Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron-4 [VMAQ-4]
Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 4 (VMAQ-4) was commissioned from the Marine Reserves following the decision on July 1, 1992 to split off VMAQ-2 into three separate squadrons. It was originally formed at NAS Whidbey WA to take advantage of co-location of IMA maintenance facilities with the West Coast Navy reserve EA-6A Squadron.
VMAQ-4 "Seahawks" traded in their EA-6A Electric Intruders for EA-6B Prowlers in 1990 and deployed to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, spelling VMAQ-2 in the 1st MAW rotation. This freed aircrew and aircraft to participate in Operation Desert Storm. Following return from WestPac, VMAQ-4 was redesignated an active duty squadron and moved to MCAS Cherry Point and 2nd MAW when VMAQ-2 was restructured into a multi-squadron configuration.
The squadron took part in Operation Decisive Endevor in 1996. It deployed to Aviano Air Base, Italy, on February 98 and again from March to June 1999 as part of Operation Allied Force. The squadron arrived at Aviano on March 30 1999 from Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, -- five days after the start of the war. While there, VMAQ-4 supported all NATO assets by providing protection against enemy air defenses using soft and hard kills. Soft kills were designated as radar jamming, and hard kills were designated at firing on actual enemy positions using the AGM-88 High-speed Anti Radiation Missile. VMAQ-4 logged 694.2 combat flight hours with 152 sorties. After the air war, their mission changed to conducting electronic surveillance and support missions over Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as being on call to suppress enemy air defenses.
The Marines of VMAQ-4 returned from a three-month deployment to Saudi Arabia, their base of operations for patrolling the no-fly zone over Iraq, in early November 2002.
Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 4 began arriving al Al Asad AB, Iraq, on Jan. 20, 2005, in support Operation Iraqi Freedom, as an operational command asset for the Combined Force Air Component Commander. The nearly 200 Marines with VMAQ-4 and their augments were to remain at Al Asad home for the following six to seven months. In preparation for that deployment, VMAQ-4 participated in Exercise Desert Talon in Yuma, Ariz., and spent a lot of time training with other squadrons as well as other CFACC assets.
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