News: VMAQ-2 takes over Prowler operations, maintenance on station
Story by Pfc. David Walters
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan - Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 2, the “Death Jesters,” arrived aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, in support of U.S. Pacific Command with the unit deployment program to replace VMAQ-4, Aug. 7, 2013.
VMAQ-2 was commissioned Sept. 15, 1952, originally known as VMC-2.
VMAQ-2, currently stationed out of MCAS Cherry Point, N.C., deployed in 1990 to support Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm on one of their most successful and memorable tasks, where they flew more than 500 combat missions.
July 1, 1992, VMAQ-2 was the largest tactical squadron in Marine Aviation and was reorganized into VMAQ-1, VMAQ-2 and VMAQ-3.
The EA-6B Prowler is VMAQ-2’s designated aircraft. It is a twin-engine, mid-wing electronic warfare aircraft and a part of the U.S. Armed Forces since 1971.
Some Marines within VMAQ-2 are new to Japan and the Pacific region, and according to Capt. Jonathon A. Leach, assistant operations officer for VMAQ-2, the squadron is here and ready to take charge of their duties and show Iwakuni, Japan, what they are all about.
“The entire squadron is very excited to be here, and to show what the Prowler itself can do out here in the Pacific area,” said Leach. “All the enlisted maintainers are looking forward to getting out here and really putting the VMAQ-2 stamp on the community and squadrons on base.”
According to Leach, VMAQ-2’s mission is to reintegrate the squadron in the electronic warfare aspect in the Pacific, bring their capabilities to this theater, and get back into the traditional role supporting the Marine Air Ground Task Force and Marine Expeditionary Force.
“Electronic Warfare is the denial or degrading the enemy’s ability to use the electromagnetic spectrum,” said Leach. “In a nutshell, we are able to deny the enemy the ability to use their electromagnetic devices; anything that uses energy, i.e. radars. We deny them that capability.”
Sergeant Major Adam Moore, VMAQ-2 sergeant major, stressed the fact he wants his Marines to get out and experience the new culture of Japan outside of their working hours.
“I think the biggest challenge is, understanding the culture and knowing and reminding their selves that they are ambassadors to the United States,” said Moore.
Moore expressed his sincere belief in his squadron’s ability to set the example for other squadrons to follow.
“We just came back in October from Afghanistan. A majority of our squadron was with me then, so they are going to set the bar higher,” said Moore. “I’m biased. I will always say my squadron is number one, as any sergeant major would, and I’m going to make sure each one of these Marines feel the same way.”
Recently returning from Afghanistan, the “Death Jesters” are here to undertake mission accomplishment and are well aware what it takes.
The new squadron aboard station, VMAQ-2, knows the importance of their mission and is confident that they are able to provide support when it is needed, according to Moore.