Growler CAG-Birds

The US Navy has a tradition of painting its aircraft in colourful markings. That tradition continues today with individual squadron CAG-birds. EA-18G Growler squadrons assigned to the Electronic Attack Wing based at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island are no exception. Each squadron has a CAG-bird, each one designed to reflect the unit’s esprit de cours

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Electronic Attack Squadron 142 (VAQ-142) ‘Grey Wolves’ has its CAG-bird, EA-18G BuNo 168381/NH500, painted with dark blue vertical stabilisers. The squadron is one of ten Growler units assigned to a carrier air wing. Dan Stijovich

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EA-18G BuNo 168256/NA500 is the current CAG-bird with Electronic Attack Squadron 139 (VAQ-139) ‘Cougars’. Dan Stijovich

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Another colourful CAG-bird, EA-18G BuNo 168268/AC500, assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron 130 (VAQ-130) ‘Zappers’ prepares to launch from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) for a mission in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Mass Communication Specialist Dartez Williams/US Navy

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Forwar d deployed to Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan, Electronic Attack Squadron 141 (VAQ-141) ‘Shadowhawks’ was originally assigned to Carrier Air Wing 8 (CVW-8) and made its maiden deployment on the USS George H W Bush. Today the unit is assigned to CVW-5. Kevin Whitehead

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Electronic Attack Squadron 134 (VAQ-134) ‘Garudas’ is one of four EA-18G expeditionary squadrons which are not assigned to a carrier air wing. All four units deploy to forward operating bases in support of, but not exclusively, the US Air Force. The squadron’s CAG-bird, EA-18G BuNo 168765/ NL530, features a four-colour tail flash and red titles. Mass Communications Specialist Travis Litke/US Navy

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EA-18G Growler BuNo 166934/NL540 is the CAG-bird of expeditionary squadron, VAQ-132 ‘Scorpions’ seen landing at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Dan Stijovich

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VAQ-131 ‘Lancers’ recently returned from deployment aboard the USS George H W Bush (CVN 77). The squadron operates a two-tone grey CAG-bird, EA-18G BuNo 168772/ AJ500, which appears to be coated in Have Glass paint; a coating designed to reduce the infrared signature of the jet. Mass Communication Specialist Christopher Gaines/US Navy