Electronic Attack squadrons support the Commander, Naval Air Forces (COMNAVAIRFOR) and combatant commander tasking worldwide. They also provide electronic warfare tactical and technical development leadership and expertise.
As Type Wing Commander of all Navy EA-18G Growler fleet squadrons and Operational Commander of four expeditionary squadrons, the Commander and staff are engaged in a wide variety of activities ranging from maintenance, material and operational readiness support to everyday administrative functions.
Electronic Attack Squadrons (VAQ)
NAS Whidbey Island is home to the majority of the Navy's VAQ squadrons flying the EA-18G Growler, an all-weather, electronic attack aircraft with the primary role of suppressing enemy air defense systems.
There are 12 operational Navy electronic attack squadrons at Whidbey and one operational squadron, VAQ-141, permanently forward deployed to the Western Pacific on board USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), home ported in Japan. Each squadron typically has four aircraft assigned and averages 30 officers and 170 enlisted personnel.
VAQ squadrons deploy in support of both East and West Coast air wings and aircraft carriers as well as to various land-based joint facilities. Squadrons and their nicknames are:
VAQ-135 Black Ravens
VAQ-138 Yellow Jackets
VAQ-142 Gray Wolves
Electronic Attack Weapons School
The Electronic Attack Weapons School (EAWS) provides comprehensive, formal training to EA-18G Growler aircrew and extensive weapons-related training to EA-18G ordnance and maintenance personnel.
The school acts as the central repository for all EA-18G tactical matters. The EAWS staff, composed of approximately 150 officers, enlisted personnel and civilians is responsible for providing a graduate level curriculum that prepares EA-18G squadrons for deployment around the world. Flight-side training support is continually provided to squadrons, locally or deployed.
EAWS is the community manager for the EA-18G Weapons and Tactics Program used in the training of Growler aircrew.