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VAQ 136 Prowls at Cope North

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS100223-09
Release Date: 2/23/2010 4:45:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Corwin Colbert, Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs

SANTA RITA, Guam (NNS) -- Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 136 from Naval Air Facility, Atsugi, Japan, participated in Exercise Cope North 10-1 Feb. 7-19 at Andersen Air Force Base on Guam.

Cope North is a bilateral field exercise between the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF).

VAQ 136 had three EA-6B Prowlers used during the exercise to simulate combat missions against the U.S. Air Force and JASDF.

"This is a good opportunity for all sides to learn how each side operates," said Lt. Dick Rosenbusch, a VAQ 136 naval flight officer.

According to Rosenbusch, the Prowler's primary mission is to support strike aircraft and ground troops by interrupting enemy electronic activity and obtaining tactical electronic intelligence within a combat area.

"Think electronic warfare," Rosenbusch said. "The Prowler is not your typical fighter. It is not a strike fighter, which has both air-to-air and air-to-ground strike capabilities. They do have, however, air-to-ground capabilities but that is not the primary mission. The primary mission is to jam enemy radars allowing our strikers to get within range of a target without being shot down."

VAQ 136's maintenance crew spent countless hours making sure the aircraft were safe and operational.

"We start working at 5 in the morning, performing inspections and general service requirements," said Chief Aviation Maintenance (AW) Toby Spanos, with VAQ 136. "Each inspection could be as long as three hours per plane during pre-flight and post-flight. It's an old bird, so the maintenance can be pretty labor intensive."

Cope North provides a venue for cooperation between U.S. and Japanese forces and to improve capabilities for the defense of Japan. The primary focus is readiness and coordination and evaluation of air tactics, techniques and procedures between U.S. forces and the JASDF.

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