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    VMAQ supports OIR and OEF

    VMAQ supports OIR and OEF

    Photo By Capt. Matthew Finnerty | A U.S. Marine Corps EA-6B Prowler with Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 4,...... read more read more

    U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND, Undisclosed Location - Coalition airstrikes and the fighter-attack aircraft that conduct these targeted bombings continue to define Operation Inherent Resolve, but many missions rely on the support provided by EA-6B Prowlers from Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 4.

    “The Prowler was purchased by the Marine Corps and we’ve operated as the airborne electronic capability of the [Marine Air-Ground Task Force],” said Lt. Col. David A. Mueller, commanding officer, VMAQ 4, Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force - Crisis Response - Central Command. “Most commonly, electronic attack is associated with Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses. Going out on a strike mission, jamming and destroying enemy radars.”

    While fulfilling electronic attack and other mission requirements, the “Seahawks” from VMAQ 4 took part in numerous “firsts” associated with OIR during more than 70 sorties and 420 flight hours.

    The command’s aircrew and Prowlers where among the first U.S. aircraft, and the first Marine aircraft, to fly missions into Syria. They also supported the first combat mission conducted by the U.S. Air Force’s F-22 Raptor in September.

    “The Prowler is a versatile platform,” said Maj. William Steinke, operations officer, VMAQ 4, SPMAGTF-CR-CC. “It can conduct SEAD, [High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile] strikes, tactical communications, [Information Operations] and collect. It can do them all to a limited extent in one mission. It’s a lot of stuff you can task one aircraft and it can be used to do a lot of different things.”

    This versatility allows the Seahawks and their aircraft to support multiple missions in multiple theaters. The command recently assisted in the departure of Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, and they continue to support coalition humanitarian supply drops as part of OIR.

    “Afghanistan predominantly focused on electronic attack,” said Steinke. “OIR is more fluid and more complicated. Missions are as diverse as supporting strikes in Syria, supporting IO, and the support of air delivery.”

    As the Seahawks continue to fly missions in support of operations in separate regions of U.S. Central Command, the ability to provide all-weather electronic warfare capabilities serves as a valuable asset to the MAGTF, joint and coalition forces supporting OIR.

    “We continue to bring all of those capabilities to bear,” said Mueller. “What we do right now is we are able to present a better array of capabilities than we have in the past. At the end of the day, we are always a supporting asset. The key is that we provide the supported units with whatever capability that they need.”

    The Marines and sailors of SPMAGTF-CR-CC serve as an expeditionary, crisis-response force tasked with supporting operations, contingencies and security cooperation in Marine Corps Forces Central Command and U.S. Central Command.



    Date Taken: 11.30.2014
    Date Posted: 12.11.2014 11:31
    Story ID: 150073

    Web Views: 890
    Downloads: 3