Final wave-off for the Prowler in US Navy service

The US Navy said goodbye to the Grumman EA-6B Prowler during an airshow at Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island near Seattle over the weekend. A Prowler of electronic attack squadron  VAQ-134 ‘Garudas’ performed a ceremonial fly-over, marking the end of close to 45 years of EA-6B Prowler service in the US Navy.

The distinctively shaped EA-6B flew for the first time on 25 May 1968, entering service just three years later. The aircraft was derived from the A-6 Intruder attack aircraft and 170 were produced. The type played a key role in every major conflict the US was involved since, jamming transmission and locating radar sources.

Its final cruise aboard a US aircraft carrier ended in November last year. During the deployment, the Prowlers of VAQ-134 were used in allied operations over Iraq and Syria.

Being the final Prowler squadron, VAQ-134 now also says its goodbye to the imposing Prowler. The type is being replaced with the Boeing EA-18G Growler. The United States Marine Corps (USMC) still operates the Prowler.

© 2015 editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image (top): The final goodbye at NAS Whidbey Island. (Image © Grumman)