MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C.- --
Family members gathered anxiously at the Marine
Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 3 hangar, looking out onto the flightline
for the first sight of their returning loved ones after a deployment to
More than 200 Marines and six
EA-6B Prowlers with VMAQ-3 returned on Feb. 11 and 16 from Marine Corps Air
Station Iwakuni where they were deployed in support of the the United States
Pacific Command combatant commander. Some of the exercises the squadron participated
in during the deployment included, exercises Ulchi Freedom Guardian, Pacific
Thunder, Beverly Bulldog/Vigilant Ace, and Yama Sakura 69.
According to Maj. Mark Gombo,
the executive officer of VMAQ-3, the Marines completed more than 10,500
maintenance man hours and more than 800 mishap-free flight hours during the
The squadron was challenged
with being prepared to execute anywhere, anytime, and against any threat with
the United States Pacific Command area of responsibility. PACOM covers the
largest geographic area of any of the Combatant Commands in the Marine Corps.
Although the Unit Deployment
Program is routine for many units in the Marine Corps, VMAQs have been
extensively deployed to the United States Central Command area of
responsibility throughout the past 10 years.
VMAQ squadrons supporting
UDPs are the only dedicated airborne electronic attack contributors to the
Marine Air-Ground Task Force that provides flexible and rapidly deployable
electronic warfare capabilities. EA-6B
Prowler aircrew also provide electronic warfare expertise while deployed as
directed by the MAGTF Commander.