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The unique EA-6B Prowler aircraft was in service for the Marine Corps from 1977-2019 and was withdrawn from service in March 2019.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.