Electronic Attack Wing, Pacific [COMVAQWINGPAC]
Commander Electronic Attack Wing, Pacific, based at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, WA, provides electronic warfare support to both Pacific and Atlantic Fleets. There are a total of 15 Prowler Squadrons, each with four EA-6B aircraft and about 185 pilots and support crew, of which fourteen are based out of NAS Whidbey Island. The fifteenth squadron is permanently based out of Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan. The Fleet Replacement Squadron for this community is VAQ-129 Vikings.
The Wing's mission is to support US Naval Air Forces and the Unified Command Structure by providing combat-ready Tactical Electronic Attack squadrons which are fully trained, properly manned, interoperable, well maintained and supported. It provides Tactical Electronic Warfare leadership and expertise world wide. The EA-6B Prowler is a four-seat, all-weather aircraft. It is the only U.S. Navy aircraft built specifically for tactical electronic warfare. The aircraft's crew of four uses sensitive receivers and high power jammers in an effective combination to support air strike and fleet operations by deceiving, degrading or completely suppressing the enemy's radars and radios.
On 1 February 1993, as a result of the disestablishment of the combined A-6 and EA-6B functional wing (COMMATVAQWINGPAC), the Electronic Combat Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMVAQWINGPAC) was established. The command was redesignated Electronic Attack Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet in 1998.
The mission of the Wing is to provide administrative, training, and maintenance support to all assigned Electronic Attack Squadrons, ensuring they are combat ready, well maintained, fully supported, and properly manned. Additionally, as a result of the U.S. Air Force decommissioning of the EF-111 aircraft, the Wing's mission has been expanded to include operational control of four Expeditionary Prowler squadrons in direct support of the Department of Defense's tactical airborne electronic attack mission.
The Wing oversees and coordinates the operation of 14 active VAQ squadrons, one Fleet Readiness Squadron, and the Electronic Attack Weapons School totaling over 70 aircraft and 3,000 personnel. The men and women maintaining and flying the EA-6B "Prowler" aircraft deploy from Whidbey Island around the world, providing the world's premier electronic attack capability to each aircraft carrier in the United States Navy and to land-based sites such as Iwakuni, Japan, Aviano, Italy, Incirlik, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia.
Comprised of 15 officers, 27 enlisted personnel, and 12 civilians, COMVAQWINGPAC had a long-standing record of providing outstanding support services and operational oversight to the EA-6B community and respective Carrier Air Wings. The most significant accomplishments during the past 24 months have been the flawless performance of fully combat ready EA-6B squadrons, contributing to United States global strategy and electronic attack mission in Somalia, Iraq, and Bosnia.
Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department made the transition from Naval Air Station to the VAQ Wing on 25 January 2001, to become the Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Detachment. The move to the Wing benefited AIMD through more direct funding and increased availability of parts. Realignment of AIMD from NAS to COMVAQWINGPAC put AIMD under the same chain of command from which AIMD gets the majority of its resources. COMVAQWINGPAC reports to COMNAVAIRPAC, whereas the NAS reports to Commander, Navy Region Northwest. Funding to fix airplanes and the policy direction for aviation maintenance comes from the type commander, COMNAVAIRPAC. So, by moving AIMD under COMVAQWINGPAC, it will work for the same chain of command that provides both policy direction and funding.
Electronic Attack Shore-based Deployments, 1999
Aviano Air Base, Italy
- VAQ-134 Feb-Mar 99
- VMAQ-2 Feb-Jul 99
- VAQ-134 Mar-May 99
- VMAQ-4 Mar-Jun 99
- VAQ-138* Apr-Jun 99
- VAQ-140* Apr-Jun 99
- VAQ-209 Apr-Jun 99
Incirlik Air Base, Turkey
- VMAQ-1 Dec 98-Jul 99
- VAQ-134 Jun-Sep 99
- VAQ-142 Sep-Dec 99
- VAQ-128 Dec 99-Mar 00
Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia
- VAQ-142 Dec 98-Mar 99
- VAQ-128 Mar-Apr 99
- VAQ-132 Apr-Jul 99
MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
- VMAQ-3 Oct 98-Mar 99
- VAQ-131** Jun-Jul 99
Note: All squadrons fly the EA-6B Prowler.
* Squadron deploys to fill gaps in expeditionary coverage.
** Squadron assigned to CVW-2. VAQ-131 deployed to MCAS Iwakuni ahead of Constellation (CV 64) and rejoined the air wing when Constellation arrived in the Sea of Japan and completed its regularly scheduled deployment.
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