US Navy Growlers in Europe

Six Boeing EA-18G Growlers from the US Naval Expeditionary Squadron VAQ-134 ‘Garudas’ were sent to Germany in March to join NATO patrols. Patrick Roegies, Ben Gorski and Jurgen van Toor assess this short but vital deployment

When the Ukrainian conflict began last February, the United States administration bolstered its capacity and capabilities in Europe through temporary deployments.

The US Air Force deployed three units to Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany with KC-135 Stratotankers, F-35 Lightning IIs and US NavyEA-18G Growlers.

The deployment of this aircraft is a short-term solution to add electronic warfare capability in order to project a multi-disciplinary force as a precaution in case the conflict escalated.

Their primary mission is to conduct sustained airborne tactical electronic combat. As an expeditionary squadron, they have been trained to deploy worldwide to support USAF expeditionary wings, allied/coalition task forces, marine aircraft groups, and US Navy strike groups.

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