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Shadowhawks Return to Whidbey Island

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS071001-05
Release Date: 10/1/2007 2:25:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tucker M. Yates, Fleet Public Affairs Center Det. Northwest

OAK HARBOR, Wash. (NNS) -- Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 141, the “Shadowhawks," returned to their homeport, Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island.

Five pilots and 15 electronic countermeasure officers returned with the five Prowlers, Sept. 28 and the rest of the crew flew in by charter aircraft Sept. 29.

VAQ-141 completed approximately 92 days of deployment, giving EA-6B Prowler support to Marine Air Group (MAG) 12 at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan.

MAG 12 is made up of various Unit Deployment Program squadrons including an F/A-18 Hornet squadron, AV-8B Harrier squadron and a CH-53D Sea Stallion squadron.

“We typically do this deployment every summer for about three months,” said Cmdr. Mike McKenna, commanding officer of VAQ-141. “It was a great chance to train with the Air Force and Marines and we were able to get a lot of flight time out of it.”

Throughout their total deployment, the Shadowhawks flew approximately 210 sorties and logged around 320 hours of flight time with 25 officers and nearly 160 enlisted personnel.

“Our mission was immensely successful and the Marines enjoyed having us out there, because they don’t normally get Prowler coverage," said McKenna. “They got the chance to see how we do business and we were able to learn new mission sets from the Marines with MAG 12 staff, flying Hornets and Harriers.”

According to Lt. John Lehman of VAQ-141, the response to their support and mission accomplishment during their time with MAG 12 was well received.

“It was an outstandingly successful deployment,” said Lehman. “Our maintainers did an outstanding job ensuring we could accomplish all of our sorties. We gave the Marines a new viewpoint of what the Prowler can do and the extensive capabilities as well as some of the new tactics we’re developing to increase our productivity.”

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