MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
As weapons technology became more complex in World War II, the call to develop and implement tactics to control the electromagnetic spectrum led to the creation of a squadron capable of these tasks.
As a result of a reorganization and consolidation of the Marine Corps’ three photographic squadrons, Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 2 was formed under the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.
The squadron celebrated the 36th anniversary of its re-designation to VMAQ-2 aboard Cherry Point July 1.
The celebration kicked off with a morning motivational run followed by awards and cake-cutting ceremonies ending with a “bunny” formation commemorating a former symbol of the squadron.
Despite the negative connotation of the symbol, which forced the squadron to change to the current “Death Jesters” logo, Marines with VMAQ-2 feel it is important to remember the past.
“(The symbol) carries a sense of political incorrectness,” said Maj. Roderick D. Capili, executive officer for VMAQ-2. “But the squadron is proud of its professional and capable heritage.”
“Because of the long and battle-tested history of the squadron, it is important to look back and celebrate the contributions of the many Marines past and present to the squadron,” Capili added. “Junior Marines are encouraged to stay true to the squadron’s tradition of mission accomplishment and the high standards expected out of each Marine and Sailor in the squadron.”
The squadron has participated in many operations to include operations in Libya during the 1980s, Desert Shield and Desert Storm, operations in the Balkans to include Kosovo, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The most recent was Operation Enduring Freedom, April-November 2010, where the squadron flew more than 600 sorties in support of U.S. and coalition forces.
Marines with the squadron were also involved in a firefight with Taliban insurgents. The insurgents attacked Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, and VMAQ-2 Marines reacted in force. Three insurgents were killed and two VMAQ-2 Marines were wounded in action.
VMAQ-2 was the original EA-6B Prowler squadron after Marine Composite Reconnaissance Squadron 2 (VMCJ-2) was re-designated into VMAQ-2. During the period, from 1975 to the early 1990s, VMAQ-2 sent detachments to support missions across the globe.
The Prowler community was re-organized again in the early 1990s into four squadrons assigned to 2nd MAW – VMAQ-1, 2, 3 and 4, and since then the Prowler community has continued to support worldwide operations to include the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan.
The squadron’s motto, “Can Do Easy,” fits the squadron’s mentality, Capili said. “It is the squadron’s motto for the fact that we are ready for any mission, anytime and anywhere in the world.”