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Seahawks jam into Iwakuni

Marine Corps News

Release Date: 1/26/2004

Story by Cpl. Dave Boni

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan(January 23, 2004) -- Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 4 arrived on Station Jan. 20 to take over the void left by Navy Electronic Attack Squadron 128.

The Seahawks left their stomping grounds of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C. en route to supporting operations in the Pacific Command. The Seahawks come here equipped with approximately 273 personnel as well as five EA-6B Prowlers.

For Seahawks commanding officer Lt. Col. Marc L. Magram, the deployment marks his second time here, but first as the commanding officer.

"This is a great opportunity for VMAQ-4 to help support real-world operations in support of Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing and PACOM," he said.

The Seahawks are one of four Prowler squadrons in the Marine Corps. The EA-6B Prowler is the U.S. Marine Corps' tactical jamming aircraft. It joined the fleet in January 1971 and has gone through four major upgrades. Updates to the EA-6B systems have kept the Prowler prepared for dynamic threats and expanding mission roles.

The primary mission of the EA-6B Prowler is to conduct electronic attack by locating and jamming enemy radars and communications. It can also fire AGM 88 High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARM) to destroy detected radar sites. The secondary mission includes electronic surveillance.

While VMAQ-4 will be gearing up for future deployments, the fact that they are in another country with plenty of sights to see doe not escape them.

"About 75 percent of VMAQ-4 are making their first trip to Japan and everyone is very excited," said Magram. "We are going to miss our families, but this is why we joined the Marine Corps."

One of the many on their first trip to Japan, Cpl. Benjamin Flake couldn't wait to interact with members of his host country.

"I am very excited to learn about the Japanese culture," said the Tactical Electronic Reconnaissance Processing Evaluation System analysis. "I'm hoping to learn as much Japanese as I can and I heard the Kintai Bridge is pretty nice so maybe I will make a stop there as well."

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