and the Carrier Air Wing Eight coordinated strike detachment in Fallon, Nevada, they deployed on board USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) from 6 January to 29 May 2003, where they received numerous awards for their performance over Iraq during the first phases of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In fact, the squadron delivered over 220,000 pounds of ordnance on Iraq targets. Additionally, VFA-201 had an unprecedented 84.6 target acquisition rate during Iraqi Freedom and won the Carrier Air Wing Eight landing grade competition for their entire workup and combat deployment. Eighteen of the nineteen pilots deployed were graduates of TOPGUN.