News: VMAQ-4 'Seahawks' bring electronic warfare capabilities back to Iwakuni
Story by Lance Cpl. Brian Stevens
IWAKUNI, Japan - Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 4, based out of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., is Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni's newest Unit Deployment Program squadron, arriving here Feb. 1, 2013.
“Our focus while we are here is integrating with Marine forces as well as some of the other forces, such as the Navy and the Air Force, to bring some of that electronic warfare expertise back to the theater,” said Lt. Col. David C. Anderson, VMAQ-4 commanding officer. “We are really looking into training with both (Unit Deployment Program) units as well as permanent units here.”
Anderson also said he looks forward to sharing knowledge about how the squadron operates and to employ electronic warfare in the joint forces. VMAQ-4 brings a unique skill set to the table. They are one of only four Marine prowler squadrons.
“In the Marine Corps the prowler is the only electronic warfare platform there is,” said Anderson. VMAQ-4 also plans to make the most out of training opportunities during its short stay aboard MCAS Iwakuni.
“We are going to do several, smaller training exercises with the F-18s and Harriers,” said Anderson.
Although the main goal is to bring electronic warfare back to theater, VMAQ-4 also plans to take advantage of the Marine Corps' rich history in Japan.
“One of our goals is to get everyone to Hiroshima to do a battle study,” said Sgt. Maj. Miguel A. Ortega, VMAQ-4 sergeant major. “We are looking into the Single Marine Program to try and get assistance in regards to how to get the Marines off this base and learning some things.”
Military training is still a top priority to the prowler squadron, even while thousands of miles away from home.
“What we are trying to do right now is get all the Marines we can through all the professional military education. Anybody that is available, we are going to try and get out there,” said Ortega.
Although their stay aboard MCAS Iwakuni is short, VMAQ-4 is scheduled to make the most of their time, both on and off duty, all while conducting airborne electronic warfare, day or night, under all weather conditions during expeditionary, joint, or combined operations.