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    Ready to fight, ready for flight: Growler visits JBER

    Ready to fight, ready for flight: Growler visits JBER

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Caitlin Russell | U.S. Navy Sailors with the Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ-139), from Naval Air...... read more read more



    Story by Airman 1st Class Caitlin Russell 

    Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Public Affairs   

    U.S. Navy Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ-139) from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington, visits Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson to assist the 525th FS and 90th Fighter Squadron in a support exercise and integration training at JBER, Alaska, from July 8 to 26.

    For the VAQ-139 team, training involves providing support for the 525th and 90th FS in an adversary role and learning more about their air-to-air capabilities with the EA-18G Growler.

    The EA-18G Growler features the latest electronic attack technology; communication countermeasures, satellite communications, jamming pods and more.

    “During the exercise, our team will be using electronic airborne jamming against opposing forces in an air-to-air attack,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Austin Howard, VAQ-139 pilot and detachment officer in charge.

    For the 525th and 90th fighter squadrons, the exercise is an opportunity to develop tactics to combat airborne electronic jamming, further communication with the VAQ-139 team and more.

    “We, as a community, have been on the advantage side for awhile now. But as more and more threats come online, we need to be able to train to a level that allows us to be ready for those threats ,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Ryan Gourley, 525th FS pilot. “This training gives us an opportunity to do just that.”

    While the training is a rare occasion, Howard and Gourley said they recognize the importance of the integration.

    “This is a great opportunity for us to gain knowledge and to explore a role we’re not accustomed to playing,” Howard said. “The exercise is beneficial to both sides; we’re able to integrate with the F-22 Raptor aircraft, and the 525th and 90th FS are able to explore the EA-18G Growler’s strategies and tactics.”

    Howard also said that the team wanted to provide the best possible support for the 525th and 90th FS, so they could determine how to best utilize the Growler as an asset.

    “Seeing the effectiveness firsthand of the EA-18G Growler has been very helpful, especially in maximizing our own capabilities,” Gourley said. “It’s also been useful to see what we may encounter in real-world situations.”

    Both Gourley and Howard said feedback from the training has been great and they hope for more opportunities like this in the future.



    Date Taken: 07.17.2018
    Date Posted: 07.17.2018 19:15
    Story ID: 284679

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