ARLINGTON, Va. — The Marine Corps’ last squadron flying the EA-6B Prowler electronic attack aircraft is scheduled to return home in early November, marking the last operational deployment for the aircraft.
Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron Two (VMAQ-2) is returning from its final deployment to its home base, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, from a base in the Central Command area of responsibility, the Marine Corps said in an Oct. 31 release.
VMAQ-2 is scheduled to be deactivated in March, the last of four VMAQ squadrons to operate the Prowler. The other three squadrons — VMAQ-1, VMAQ-3 and VMAQ-4, two of which were formed from detachments of VMAQ-2 and one of which became a fleet replacement training squadron (VMAQT-1) until it was no longer needed — have been deactivated — one each year — over the past three years.
The VMAQ squadrons have deployed their EA-6Bs to numerous bases and aircraft carriers over their service, providing electronic jamming and attack in support of joint forces, including participation in combat operations in Libya, Kuwait, Iraq, Syria, Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo and Afghanistan.
The Marine Corps is not fielding a direct replacement for the EA-6B, instead relying on other platforms like the F-35B and the Navy’s electronic attack squadrons.
The Navy retired its last EA-6B squadron in 2015. The service now flies the EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft from aircraft carriers and in expeditionary roles from land bases to support joint forces.