Training Squadron TWENTY-TWO was first formed on 13 June 1949 at Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi, Texas, to furnish jet transitional training for newly designated naval aviators. Designated Advanced Training Unit SIX (ATU-6), it received its first aircraft, a TV-1, in July of that year. This was the first unit in the training command to instruct in jet aircraft.
After only two months, the unit transferred to NAS Whiting Field, Milton, Florida, and was redesignated Jet Transitional Training Unit ONE (JTTU-1). The squadron's mission was extended to include training of fleet pilots. During this period, the unit transitioned the U.S. Navy's Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, to jet aircraft.
On 20 August 1951, JTTU-1 moved to its present location at NAS Kingsville, Texas, and was redesignated Advanced Training Unit THREE (ATU-3). Late in 1952, ATU-3 became ATU-200. The squadron's mission consisted of training newly designated aviators in familiarization, formation tactics, instruments and navigation. ATU-200 was redesignated ATU-212, and with the new name, came the mission of all-weather flight training.
In February 1958, ATU-212 began replacing its TV's with the F9F-88 and F9F-8T "Cougar". The syllabus was also expanded to include ordnance delivery and carrier qualification. In May 1960, ATU-212 was redesignated VT-22.
In September 1970, VT-22 transitioned to the TA-4J "Skyhawk", a two-seat version of the attack bomber employed by the Navy and Marine Corps in Vietnam.
In September 1994, the Golden Eagles transitioned to the Boeing T-45A "Goshawk". Based on the British "Hawk", the T-45A is a tandem-seat, carrier-borne jet specifically built for the training of Naval and Marine Corps Aviators. T-45 Total System (TS), which includes an advanced aircraft simulator, has enabled the T-45A to replace both the intermediate T-2C "Buckeye" and the advanced TA4-J "Skyhawk" curricula, resulting in substantial training cost savings.
The primary mission of VT-22 is to conduct strike jet training for student naval aviators. TS flight training is sequenced into 13 distinct modules consisting of 131 sorties totaling 162.1 hours, 70 simulator events totaling 99 hours, 66 academic events totaling 91 hours, and 89 flight support events totaling 112 hours. Upon completion, Navy and Marine Corps Officers are designated as Naval Aviators and receive their coveted "Wings of Gold".