The US Marine Corp’s last remaining squadron of Grumman EA-6B Prowler electronic warfare aircraft has completed its final operational deployment.
With the US Navy having retired all of its EA-6Bs in favour of Boeing EA-18G Growlers in recent years, the USMC has been drawing down its EW capability as well. The final EA-6Bs operated by Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 2 (VMAQ2) will be retired in March 2019.
“VMAQ-2′s deactivation in FY19 will mark the end of the EA-6B’s service in the Marine Corps, as well as its continuous employment as a joint tactical Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) asset,” a USMC spokesman told the Marine Corps Times.
Until its withdrawal, VMAQ-2 has been supporting operations over Iraq and Syria, and took part in the multi-national air strikes against suspected Syrian chemical weapons facilities in April.
The Prowler was developed from the A-6 Intruder attack aircraft and entered service in the early 1970s, and features a crew of four in an extended forward fuselage and a large fairing on the top of its tail fin.
After withdrawal the EA-6Bs will be held in storage at the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) ‘Boneyard’ at Davis-Monthan AFB in Arizona.