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Electronic Attack

Electronic Attack

With the departure of Whidbey-based A-3D Skywarriors, the EA-6B Prowler came into prominence at the air station. In October 1970, VAH-10 was redesignated Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 129, the Navy’s first EA-6B squadron and the training squadron for Prowler crews.

Since its initial deployment to Southeast Asia in 1972, the Northrop-Grumman EA-6B Prowler assumed the primary mission of strike aircraft and ground troop support. Through employment of the Prowler’s highly specialized electronic intelligence receivers and jamming equipment, the EA-6B degraded or destroyed enemy radar and command and control capability, enabling safe passage of friendly strike aircraft.

Capable of carrying the AGM-88 High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM), the Prowler brought a formidable depth to its Electronic Attack (EA) arsenal. In addition to jamming pods and HARM, the Prowler carried externally mounted chaff pods and fuel tanks. In the EA role, the Prowler usually carried a mix of five of the previously listed stores, tailored to specific mission requirements.

“NAS Whidbey Island was home to the majority of the Navy’s Prowler squadrons, and now the only base for all the new EA-18G Growler squadrons. It supports 14 Prowler/Growler squadrons, 10 of which deploy to aircraft carriers, three expeditionary squadrons not assigned to carrier air wings and one Whidbey-based training squadron.

Expeditionary squadrons deploy in support of joint forces from land bases in the Mediterranean area and Middle East. As the U.S. Air Force EF-111A Raven fleet was phased out of service, Air Force personnel from that program have been integrated into these expeditionary squadrons and at VAQ-129 since 1995.

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