US Navy to stand-up 2 new electronic attack squadrons

SEAPOWER Magazine reports that the US Navy will be forming 2 new electronic attacks squadrons, both “expeditionary” indicating that they are available for overseas deployment. A typical VAQ squadron comprises 4 Boeing EA-18G Growler aircraft.

New Electronic Attack Squadrons Now Slated for 2015 and 2016

By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Navy has tentatively scheduled the stand-up months for two new expeditionary electronic attack (VAQ) squadrons.

According to a source familiar with the electronic attack community, the new squadrons, VAQ-143 and VAQ-144, will stand up about January 2015 and January 2016, respectively.

The two squadrons have been requested by the Navy in the 2014 Defense Department budget proposal, which still is going through the legislative process in Congress. If funded, the units would bring to five the number of Navy expeditionary VAQ squadrons, which would be based at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash., home to nine of the Navy’s 10 carrier-based VAQ squadrons as well as one Reserve VAQ squadron.

The new squadrons will operate the Boeing-built EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft.

The EA-18G Growler has been in service with the US Navy since 2006 when the first production aircraft was delivered to VAQ-129 and should fully replace the EA-6B Prowler which has been operational since 1971.

111220-N-MO201-236 SOUDA BAY, Greece (Dec. 20, 2011) A Boeing EA-18G Growler aircraft takes off following a transient stop on Crete. The aircraft and four others assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 138 are headed home to Whidbey Island, Washington, following completion of a six-month deployment to Iraq supporting Operation New Dawn. (U.S. Navy photo by Paul Farley/Released)