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VAQ 132 Returns to Whidbey Island

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS071010-04
Release Date: 10/10/2007 11:40:00 AM

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

OAK HARBOR, Wash. (NNS) -- Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron (VAQ) 132, the “Scorpions”, were welcomed home to Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island, Oct. 6, after a deployment to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq.

The Scorpions were deployed for seven months in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“Our missions went great and as always, we gave the support requested to keep the guys on the ground safe,” said Lt. j.g. John Grisham, of VAQ 132.

During their deployment, the Scorpions flew more 780 sorties and logged over 3,900 hours of flight time with almost 30 officers and around 145 enlisted. The squadron had a 100 percent sortie accomplishment rate.

“We did not miss one sortie we were requested for,” said Cmdr. Jeff Graf, VAQ 132 commanding officer. “We also flew an unprecedented amount of hours. I don’t think a Navy Prowler squadron has ever logged 3,900.”

“Professionalism is the key to success in any operation in the military,” said Culinary Specialist Seaman Derryl Royster. “We had it and that’s why our deployment went really well.”

The crew was welcomed home by friends and family members when they flew in by charter airplane. Their EA-6B Prowlers were left for VAQ 142, the “Gray Wolves," to support Carrier Air Wing 17 next spring.

“It felt good actually playing a part in the war and supporting our country,” said Aircrew Survival Equipmentman Airman Dennis Piccirillo. “Over the radio, I heard the troops say they appreciated what we were doing and they couldn’t have done their job without us.”

Even with all the success of the deployment the crew members were glad to be back and out of the 120 degree weather.

“It’s great to be home,” said Royster. “What really matters is that we all made it back here in one piece.”

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