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Whidbey-based Navy Growlers complete first deployment

  • Navy Lt. Cmdr. Robert Waterston of the "Shadowhawks" Electronic Attack Squadron 141 is greeted by family members during a homecoming at Nava...

    Navy photo

    Navy Lt. Cmdr. Robert Waterston of the "Shadowhawks" Electronic Attack Squadron 141 is greeted by family members during a homecoming at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island following a seven-month deployment.

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Herald Staff
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  • Navy Lt. Cmdr. Robert Waterston of the "Shadowhawks" Electronic Attack Squadron 141 is greeted by family members during a homecoming at Nava...

    Navy photo

    Navy Lt. Cmdr. Robert Waterston of the "Shadowhawks" Electronic Attack Squadron 141 is greeted by family members during a homecoming at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island following a seven-month deployment.

OAK HARBOR -- A Navy air squadron has returned from its first deployment with the new radar-jamming Growler jets.
Electronic Attack Squadron VAQ-141 "Shadowhawks" arrived at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station on Thursday after completing a 7-month deployment aboard the USS George H.W. Bush in the Middle East.
Their homecoming was celebrated as a Navy benchmark. The squadron is the first to deploy on an aircraft carrier with the new EA-18G Growler. With the fly-in of five Growler jets and aircrew, maintenance and support personnel, nearly 200 people were reunited with family and friends.
The homecoming was not only a celebration for the Navy, but also for the Boeing-led team that built the Growler, Navy officials said. The Growler has begun to replace EA-6B Prowler on the aircraft carriers, after being first delivered to the Navy in 2006.
During the past seven months, the Shadowhawks squadron flew 237 missions and 673 carrier-based training flights for a total of 2,328 mishap-free flight hours, resulting in 16 air medals for the aircrews, the public affairs office at the naval air station reported.

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