It’s testament to the value of the Grumman EA-6B Prowler and its community at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina, that it is continuing to play a significant role at the leading edge of Marine Corps tactical aviation despite its impending retirement. Under the umbrella of Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 14, training squadron VMAQT-1 ‘Banshees’ disbanded in 2017 and the first of the operational units, VMAQ-4 ‘Seahawks’, was decommissioned in June this year with little ceremony, leaving the Marines with just two remaining squadrons of Prowlers. Next year, VMAQ-3 ‘Moon Dogs’ will bow out, leaving VMAQ-2 ‘Death Jesters’ as the very last Prowler unit before the final curtain is drawn in 2019.
Two major recent milestones have been the deployment of the ‘Moon Dogs’ to Turkey from March 2017 in support of Operation ‘Inherent Resolve’ (OIR), plus VMAQ-2’s participation in October’s Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course at MCAS Yuma, Arizona. This is expected to be the last time the Prowler will come to WTI, and therefore it marked a significant event.
Read all about it in the new December issue of Combat Aircraft.