MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
Mounds of green sea bags litter the area as Marines and loved ones say their final goodbyes and see-you-later’s to each other. Marines assigned to Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 3, Marine Aircraft Group 14, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, left for their squadron’s final deployment from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, March 29, 2017.
“We’re basically going to keep our guys safe,” said Staff Sgt. Alex Warrens, a fleet administrator with VMAQ-3. “We can facilitate the ground troop’s actions through what our platform does. It’s a safety blanket for them. Years ago, my brother-in-law was in the Army in Afghanistan, and my unit was providing coverage for them. It really brings it home for me that those guys on the ground have that extra bit of safety.”
The mission of the squadron during the deployment will be to conduct airborne electronic warfare in support of operations, to include suppressing enemy radar and surface-to-air missiles utilizing electronic jamming and high-speed anti-radiation missiles, as well as collecting tactical intelligence in a passive electronic support role.
“We’ve been training a lot on how to do combat launches and how to conduct operations in adverse situations and recover from them quickly,” said Lance Cpl. Simon Harper, a jet engine mechanic with VMAQ-3. “It’s been pretty rough lately, but I think it has brought us all closer. I think unit morale is going up and we just have to keep our heads up and work together.”
This will be the squadron’s final deployment before its deactivation in the summer of 2018. One VMAQ squadron a year will deactivate until the completion of the Prowler sundown in 2019.