News: Seahawks return from UDP in Japan
Story by Pfc. Unique B. Roberts
CHERRY POINT, N.C. - More than 220 members of Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 4 and Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 14 returned Aug. 7 from a six-month deployment to Iwakuni as part of the Unit Deployment Program.
VMAQ-4 was the first squadron of its kind in nine years to participate in a UDP. The program aims to reincorporate and reintroduce tactical electronic warfare squadrons’ capabilities to the program and its participants. The purpose of the deployment was to support Marine Aircraft Group 12’s mission and 1st Marine Aircraft Wing’s requirements in U.S. Pacific Command.
The squadron provides support to the Marine Air Ground Task Force by conducting airborne electronic warfare support during all weather conditions for any joint or expeditionary operation.
VMAQ-4 spent most of its time working alongside MAG-12 units and other services like the Navy and the Air Force throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
“We executed several large-force exercises, flying training missions in and around Japan and South Korea,” said Maj. Erik Lein, the executive officer with VMAQ-4.
The squadron consistently dealt with demands that required the ability to multitask and complete assignments efficiently.
“Any request to keep up maintenance in the facility, we put in,” said Cpl. Anthony M. Olivares, the embarkation noncommissioned officer with VMAQ-4. “All logistic requests for food, supplies or moving people from one site to another and flight requests, we managed.”
While maintaining operations in Iwakuni, Marines with VMAQ-4 Marines also supported operations from Okinawa, Japan.
“I was there to support and fuel the jets on their routes to and from Japan,” said Lance Cpl. Thomas B. McClellan, a fixed wing aircraft mechanic for VMAQ-4. “I supported any jet that came into Kadena Air Base.”
Lein said the squadron’s success ultimately boiled down to individual Marines performing as expected.
“The Marines were the backbone of the squadron’s ability to excel in all tasks assigned,” said Lein. “Their dedication and devotion led to an extremely successful deployment to Iwakuni, Japan.”