Cherry Point Prowler squadron takes on new mission

squadron redesignated

Marines salute in front of an EA-6B Prowler Friday at Cherry Point. The Marines were participating in a ceremony as Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 1 was redesignated to Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Training Squadron 1.

Ken Buday/Havelock News
Published: Friday, June 14, 2013 at 01:50 PM.

A new chapter in Marine Corps electronic warfare aviation started on Friday at Cherry Point, most likely one of the final chapters.

Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 1 transitioned from an operational squadron to a training squadron during a ceremony Friday outside the squadron’s hangar. Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Training Squadron 1 will carry the new abbreviation VMAQT-1.

“I know I’m not going to get that right for a while,” Lt. Col. Joshua S.K. Gordon, commanding officer, joked in his remarks during the ceremony.

The transition from operational to training squadron comes as the Navy moves from the Prowler to the EA-18G Growler. The move means training responsibilities for air and ground crews with the Prowler shifted to the Marine Corps and Cherry Point from Whidbey Island, Wash.

That training won’t last long. The Marine Corps plans to end use of the Prowler in electronic warfare and deactivate all of Cherry Point’s four Prowler squadrons by 2019.

“You hold the future of the entire Prowler community in your hands now,” Col. Robert B. Sofge, commanding officer of Marine Air Group 14, told Gordon during the ceremony. “You will train what I believe will be the last Prowler pilot and the last Prowler (electronic countermeasures officer). I think that’s important as you look at the history of this magnificent program.”

That history involves crucial missions in Korea, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, during Vietnam, during the first Persian Gulf war and during the war on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan.



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