News: VMAQ-3 viva Las Vegas
Story by Lance Cpl. Tyler J. Bolken
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. - More than 100 Marines with Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 3 are scheduled to depart MCAS Cherry Point for Las Vegas, today to partake in Red Flag, a two-week advanced aerial combat training exercise hosted at Nellis Air Force Base.
VMAQ-3 is bringing five of its EA-6B Prowlers for the multi-national training exercise, which simulates realistic war games to train pilots for combat situations.
The squadron’s gear and tools to work on the jets left the air station by truck July 7 to arrive at Nellis AFB in time for the exercise, said Cpl. Joseph F. Moring, an embarkation clerk with VMAQ-3.
“Red Flag gives our squadron a chance to work with other countries and platforms from start to finish, getting the coordination needed when a full-blown strike occurs,” said Maj. William A. Schutz, executive officer for VMAQ-3.
Red Flag is a large force exercise, or LFE, with many aircraft, which should help increase Marines’ situational awareness, Schutz added.
This exercise will showcase the Prowler’s capabilities and valued assets that can benefit other aircraft in combat.
“Our role, the electronic warfare role, is to provide suppression of enemy air defense,” said Schutz. “We get a picture of what the electronic warfare environment is and jam radar systems to support strike packages going to attack ground targets.”
Schutz said VMAQ-3 has planned to participate in this exercise for more than a year.
“We have a lot of new aircrew right now,” said Schutz, “So it’s going to be really good training for them. We’ll also get pre-deployment certifications in a lot of areas.”
Training in the Las Vegas desert could present some unique opportunities for the Marines.
“This will be my first time going to Nevada, and I’m looking forward to it,” said Moring.
VMAQ-3 is scheduled to return to the air station, Aug. 2.