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Whidbey Island Attack Squadron Returns From Deployment

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070525-02
Release Date: 5/25/2007 7:29:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Bruce McVicar, Fleet Public Affairs Center Det. Northwest

OAK HARBOR, Wash. (NNS) -- Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 140 “Patriots” returned home to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NASWI) after an eight-month deployment, May 22.

“This is the first Prowler squadron to cover Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) at the same time,” said Cmdr. Tim Murphy, VAQ 140 executive officer. “We flawlessly met every sortie requirement tasked.”

The Squadron supported OIF and OEF from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) and in Iraq. They also supported maritime security operations off the Somali coast.

“The split-site operations made the deployment very challenging for everyone,” said Chief Aviation Ordnanceman (AW) Rob Auvil. “I was impressed by the highly professional work and attitude of the entire squadron.”

“The deployment consisted of long hours and hard work,” said Aviation Structural Mechanic 3rd Class Carl Taylor.

More than 200 squadron personnel left NASWI during the first week of October 2006. The Patriots provided strike mission support for two separate areas of responsibility over Iraq and Afghanistan.

“It was a great deployment and I’m glad to be home,” said Lt. Cmdr. Mike Hritz. “I was truly honored to support the forces in Iraq.”

“Maintenance did a fantastic job, they were incredible,” said Lt. Robert Scott. “We always had mission capable jets to complete our flights.”

During the first month of operations, the Patriots flew more than 1,500 hours, more total flight hours flown during their previous deployment.

“The hours and sorties the squadron flew are a testament to the vast Patriot pride and work ethic,” said Cmdr. Timothy Kuehhas, VAQ 140 commanding officer. “We have done amazing things on this cruise.”

The squadron logged 2,500 flight hours thanks to the diligence of their hardworking maintenance crew and the 22 members of the sea operational detachment from the Fleet Readiness Center Northwest.

Prowler squadrons provide suppression of enemy air defense and spectrum dominance in support of strike aircraft and ground troops by interrupting enemy electronic activity and obtaining electronic intelligence within the combat area.

“The best part of the deployment was being able to support the ground troops,” said Lt. Ladislad Montero.

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