Northwest Navigator: News and Information from Navy Region Northwest in Washington State's Puget Sound, including Bremerton, Kitsap County, Oak Harbor, and Everett

Gray Wolves awarded Battle ‘E’

IS3 Mary Guiney
The VAQ-142 Gray Wolves form up to pay tribute to their recently awarded Battle 'E.'

Recently, Capt. Thomas Tack, Commander, Electronic Attack Wing Pacific, had the pleasure of presenting the Gray Wolves of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 142 the 2006 CNAF Battle ‘E’ Award for Expeditionary Prowler squadrons.

This award signifies the outstanding dedication and hard work Gray Wolves have shown through an arduous year. 

Sailors, chiefs and officers started 2006 by working with SEAL team 8 from NAS Lemoore, Calif., in January.

Although this detachment was at the beginning of the year, it turned out to be one of the most important for the squadron. SEAL team training exercise gave the squadron important tactical experience in preparation for a six-month combat deployment to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

In March, a squadron detachment was sent to NAWS China Lake for JATO testing to develop tactics and techniques for use in Afghanistan and in Iraq. In April, the Wolves headed up to Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, for Red Flag Alaska, participating in Large Force Exercises with the U.S. Air Force.

The Gray Wolves left Alaska, making a quick stopover at NAS Whidbey Island to complete an Operational Readiness Assessment, a requirement needed for the coming deployment.

In June, the squadron headed down to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada to support a Mission Employment Phase alongside the Electronic Attack Weapons School as they produced the next group of Prowler Tactics Instructors.

All of these detachments and exercises helped to prepare VAQ-142 for their deployment to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan.

The squadron left on deployment in mid-July and started executing missions within 16 hours of arriving at Bagram.

They played a crucial part in providing critical support to ground forces, flying missions for 187 days straight. These missions could not have been accomplished without our outstanding maintenance personnel working day in and day out to keep the jets up and running. Their dedication to the mission culminated in a 99.6 percent sortie completion rate.

The Navy ‘E,’ more commonly called the Battle ‘E,’ was established in June 1976 by the Secretary of the Navy and is awarded to ships and aviation squadrons winning the fleet-wide competitive cycle.

The Battle ‘E’ squadron must be tested in all phases of battle readiness and excelled in each.

Due to the exceptional performance of VAQ-142 during 2006, the Gray Wolves were awarded Battle ‘E’ in the EA-6B Expeditionary Aviation Squadron category.

Each member who was with the squadron during any part of this cycle is authorized to wear the Battle ‘E’ ribbon.

VAQ-142 flew more than 2,100 total hours of training and combat missions. 

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