Prowler squadron to return to Whidbey from Afghanistan

Electronic Attack Squadron 134 will return to Whidbey Island this week after a six-month combat tour in Afghanistan, the Navy announced Tuesday.

Support and maintenance personnel from the "Garudas” of VAQ 134 will come home in an airlift Thursday at noon. The squadron's four EA-6B Prowlers are scheduled to fly in on Friday, Sept. 26.

During the deployment, the squadron's radar- and communications-jamming Prowlers flew 614 combat missions and logged 2,200 flight hours.

“We saved lives by efficiently delivering the right force at the right time to the Ground Commander,” said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Chad Mirt, operations officer for the squadron.

During the tour, the sailors were visited by Adm. Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations, First Lady Laura Bush, presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama and country singer Toby Keith.

Sailors in the squadron were anxious to come home from their tour.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing my dogs again,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Jaime Jones, an aviation maintenance administrationman with the squadron.

VAQ 134 is a land-based expeditionary Prowler squadron with three U.S. Air Force aircrew assigned from the 388th Electronic Combat Squadron at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.

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