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Lieutenant Col. Robert M. Kudelko (right) and Col. Eric Austin (left) take part in a cake-cutting ceremony during an observance commemorating the 39th birthday of Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 2 at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., July 1, 2014. The squadron is the oldest electronic warfare squadron in the Marine Corps today. Austin is the commanding officer of Marine Aircraft Group 14 and Kudelko is the commanding officer of VMAQ-2.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Unique B. Roberts

VMAQ-2 reflects on history, celebrates 39th anniversary

8 Jul 2014 | Lance Cpl. Unique B. Roberts

Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 2 celebrated its 39th anniversary during a semiformal ceremony at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point July 1.

Marines from the squadron gathered to reflect on the history of the Marine Corps’ oldest Marine tactical electronic warfare squadron, marking the occasion with a cake-cutting ceremony and a barbecue.

The squadron activated as Marine Composite Reconnaissance Squadron 2 in 1955 to provide electronic and photo reconnaissance for Marine Air Ground Task Force commanders and governing authorities.

While the name has changed several times, the mission of the squadron remains the same: to conduct airborne electronic warfare under all weather conditions during expeditionary or joint operations.

“Our history goes back as far as 1955 when VMCJ-2 was created. It was a composite squadron that conducted electronic reconnaissance and photographic reconnaissance,” said Lt. Col. Robert M. Kudelko, the squadron’s commanding officer. “Eventually, over the years as platforms have changed, we were designated as VMAQ-2 on July 1, 1975, for the primary mission of airborne electronic attack.”

VMAQ-2 was the only Marine tactical electronic warfare squadron in the Marine Corps for nearly 17 years, according to Kudelko.

“The highest award is the presidential unit citation for supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom back in 2003,” said Kudelko. “The most recent award that we have been awarded was a Navy Marine Corps Commendation award for our operations in Afghanistan in 2010.”

The history and lineage of the squadron is important to all the Marines in the Squadron and a legacy the current members are proud to carry, according to Kudelko.

“It’s important for the Marines to know their history for the same reason that we believe it’s important for the Marine Corps to know its history,” said Kudelko. “We have to understand the reputation that we have as a unit, the hard work and dedication that has come from the Marines before us and make it our duty to live up to those expectations so that we can have pride in being one of the most recognized Marine electronic warfare squadrons.”

As a member of the squadron, Cpl. Anthony J. Clate, a fixed-wing aircraft airframe mechanic, feels it’s his duty to live up to the reputation of the squadron and the Marines who built it.

“There’s so much history; you have to be proud of the squadron,” said Clate. “We have to continuously try to keep up with the Marines that came before us because it is their legacy that we have to carry on as we create our own.”

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point