Friday, February 8, 2013

Marine Prowlers deploy to Iwakuni, Japan under UDP

The Pacific Pivot continues. In addition to more Marine Corps ground units being slated to be based at Okinawa on six-month rotations, it has also been revealed that a USMC EA-6B Prowler squadron has begun operating from MCAS Iwakuni, Japan.

While the linked article above provides little in the way of specifics regarding deployment dates/number of aircraft, our sources have indicated that he first detachment of five aircraft from Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 4 (VMAQ-4) Seahawks have arrived at Iwakuni in early February, and the Prowler detachment will be part of the Marine Corps' Unit Deployment Program (UDP), which currently sees two Marine F/A-18 Hornet squadrons deploy to Iwakuni on six-month rotations. In addition, the aviation element of the UDP also sees Marine AV-8B Harriers and helicopters being stationed on nearby Okinawa.

The Marines currently operate four five-aircraft squadrons of Prowlers from MCAS Cherry Point in North Carolina. The EA-6B Prowler is an Electronic Warfare aircraft equipped with advanced electronic countermeasures and missiles capable of disabling/attacking enemy air defenses and gathering intelligence.

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