ELECTRONIC ATTACK WING
Commander, Electronic Attack Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet and staff provide combat-ready electronic attack squadrons to support the Commander, Naval Air Forces and combatant commander tasking worldwide. As type wing commander of all Navy EA-6B Prowler and EA-18G Growler fleet squadrons and operational commander of three expeditionary squadrons, the commander and staff are engaged in a wide variety of activities ranging from maintenance, material and operational readiness support to everyday administrative functions.
Electronic attack squadrons provide electronic warfare tactical and technical development leadership and expertise. Squadrons deploy in support of both East and West Coast air wings and aircraft carriers, as well as to various land-based joint facilities. Naval Air Station Whidbey Island is home to the majority of the Navy’s electronic attack squadrons flying the EA-6B and the EA-18G.
Electronic attack squadrons at Whidbey include the VAQ-129 Vikings, VAQ-130 Zappers, VAQ-131 Lancers, VAQ-132 Scorpions, VAQ-133 Wizards, VAQ-134 Garudas, VAQ-135 Black Ravens, VAQ-136 Gauntlets, VAQ-137 Rooks, VAQ-138 Yellow Jackets, VAQ-139 Cougars, VAQ-140 Patriots and VAQ-142 Gray Wolves. The VAQ-141 Shadowhawks are permanently forward deployed to the Western Pacific aboard USS George Washington, homeported in Japan.
ELECTRONIC ATTACK WEAPONS SCHOOL
The Electronic Attack Weapons School provides comprehensive, formal training to EA-6B and EA-18G aircrew and extensive weapons-related training to EA-6B and EA-18G ordnance and maintenance personnel.
The school acts as the central repository for all EA-6B and EA-18G tactical matters. The school’s staff, composed of approximately 40 officers, enlisted personnel and civilians, is responsible for providing a graduate-level curriculum that prepares EA-6B and EA-18G squadrons for deployment around the world. Flight-side training support is continually provided to squadrons, locally or deployed.
The school is the community manager for the EA-6B and EA-18G Weapons and Tactics Program used in the training of Prowler and Growler aircrew. The school also conducts a semiannual 11-week Prowler tactics instructor course to qualify new Prowler tactics instructors for up-to-date fleet support.
PATROL AND RECONNAISSANCE WING 10
Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 10 maintains operational and administrative control of all active-duty and reserve P-3 Orion maritime patrol aviation squadrons (VP) and EP-3 fleet air reconnaissance squadrons (VQ) stationed at Whidbey Island. The wing is also responsible for the training, maintenance and administrative support of its assigned VP and VQ squadrons of more than 2,000 personnel. Its training department includes a weapons training unit with both VP and VQ weapons training instructors.
The wing provides operational support and communication to its squadrons through a Tactical Support Center that contains the most advanced systems in the Pacific Fleet, providing mission planning, briefing and analysis tools for combat aircrews, as well as an extensive communications suite.
An operational flight trainer provides real-world scenarios for aircrew coordination. Additionally, Wing 10 provides several advanced simulators to train both VP and VQ aircrews as they prepare for deployment around the world.
Maritime patrol aviation squadrons at Whidbey Island include the VP-1 Screaming Eagles, VP-40 Fighting Marlins, VP-46 Grey Knights and VP-69 Totems. Each squadron deploys to sites located in the Western Pacific, Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean. The squadrons operate P-3 aircraft, which can carry a wide range of weapons, including air-to-surface missiles and torpedoes. An 11-person combat aircrew operates these systems, with both officers and enlisted personnel who train and fly as a unit. Many P-3 aircraft have received extensive mission equipment upgrades under the Aircraft Improvement Program. These P-3s have greatly improved capabilities and have played major roles in U.S. combat successes in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq. The P-3C Update III aircraft can operate alone or in support of many different organizations, including carrier battle groups, amphibious readiness groups, surface action groups and special mission tasking. Its missions include undersea warfare, anti-surface warfare, mining, reconnaissance, surveillance, search and rescue and counter-drug operations.
The VQ-1 World Watchers are the fleet air reconnaissance squadron at Whidbey Island. VQ-1 flies the EP-3E Aries Sensor Station Improvement Program and EP-3E Aries Joint Common Configuration aircraft, both of which are a modification of the P-3 Orion airframe. The squadron uses this aircraft to conduct intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions worldwide. The combat reconnaissance crews of VQ-1 collect, analyze and exploit signals intelligence and also disseminate any threat warnings directly to U.S. forces afloat and in the field.
FLEET LOGISTICS SUPPORT SQUADRON 61
Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 61 is one of four Navy Reserve C-9B squadrons. The Islander team is composed of full-time support and selected reserve personnel who maintain and operate four C-9B aircraft. The squadron provides worldwide, around-the-clock transport of passengers and cargo in support of all branches of the armed forces.
SEARCH AND RESCUE
Naval Air Station Whidbey Island Search and Rescue is a one-of-a-kind rescue unit. The team consists of two MH-60S helicopters, 10 pilots, 10 rescue aircrew members, and three search and rescue medical technicians. Pilots and aircrew are highly trained in both overwater and mountain rescue, including helicopter rappel, hoist and mountain landing. The team can conduct day or night operations and have night-vision goggle capability.
Search and Rescue’s primary mission is to be the first responder for the aircraft and personnel stationed at Whidbey Island. They also work closely with local agencies to provide aid to anyone in legitimate danger.