US Navy EA-18G Growlers providing electronic support on NATO’s Eastern flank

Babak Taghvaee reports on the US Navy’s Electronic Attack Squadron 134 (VAQ-134) ‘Garudas’ – its current role of providing electronic support on NATO’s Eastern flank in the face of Russian aggression as well as its notable achievements since being formed in 1969

In early May 2022, the United States Department of the Navy's Fiscal Year 2023 budget highlights book was released. According to this, the US Navy proposes to disband its entire Expeditionary Electronic Attack Squadrons, which are VAQ-131, 132, 134, 135, and 138, and retire their 25 EA-18Gs in 2023 to save costs.

NL-531/168936 from VAQ-134 during exercise Red Flag 22-1 can be seen receiving fuel from a Voyager KC3 of the Royal Air Force on February 3, 2022.
NL-531/168936 from VAQ-134 during exercise Red Flag 22-1 can be seen receiving fuel from a Voyager KC3 of the Royal Air Force on February 3, 2022. USAF

With the disbandment of these squadrons, the US Navy will have 136 Boeing EA-18Gs; among them, 88 Growlers will be in the service with ten carrier deployable Electronic Attack Squadrons. These are VAQ-129, 130, 133, 136, 137, 139, 140, 141, 142 and 209.

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