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Squadron returns to Whidbey from Persian Gulf
The "Lancers" of Electronic Attack Squadron 131 will return to Whidbey Island tomorrow from a seven-month tour in the Persian Gulf.
The Prowler squadron deployed in March and served on board the Everett-based aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. VAQ-131's four EA-6B Prowlers are expected to fly in to Oak Harbor at noon on Tuesday.
The airlift carrying the squadron's support and maintenance personnel is expected to come home Wednesday evening.
Also coming home this week are 23 members of the Sea Operational Detachment from Fleet Readiness Center Northwest, who provide technical support on the Prowlers, the Navy's radar- and communications-jamming jets.
Navy officials said the squadron logged more than 1,040 combat hours and more than 1,600 total hours providing support to coalition ground forces in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Our young sailors firmly believed in our nation’s resolve to eliminate extremism, while eagerly enabling our Navy’s Maritime Strategy in a region of vast importance to global security and prosperity,” said Cmdr. Brad Jensen, the squadron's commanding officer.
During the deployment, the Lancers also made port visits to Singapore, Dubai and Thailand.