VAQ-142 - History of Current VAQ-142 “Gray Wolves” - 1990s


In 1994, the Department of Defense made a decision to replace the Air Force’s aging EF-111A Raven Fleet with additional EA-6B squadrons in order to meet the electronic attack needs of both services. On April 3, 1997, a new VAQ-142, the fourth of five new EA-6B squadrons was established. Officially, the US Navy does not recognize a direct lineage with disestablished squadrons if a new squadron is formed with the same designation. Often, the new squadron will assume the nickname, insignia, and traditions of the earlier squadrons. In the case of VAQ-142, they assumed their designation and their nickname from two different previous squadrons.

VAQ-142 made numerous detachments including Cope Thunder and Red Flag, achieving deployable readiness levels only five months after establishment. During 1998 VAQ-142 deployed three times to Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Southern Watch and Operation Desert Fox. The squadron received the 1998 Battle “E” and Safety “S” awards.

In 1999 the Wolves made two deployments to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey to support Operation Northern Watch and the “no-fly zone” in Northern Iraq. During their second deployment VAQ-142 was chosen to be the first squadron to deploy into combat with the Block 89A aircraft, the Navy’s newest generation of the Prowler. During this second deployment in support of Operation NORTHERN WATCH, the Gray Wolves successfully launched the first combat HARM launches from the new Block 89A Prowler.

Read more about this topic:  VAQ-142, History of Current VAQ-142 “Gray Wolves”

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