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Star Warriors make first trip to Iwakuni

Marine Corps News

Story Identification #: 20054130536
Story by Lance Cpl. Mark Fayloga

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan (April 13, 2005) -- Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron 209 arrived aboard the Station Monday from Naval Air Facility, Washington.

The Star Warriors are making their first trip to Iwakuni as part of the Unit Deployment Program.

“This is the first deployment of a reserve Prowler squadron to the Pacific,” said Cmdr. Jeffrey W. Zimmerman, VAQ-209 executive officer. “This is our first time in country and we’ve already had incredible hospitality from Marine Aircraft Group 12 and the Station. Deploying here gives us a chance to experience a new culture.”

The Star Warriors are a part of Carrier Air Wing Reserve 20, which is the only Tactical Reserve Carrier Air Wing in the world today and is an integral part of the Navy’s 11 Carrier Air Wing force structure. Their primary mission is to provide operational and training support for active forces.

According to Zimmerman, VAQ-209 plan on conducting integrated training with MAG-12 as a part of operational plans, and will also conduct low maintenance and flight training.

The Star Warriors come equipped with more than 200 sailors and will be conducting missions with the help of five EA-6B Prowlers.

The Prowler aircraft provides an umbrella of protection for strike aircraft, ground troops and ships by jamming enemy radar, electronic data links and communications. It is a long-range, all-weather aircraft with advanced electronic countermeasures capability.

The Star Warriors have a decorated history including recent deployments to Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia to support Operation Allied Force.

According to Zimmerman, this will be the first time in Japan for the majority of the squadron and they are looking forward to a chance to experience the Japanese culture.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the sites and taking in some of the local flavor,” said Petty Officer 2nd class Mark A. Bergstrom, VAQ-209 aviation ordnance technician. “This is a great chance to take some trips and tours to see what Japan has to offer.”

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