Penultimate EA-6B squadron deactivated

The US Marine Corps has deactivated another tactical electronic warfare squadron (VMAQ), leaving it with only one. In ceremonies at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, on May 11, VMAQ-3 folded its colours and retired the last three of its EA-6B Prowler electronic attack aircraft.

At peak strength, the Marine Corps fielded four VMAQ squadrons, which for decades have provided electronic warfare support for combatant commanders in Southwest Asia and under the Unit Deployment Program in Japan. The Corps has deactivated one squadron each year since 2016, starting with VMAQT-1, which had become a training squadron for the other squadrons. VMAQ-4 was deactivated last year.

Remaining is VMAQ-2, which is currently in Southwest Asia on the EA-6B’s last scheduled deployment. It provided electronic warfare support to US Air Force B-1B bombers for the April 14 strike on chemical warfare sites in Syria. It is scheduled for deactivation next year, ending the service of VMAQ squadrons in the Marine Corps and ending the 48-year career of the EA-6B Prowler. Rick Burgess