EA-18G returned home safely after first deployment

EA-18G Growlers operated by U.S. Navy electronic attack squadron VAQ-132 safely returned to their home base at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash., on July 9, after completing an eight-month deployment that included combat operations in the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) areas of responsibility. They supported CENTCOM operations in Iraq before quickly transitioning to AFRICOM to conduct operations supporting NATO in Libya during their deployment.

“It’s a very exciting accomplishment for the Navy and for our nation to have the Growler in the fleet — on time, on cost, and with the performance that was expected. What we’re hearing from the fleet is that the young lieutenants and lieutenant commanders who are flying the aircraft are, just as we thought, taking advantage of the capabilities of the Block 2 Super Hornet to make the jet more effective,” said Capt. Mark Darrah, F/A-18 and EA-18G program manager (PMA-265).

Additional EA-18Gs are deployed with electronic attack squadron VAQ-141 aboard the USS George H.W. Bush(CVN77) aircraft carrier, marking the aircraft’s first sea-based deployment. VAQ-141 is expected to conduct support missions as part of Carrier Air Wing Eight in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf regions.

The EA-18G is the only air combat platform that delivers full-spectrum airborne electronic attack (AEA) capability along with the targeting and self-defense capabilities derived from the Navy’s frontline fighter, the F/A-18E/F Block II Super Hornet.

A derivative of the two-seat F/A-18F Block II, the EA-18G’s highly flexible design enables warfighters to operate either from the deck of an aircraft carrier or from land-based airfields. It is replacing the Navy’s current AEA platform, the EA-6B Prowler, which has been in service since 1971.

Source: Boeing

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