Supercruise Aviation - Article
The end nears for the Prowlers

The US Navy has already replaced there EA-6B Prowler squadron by EA-18G Growlers, of which VAQ-134 is now the last squadron working on being operational on the Growler. This means that the US Marines are the last which fly with the Prowler, but also here are the days numbered for this type.

The squadron is deactivated because the Prowlers will be replaced and no new crews are needed.

On April 29, 2016 there was a ceremony at NAS Cherry Point because of the decommissioned of VMAQT-1. This squadron had the tasked to train pilots, Prowler electronic couter measure officers and maintenance personnel. Because from 2016 every year a US Marine Prowler squadron will be decommissioned, there is no need more for new personnel to be trained for the Prowler squadrons.

During the ceremony 3 Prowlers flew, namely 163033/CB-01, 161881/CB-02 and 163045/CB-03, of which CB-01 was in full color.

The history of VMAQT-1 started in 1952 as VMC-1 (Marine Composite Squadron 1) in charge of airborne warning and Countermeasures during the Korean War, in which made use of the AD-4 and AD-5Q Skyraider. After the Korean War the squadron was merged with VMJ-1 (Marine Photographic Squadron One) and so arose VMCJ-1 (Marine Composite Reconnaissance Squadron One). In the sixties the Skyraiders were replaced by the F-3D (later named as EF-10B) SkyNight and RF-8A Crusaders.

The squadron also has fought in the Vietnam War, in which the Crusaders flew from aircraft carriers and Skynights from airports near their area of operations.

At the end of the sixties, the Cursaders were replaced by RF-4B Phantoms and Skynights by the EA-6A Intruder Electronic. After the end of the Vietnam War the squadron was again split into two separate squadrons, namely VMFP-3 (Marine Photo Reconnaissance Squadron and VMAQ-2 Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron. In 1977, the Electronic Intruder was replaced by the EA-6B Prowler.

During Desert Storm VMAQ-2 so also action and flown almost 500 sorties. After Desert Storm, all Navy Electronic Warfare squadrons merged into three active and one reserve squadron. VMAQ-2 became part of VMAQ-1. In 2003, the squadron was again called up for the next war, namely Operations Southern Watch and Iraqi Freedom.

In 2013 VMAQ-2 was transformed into VMAQT-1 (Navy Electronic Warfare Training Squadron One) and now in 2016 the curtain has fallen for the squadron.

The Marines will not be flying with the Growlers, but will use a variety of different platforms that are already in use, which is called Marine Air-Ground Task Force Electronic Warfare (EW MAGTF). All the platforms will share their collected data with all other units of the Marines. In addition, also ground-based EW components and Cyber world will be integrated into this system.

At this time, the ALQ-231 Tiger Intrepid II (IT-II) pods used by the AV-8B Harrier and F/A-18 Hornet, this is the block v(1) version. At present, the Pod block v(3) version, is tested at the UH-1Y Venom. Thereafter, the pod is made suitable for use by the KC-130J Hercules, MV-22 Osprey, AH-1Z Viper and several UAVs


By Fran├žois van Riel