Two Naval Aviation Squadrons Deactivated
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Navy and Marine Corps each closed down a long-serving aviation squadron last week, in line with planning to reduce a carrier air wing and to retire the EA-6B Prowler electronic attack aircraft.
Strike Fighter Squadron 15 (VFA-15) was deactivated at Naval Air Station Oceana, Va., on May 31, after almost 49 years of service. The squadron was one of a dwindling number of Navy squadrons flying the legacy F/A-18C “Classic” Hornet strike fighter. It was cut as part of the Navy’s move to reduce the number of carrier air wings to nine.
Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron Four (VMAQ-4) was deactivated at Marine Corps Cherry Point, N.C., on June 2. The squadron originally was activated on May 21, 1981, as a Reserve squadron, but in October 1992 was activated as an active-duty component squadron. It was the second of the Corps’ four Prowler squadrons to be closed down.
The remaining two squadrons will be retired by 2019 — one each year — as the Corps retires the last EA-6Bs. The Corps is shifting to a distributed electronic warfare architecture that will include the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter.