Saturday, December 3, 2022

Last EA-6B Prowler squadron will officially disband in June

The latest squadron of legendary Northrop Grumman EA-6B Prowler electronic-warfare aircraft will officially disband in June, according to Defense Visual Information Distribution Service.

The unique EA-6B Prowler aircraft was in service for the Marine Corps from 1977-2019 and was withdrawn from service in March 2019.  EA-6B Prowler assigned to Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron (VMAQ) 2 is conducting its last flights prior to their deactivation on March 8.

For over forty years the EA-6B Prowler has been at the forefront of military electronic warfare allowing high-profile air combat missions – and many others – to be successful from every aerial battlefield since Vietnam.


With the U.S. Navy retiring their Prowler fleet in 2015 and shifting the workload to the EA-18G Growler, the Prowler’s legacy and final chapter were entrusted to the U.S. Marines Corps’ four tactical electronic warfare squadrons or VMAQs.

The EA-6B was born out of military requirements during the Vietnam War and VMAQ-2’s rich history was built on the legacy of predecessor electronic warfare squadrons, flying aircraft such as the AD-5 Skyraider, EF-10 Skyknight and the EA-6A Intruder.

The Prowler entered service in 1971 and Northrop Grumman produced 170 of the aircraft before wrapping up production in 1991.

The primary mission of the aircraft was to support ground-attack strikes by disrupting enemy electromagnetic activity. As a secondary mission, it was can also gather tactical electronic intelligence within a combat zone, and attacking enemy radar sites with anti-radiation missiles.

In November 2018, VMAQ-2 returned from performing the final deployed operations of USMC Prowlers.

The Marines retired the aircraft on 8 March 2019, with some placed in storage and two headed to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Virginia and the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Liam Higgins
Photo by Lance Cpl. Liam Higgins

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Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.