Shadowhawks establish Navy Prowler presence in Iraq.During their current deployment with Theodore Roosevelt (CVN (Card Verification Number) See CSC. 71), the Shadowhawks of Carrier Air Wing (CVW CVW Carrier Air Wing
CVW Collaborative Virtual Workspace
CVW Carrier Wing
CVW cryptovariable weekly (GPS) (US DoD)
CVW Code View for Windows ) 8's Electronic Attack Squadron Attack Squadron may refer to:
VAQ Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron (US Navy aviation unit designation used in from 1968 to present)
VAQ Visiting Airman's Quarters ) 141 have overcome many challenges in establishing themselves as the first Navy Prowler squadron to set up operations at Al Asad Airbase Al Asad Airbase (ICAO: ORAA) is the largest US military base in the largely Sunni western Iraq (Al Anbar Province). It is currently home to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. , Iraq. The electronic warfare Noun 1. electronic warfare - military action involving the use of electromagnetic energy to determine or exploit or reduce or prevent hostile use of the electromagnetic spectrum
military action, action - a military engagement; "he saw action in Korea" capabilities of the Shadowhawks' EA-6B Prowlers are enhancing the efforts of Marine Electronic Attack Squadron (VMAQ VMAQ Marine tactical electronic warfare squadron (US DoD) ) 1 to provide aerial support for U.S. Marine Corps ground forces in Iraq.
The Shadowhawks were first called upon on 17 September 2005 to deploy for three weeks to Al Asad. Thirteen officers and 49 enlisted personnel departed TR while the ship was anchored for a port visit to Palma De Mallorca Palma is the major city and port on the island of Mallorca and capital city of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands in Spain. It is situated on the south coast of the island on the Bay of Palma. , Spain. The Shadowhawks quickly learned that they would have to overcome several challenges presented by their new temporary home. The work facilities had limited electrical access and were without telephone or computer hookups.
"We expected the conditions to be as we found them, and it didn't really matter to us [at the time] because we knew we would only be there for three weeks," said VAQ-141 Command Master Chief (AW/SW) Mark Curley.
With help from the Marines of VMAQ-1, who provided communications equipment and helped with maintenance needs, the Shadowhawks were able to get their Prowlers in the air. By mission's end, VAQ-141 had conducted 37 combat sorties, with a total of 165 hours of flight time.
Shortly after returning to TR, the Shadowhawks learned that what they thought would be a one-time experience was about to turn into a long-term presence. The decision was made to send VAQ-141 personnel back to Al Asad, this time for an indefinite period. The prospect of an indefinite land-based detachment meant that the Shadowhawks needed to find additional resources in order to be almost completely self-sufficient.
The need for a building from which to operate, the ability to communicate within Al Asad and back to TR, the need for vehicles, sleeping quarters, work spaces, offices and, more importantly, the capability to perform proper maintenance operations, became unexpected challenges for VAQ-141.
"It was almost like a homeport change because you are basically going to a base where they aren't quite set up to accommodate you," said AM1 Richard Peterson. "We had to actually build a presence there completely from scratch," Curley said. "We had to find these items, and in a war zone you aren't going to find this stuff just sitting around." Once again the Shadowhawks sought the support of VMAQ-1, but this time the crew was working to establish a solid and lasting presence not only for themselves, but also for the sake of any future Navy squadrons deploying to Al Asad.
The first step was to learn how to work within the Marine Corps supply system, and VMAQ-1 was there to assist. Once VAQ-141 personnel gained a better understanding of how the supply system worked, it became much easier to locate and receive needed supplies. "We developed a good working relationship with VMAQ-1," Curley said. "We were able to help each other out with parts and technical support if necessary."
The Shadowhawks found the answer to their communication needs when they made contact with Marine Air Group (MAG) 26. It was through MAG-26 that VAQ-141 was able to obtain UHF (Ultra High Frequency) The range of electromagnetic frequencies from 300 MHz to 3 GHz. In the U.S., analog television has used UHF channels 52 to 69 in the 700 MHz band. and VHF radios, and necessary telephone and computer hookups.
In only a few weeks, the Shadowhawks went from having an open-bay hangar with no shops and only a 12-by-10-foot operations space, to having seven well-lit and heated maintenance spaces with parts storage, an operations space with five office spaces, a ready room, and an established communications system In telecommunication, a communications system is a collection of individual communications networks, transmission systems, relay stations, tributary stations, and data terminal equipment (DTE) usually capable of interconnection and interoperation to form an integrated whole. .
"With all that we have learned, from the combat operations and tactics our aircrew and aircraft employ from Al Asad Airbase, to the logistics involved with working, operating, and living in an expeditionary ex·pe·di·tion·ar·y
1. Relating to or constituting an expedition.
2. Sent on or designed for military operations abroad: the French expeditionary force in Indochina.
Adj. 1. combat environment, we have built a set of standard operating procedures standard operating procedure Medtalk A technique, method or therapy performed 'by the book,' using a standard protocol meeting internally or externally defined criteria; a formal, written procedure that describes how specific lab operations are to be performed. for any Navy VAQ squadron that deploys into Al Asad after we leave near the end of TR's deployment," said Curley.
"I couldn't be more proud of all of the Shadowhawk Sailors," said Cdr. Craig Clapperton, VAQ-141 XO. "This was a total team effort from our sailors in the detachment and our sailors on the carrier. Our sailors showed determination, persistence and a great deal of ingenuity. They built all of this from scratch, and they accomplished all of this while executing more than 500 flight hours and 100 combat sorties."
By JO2 Stephen Murphy and PH2 Matthew Bash