vmaq-2 death jesters playboys marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc

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US Marine Corps - Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 2
VMAQ-2 'Death Jesters'
(former Panthers, Playboys)
 
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vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc mcas cherry point north carolina playboys
 
STATUS:   Marine Composite Squadron 2 (VMC-2) activated on September 15, 1952
VMC-2 redesignated Marine Composite Reconnaissance Squadron 2 (VMCJ-2) on December 1, 1955
VMCJ-2 redesignated VMAQ-2 in 1975
IN SERVICE
Homebase:
MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina
Nicknames:
Playboys: 1955-1993 / Panthers: 1993-2000 / Death Jesters: 2000-present
Squadron Motto: 'Can Do Easy'
VMAQ Squadron designations:
Marine Electronic Attack Squadron
or
Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron
or
Marine Electronic Countermeasures Squadron
 AIRCRAFT:   Douglas F3D-2Q / EF-10B Skyknight
Grumman EA-6A Electric Intruder
Grumman EA-6B Prowler
 DEPLOYMENTS:   see history, below
 

images


vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 88
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) - June 2018

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 91 refueling iraq
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) - June 2018

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 02 al udeid airbase qatar
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at Al Udeid Airbase, Qatar - June 2018

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 04a mcas yuma arizona
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at MCAS Yuma, Arizona - October 2017

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EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at MCAS Yuma, Arizona - October 2017

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EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) over Arizona - October 2017

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EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at MCAS Yuma, Arizona - October 2017

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EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at MCAS Yuma, Arizona - October 2017

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EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at MCAS Yuma, Arizona - October 2017

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EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) during inflight refueling over Iraq - November 2016

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EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) during inflight refueling over Iraq - November 2016

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EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) during inflight refueling over Iraq - November 2016

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EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) during inflight refueling over Iraq - October 2016

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 08 mcas cherry point north carolina
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina - December 2015

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 07 maintenance
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina - December 2015

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 09 cockpit
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina - August 2015

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 10 formation
EA-6B Prowlers (VMAQ-2) - homecoming to MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina - August 2015

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 17 eielson afb alaska northern edge
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) during exercise Northern Edge at Eielson AFB, Alaska - June 2015

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 14 exercise northern edge alaska
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) during exercise Northern Edge at Eielson AFB, Alaska - June 2015

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 15 eielson air force base alaska
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) during exercise Northern Edge at Eielson AFB, Alaska - June 2015

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EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) during exercise Northern Edge at Eielson AFB, Alaska - June 2015

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EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) during exercise Northern Edge at Eielson AFB, Alaska - June 2015

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EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at Eielson AFB, Alaska - June 2015

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EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at Eielson AFB, Alaska - June 2015

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 21 northern edge alaska
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) during exercise Northern Edge, Alaska - June 2015

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 22
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) during exercise Northern Edge, Alaska - June 2015

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 12 mcas cherry point nc
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina - July 2014

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 13
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina - April 2014

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 27 andersen afb guam
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam - December 2013

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EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam - December 2013

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EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam - December 2013

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EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam - December 2013

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EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam - December 2013

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 35
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam - December 2013

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 18
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam - December 2013

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 19
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam - December 2013

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 20
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam - December 2013

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 24
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina - March 2013

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 30 bagram airfield afghanistan
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan - August 2012

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 31 bagram afghanistan
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan - August 2012

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 32
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan - August 2012

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EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan - August 2012

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EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan - August 2012

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EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina - March 2012

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 36 final flight
The first Marine Corps Prowler, known as 000 or 160432, was in service for more than 34 years and during that time it flew more than 11,000 flight hours and was piloted by four VMAQ-2 Marines for its final flight. “This aircraft has been used by all the VMAQ squadrons aboard the base and finished up here with its final flight under the Q-2 logo. Its new job will be as a display at its home base of MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina - June 2011

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 37
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina - June 2011

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 43 al asad airfield iraq
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at Al Asad Airfield, Iraq - November 2007

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 42 al asad iraq
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at Al Asad Airfield, Iraq - November 2007

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 81 souda bay crete greece
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) - Souda Bay, Crete, Greece - July 2007

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 82
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) - July 2007

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 45 al asad iraq
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at Al Asad Airfield, Iraq - July 2006

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 89 al asad iraq
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at Al Asad Airfield, Iraq - July 2006

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 40
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at Al Asad Airfield, Iraq - June 2006

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 44
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at Al Asad Airfield, Iraq - May 2006

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 41
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at Al Asad Airfield, Iraq - May 2006

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 56 operation iraqi freedom
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) during Operation Iraqi Freedom - August 2004

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 66
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) - Central Command AOR - March 2003

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 58
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) - Central Command AOR - March 2003

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 65
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) - Central Command AOR - March 2003

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 57
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) - Central Command AOR - March 2003

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 59
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) - Central Command AOR - March 2003

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 60 ejection seat
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) - Central Command AOR - March 2003

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 67 maintenance
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) - Central Command AOR - March 2003

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 83 souda bay greece
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) - Souda Bay, Crete, Greece - February 2003

vmaq-2 death jesters ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 55 exercise cope north andersen afb guam
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) during exercise Cope North 02 at Andersen AFB, Guam - April 2002

vmaq-2 panthers playboys ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 64 andrews afb maryland
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at Andrews AFB, Maryland - October 1993

vmaq-2 playboys ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 52 naf andrews afb
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at Andrews AFB, Maryland - September 1993

vmaq-2 playboys ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 53 clark afb philippines cope thunder
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) during exercise Cope Thunder 89-5 - Clark Air Force Base, Philippines - November 1989

vmaq-2 playboys ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 54 exercise kangaroo 1989
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) refueling during Australian/US exercise Kangaroo 89 - 1989

vmaq-2 playboys ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 62
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) - June 1987

vmaq-2 playboys ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 63
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) - June 1987

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EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at MCAS Cherry Point - June 1985

vmaq-2 playboys ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 49 agm-88 harm missile
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) was loaded with an AGM-88 HARM anti-radiation missile at MCAS Cherry Point - June 1987

vmaq-2 playboys ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 71 operation eldorado canyon lybia
U.S. Navy aircraft are launched from the aircraft carrier USS America (CV-66) during "Operation El Dorado Canyon" on 15 April 1986. Visble are (front to back): A Grumman F-14A Tomcat from Fighter Squadron VF-102 Diamondbacks, a LTV A-7E Corsair II from Attack Squadron VA-46 Clansmen armed with AGM-88 HARM missiles, and a Grumman EA-6B Prowler from Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron VMAQ-2 Det.Y Playboys. All squadrons were assigned to Carrier Air Wing 1 (CVW-1) aboard the America for a deployment to the Mediterranean Sea from 10 March to 14 September 1986.

vmaq-2 playboys ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 47
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at MCAS Cherry Point - January 1984

vmaq-2 playboys ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 48
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at MCAS Cherry Point - January 1984

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EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) over Florida - 1982

vmaq-2 playboys ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 51 nas whiting field florida
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) at NAS Whiting Field, Florida - 1982

vmaq-2 playboys ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 61 uss nimitz cvn-68
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) landing aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68) during exercise Display Determination - September 1981

vmaq-2 playboys ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 76
Grumman EA-6B Prowler from Marine tactical electronic warfare squadron VMAQ-2 Playboys just after landing on the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) on 1 August 1981. VMAQ-2 Det.Y was assigned to Carrier Air Wing 8 (CVW-8) for a deployment aboard the Nimitz to the Mediterranean Sea from 3 August 1981 to 12 February 1982. Note that the VMAQ-2 detachment kept its tail code "CY" and did not adopt the CVW-8 tail code "AJ".

vmaq-2 playboys ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 68 crash uss nimitz cvn-68
Firefighters attempt to extinguish flames in the aftermath of the crash of a Grumman EA-6B Prowler (BuNo 159910) from Marine Eletronic Attack Squadron VMAQ-2 Det.Y "Playboys" aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68). The aircraft was fuel-critical after a "bolter" at night and reportedly applied power during the following landing attempt when it suddenly drifted to the right, running into parked aircraft, causing ammunition to explode and starting numerous fires. 3 crewmen and 11 deck personnel were killed, 48 injured. The subsequent fire and explosions destroyed or damaged eleven other aircraft (ca. 100 million US $ damage). The crash sparked a 5-month debate between Representative Joseph Addabo (D-NY) and the U.S. Navy over whether drug use on board the carrier may have contributed to the crash. Despite being uninvolved with the operation of the aircraft or cause of the accident, the focus turned to testing conducted during autopsies which found that several members of the flight deck crew tested positive for marijuana. Although unclear how it would have affected this incident, U.S. President Ronald Reagan instituted a "Zero Tolerance" drug policy across all of the armed services, which started the mandatory drug testing of all U.S. service personnel - May 27, 1981

vmaq-2 playboys ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 70 crash damage cvn-68 uss nimitz
USS Nimitz (CVN 68) - May 27, 1981

vmaq-2 playboys ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 77
Grumman EA-6B ICAP I Prowler (BuNo 160706) from Marine Electronic Countermeasures Squadron VMAQ-2 Playboys taking off from Naval Air Facility Misawa, Japan, during exercise "Cope North '80" on 15 October 1980.

vmaq-2 playboys ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 69
EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) - 1978

vmaq-2 playboys ea-6b prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 75 uss midway cv-41
Grumman EA-6B Prowler from Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 2 (VMAQ-2) Det.X "Playboys" landing aboard the aircraft carrier USS Midway (CV-41). VMAQ-2 Det.X was assigned to Carrier Air Wing 5 (CVW-5) aboard the Midway in 1978-1979.


vmaq-2 playboys ea-6a intruder marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 73
Grumman EA-6A Intruder (BuNo 147865) from Marine Electronic Countermeasures Squadron VMAQ-2 Playboys flying over Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, on 1 December 1978. The EA-6A 147865 was retired to the MASDC as 5A0030 on 24 March 1980. 147865 came out of storage in January 1983 and flew with Naval Reserve Squadron VAQ-33 until returned for display at MCAS Cherry Point on 15 April 1992.

vmaq-2 playboys ea-6a intruder prowler marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 72
EA-6A Electric Intruder and EA-6B Prowler (VMAQ-2) - c.1977


pre VMAQ time

vmcj-2 playboys ea-6a intruder marine composite reconnaissance squadron 74 uss forrestal cva-59
Grumman EA-6A Intruder (BuNo 147865) from Marine Composite Reconnaissance Squadron 2 (VMCJ-2) Det.A59 "Playboys" and a U.S. Navy A-6A (BuNo 155668) from Attack Squadron 85 (VA-85) "Black Panthers" on deck of the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal (CVA-59). Both squadrons were assigned to Carrier Air Wing 17 (CVW-17) aboard the Forrestal for a deployment to the Mediterranean Sea from 5 January to 2 July 1971.


vmcj-2 playboys ef-10b skyknight marine composite reconnaissance squadron 78 vietnam
Douglas EF-10B Skyknight (BuNo 127047) of Marine composite reconnaissance squadron VMCJ-2 Playboys. VMCJ-2 was commissioned on 1 December 1955 and began to fly electronic warfare missions off North Korea, China and the Soviet Union immediatley. In 1965 VMCJ-2 was deployed to Da Nang in South Vietnam with six aircraft. The Skyknights flew over 9000 sorties and lost five aircraft and twelve crewmembers. They were withdrawn from Da Nang in October 1969 and officially retired at MCAS El Toro (California, USA) on 31 May 1970.

vmcj-2 playboys f3d-2q skyknight marine composite reconnaissance squadron 79
Douglas F3D-2Q Skyknight (BuNo 124618) of Marine Composite Reconnaissance Squadron VMCJ-2 "Playboys" in flight . circa 1960

vmcj-2 playboys f3d-2q skyknight marine composite reconnaissance squadron 80
Vought F8U-1P Crusader (BuNo 145636) and a Douglas F3D-2Q Skynight (BuNo 125809) of Marine Composite Reconnaissance Squadron 2 (VMCJ-2) "Playboys" in flight near Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Noth Carolina - circa 1958
 
 
VMAQ-2 boasts a proud history of service to the Marine Corps through its predecessor squadrons flying various electronic warfare aircraft, to include: the AD-5 Skyraider, the EF-10 Skyknight, and the EA-6A Intruder. VMC-2 was the original composite squadron in Marine Corps aviation. It was commissioned at Cherry Point on 15 September 1952 evolving from the former Airborne Early Warning and Electronic Counter Measures section of the Wing Headquarters Squadron. On 1 December 1955, the squadron was redesignated as VMCJ-2 after former Marine Photographic Squadron 2 (VMJ-2) was decommissioned and joined VMC-2.

Since its designation in 1975, VMAQ-2 has deployed detachments of EA-6A and EA-6B aircraft on a continuous basis in support of Marine forces in the Western Pacific and in support of Fleet Commanders on aircraft carriers, including lengthy deployments on the USS Midway, Nimitz, America, and Saratoga. In 1977, the squadron transitioned to the EA-6B Prowler and now operates the Improved Capability II version of the aircraft. In 1986, a detachment of the squadron participated in U.S. raids against Libya. In 1990, VMAQ-2 deployed to Bahrain in support of Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM, flying nearly 500 combat sorties in a six-week period.

On 1 July 1992, VMAQ-2, the largest tactical squadron in Marine Aviation, was reorganized into three squadrons: VMAQ-1, VMAQ-2, and VMAQ-3.

The squadron, in its new form, deployed to Iwakuni, Japan in November of 1992. During this deployment VMAQ-2 participated in several Air Defense exercises in support of USMC, USAF, and Japanese Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) fighter and attack aircraft.

In 1995 VMAQ-2 deployed once again to Iwakuni, Japan. On this deployment VMAQ-2 supported VMFA (AW)-225, 35th and 80th FS, AWACS, HAWK, and Patriot batteries in Kunsan Air Base, Korea, as well as participating in a MAG-12 readiness exercise, MAG-12 photo shoot, and multiple War-at-Sea strikes.

VMAQ-2’s next assignment led them to Aviano, Italy, in March 1996 in support of Operation DECISIVE ENDEAVOR. This operation tasked VMAQ-2 with several assigned Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) missions over Bosnia and Herzegovina. Specifically, VMAQ-2 Prowlers provided Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) support to British Harriers performing reconnaissance flights over weapons containment sites in these two areas of operation.

In 1997 VMAQ-2 once again deployed to Aviano, Italy. However, this time it was in support of Operation DELIBERATE GUARD. VMAQ-2 was tasked with flying missions over Bosnia to cover the Bosnian elections. Along with these successful missions, VMAQ-2 participated in several coordinated exercises, to include a Force Protection mission with the German Tornadoes and Dutch F-16s and a Battlefield Air Interdiction (BAI) exercise planned at the CAOC with NATO assets.

In February of 1999, VMAQ-2 received the order to deploy to Aviano, Italy, in support of Operation NOBLE ANVIL and possible subsequent combat operations against Serbia. After diplomatic attempts to resolve the Kosovo crisis failed, Operation ALLIED FORCE began. VMAQ-2 launched day and night sorties to provide jamming and HARM support to U.S. and NATO missions. VMAQ-2 also provided support for armed reconnaissance missions, day and night Battlefield Air Interdiction strikes, and Combat Search and Rescue efforts of downed allied aircrew. When Operation ALLIED FORCE came to an end, VMAQ-2 had flown 2151.5 combat hours, 464 combat sorties, and fired 57 HARM missiles against the former Republic of Yugoslavia.

On 29 June to 1 July 2000, VMAQ-2 celebrated its proud history with a 25th Anniversary Reunion.

From March to June 2001 and from December 2001 to June 2002, VMAQ-2 deployed to Iwakuni, Japan. During these deployments, the squadron provided electronic warfare in support of operations throughout the Pacific region, to include WINTER SURGE and FOAL EAGLE in South Korea, COPE TIGER and COBRA GOLD in Thailand, and COPE NORTH in Guam.

In February 2003, VMAQ-2 deployed to Prince Sultan Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, initially in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and then Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. VMAQ-2 logged over 1000 combat hours in under 60 days in the war to liberate Iraq.

VMAQ-2 deployed to Tallil Air Base, Iraq, for Operation IRAQI FREEDOM II from July 2004 through January 2005 and became the first Prowler squadron to operate from Iraqi soil. The squadron logged over 2000 mishap-free combat hours and attained 10,000 Mishap Free Flight Hours during the same period. VMAQ-2 was subsequently chosen as the Marine Corps Aviation Association 2005 Prowler squadron of the year.

In January 2006, VMAQ-2 deployed to Al Asad, Iraq in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM 05-07. VMAQ-2 flew 691 combat missions for 3286.7 combat flight hours and supported 975 Joint Tactical Air Requests (JTARS). This rigorous operational tempo resulted in four times the normal airframe utilization rate.

In July 2007, VMAQ-2 returned to Al Asad, Iraq in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM 06-08. During the deployment, VMAQ-2 flew 821 combat missions for a total of 4423.0 combat flight hours while supporting Coalition ground forces. This sustained tempo led not only to the highest utilization rate for any Prowler squadron but also for any Type/Model/Series in the Marine Corps.

VMAQ-2’s awards include the Navy Unit Commendation Streamer with two Bronze Stars for the Cuban Missile Crisis and actions against Iraq, the Meritorious Unit Commendation Streamer with two Bronze Stars, the Marine Corps Expeditionary Streamer with two Bronze Stars, the National Defense Service Streamer with two Bronze Stars, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamer with one Bronze Star for Cuban and Dominican Republic service, and the Southwest Asia Service Streamer with two Bronze Stars.

source: USMC

- - - - -

another history:

Early years:
VMAQ-2 boasts a proud history of service to the Marine Corps through its predecessor squadrons flying various electronic warfare aircraft, to include: the AD-5 Skyraider, the EF-10 Skyknight, and the EA-6A Intruder. VMC-2 was the original composite squadron (combined aerial photographic reconnaissance and electronic warfare capability) in Marine Corps aviation. It was commissioned at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point on September 15, 1952 evolving from the former Airborne Early Warning and Electronic Counter Measures section of the Wing Headquarters Squadron. On December 1, 1955, the squadron was redesignated as VMCJ-2 after former Marine Photographic Squadron 2 (VMJ-2) was decommissioned and joined VMC-2. As 1955 was also the year Playboy magazine was first published, it soon followed that the squadron adopted the Playboy name and logo with their permission. In December 1960, VMCJ-2 provided electronic and photographic intelligence during the Cuban Missile Crisis that enabled President Kennedy to make key decisions that would lead to the removal of Soviet military equipment from Cuba. In 1964 VMCJ-2 participated in Operation Steel Pike, the largest amphibious training exercise in history. The unit sailed from Morehead City, NC to the Naval Base at Rota, Spain and flew both photographic and electronic warfare missions during the exercise.

Vietnam:
Less than three years after the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis, some of the same VMCJ-2 aircrews deployed with VMCJ-1 to Vietnam and applied their lessons learned against Cuba as the EF-10Bs began to provide ECM support for air strikes against North Vietnamese targets. Beginning in the Spring of 1966 the squadron began sending Marines to join VMCJ-1 in Vietnam for 13-month tours. In late November 1965, VMCJ-2 received the first EA-6A Electric Intruder. With the rapidly escalating North Vietnamese air defenses this new EW aircraft was anxiously awaited by VMCJ-1 still flying the outdated EF-10B Skyknights, However, the initial EW systems delivered with the new aircraft proved unsuitable for the mission without some major modifications. Given the urgency, the decision was made to make the modifications by a contractor team on-site at VMCJ-2. The success of this effort was due to the dedicated support of VMCJ-2 personnel who worked tirelessly to get the aircraft ready for deployment to Vietnam.

During this same time period the squadron received the first of its RF-4Bs and for several months the squadron was flying four different aircraft types. In October, 1966 VMCJ-2 sent six EA-6As with full maintenance capability to Danang, Vietnam as a VMCJ-1 replacement cadre. The squadron would continue to provide replacement aircrews and updated aircraft to VMCJ-1 in Vietnam.

In 1971 the squadron deployed the first EA-6A detachment aboard USS Forrestal (CV-59) for a Mediterranean cruise that lasted 10 months with cross decking to USS Saratoga (CV-60) and USS America (CV-66). In April 1972 the squadron diverted an EA-6A detachment that was scheduled to deploy on the Saratoga in the Mediterranean to WESTPAC to join VMCJ-1 at NAS Cubi Point. The VMCJ-2 detachment operated in concert with VMCJ-1 to support strikes against North Vietnam under Operation Linebacker that ended with the release of the U.S. POWs early in 1973.

Cold War Sea Service:
After its re-designation in 1975, VMAQ-2 deployed detachments of EA-6A Electric Intruder aircraft [designated Detachments Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie] and EA-6B Prowler aircraft [designated Detachments Xray, Yankee, and Zulu] on a continuous basis in support of Marine forces in the Western Pacific and in support of Fleet Commanders on aircraft carriers, including lengthy deployments on the Midway, Nimitz, America, and Saratoga. In 1977, the squadron transitioned to the EA-6B Prowler with the Improved Capability (ICAP) EW suite. In 1986, a detachment of the squadron participated in U.S. raids against Libya as part of Operation El Dorado Canyon.

The Gulf War & The Balkans:
In 1990, VMAQ-2 deployed Detachments Yankee and Zulu to Bahrain in support of Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, flying nearly 500 combat sorties in a six-week period. Detachment X-Ray was already forward deployed with the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in the Western Pacific for their routine six-month rotation and would remain there for a total of 410 days - more than double their scheduled deployment time - the longest continuous deployment in Marine aviation history during peacetime.

On 1 July 1992, VMAQ-2, the largest tactical squadron in Marine Aviation, was reorganized into three squadrons: VMAQ-1 "Banshees", VMAQ-2 "Playboys", and VMAQ-3 "Moondogs". In 1993, outside pressure forced the Marine Corps to direct the squadron to change their name and logo from "Playboys" to something more politically correct. After several ideas were rejected the squadron chose "Panthers" as the new name and began using the logo (with permission) of the National Football League's Carolina Panthers. VMAQ-2 later changed from the "Panthers" to the current name "Death Jesters". Even with the name changes the squadron continues to use "Playboy" Bunny patches and paint jobs on their five aircraft. Even the CY tail code was fashioned on some in the shape of a bunny head.

VMAQ-2’s next assignment led them to Aviano Air Base, Italy, in March 1996 in support of Operation Decisive Endeavor. This operation tasked VMAQ-2 with missions over Bosnia and Herzegovina. Specifically, VMAQ-2 Prowlers provided Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) support to British Harriers performing reconnaissance flights over weapons containment sites in these two areas of operation. In 1997, VMAQ-2 once again deployed to Aviano Air Base. However, this time it was in support of Operation Deliberate Guard. VMAQ-2 was tasked with flying missions over Bosnia to cover the Bosnian elections. On February 3, 1998 a USMC Grumman EA-6B Prowler, BuNo 163045, callsign "Easy 0-1" from VMAQ-2, struck a cable supporting a gondola in Cavalese, Italy. The cable was severed and 20 people in the cabin plunged over 80 metres to their deaths. The plane had wing and tail damage but was able to return to the base. It was the squadron's first major mishap in over 60,000 flight hours spanning nearly fifteen years of worldwide operations.

In February 1999, VMAQ-1, VMAQ-2, VMAQ-3, and VMAQ-4 received the order to again deploy to Aviano Air Base in Italy in support of Operation Noble Anvil and possible subsequent combat operations against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. After diplomatic attempts to resolve the Kosovo crisis failed, Operation Allied Force began. VMAQ-2 launched day and night sorties to provide jamming and HARM support to U.S. and NATO missions. VMAQ-2 also provided support for armed reconnaissance missions, day and night battlefield air interdiction strikes, and combat search and rescue efforts of downed allied aircrew. When Operation Allied Force came to an end, VMAQ-2 had flown 2151.5 combat hours, 464 combat sorties, and fired 57 High speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARM) against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Global War on Terror:
In February 2003, VMAQ-2 deployed to Prince Sultan Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, initially in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and then Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. VMAQ-2 logged over 1000 combat hours in under 60 days in the war to liberate Iraq.

VMAQ-2 deployed to Tallil Air Base, Iraq, for Operation IRAQI FREEDOM II from July 2004 through January 2005 and became the first Prowler squadron to operate from Iraqi soil. The squadron logged over 2000 mishap-free combat hours and attained 10,000 Mishap Free Flight Hours during the same period. VMAQ-2 was subsequently chosen as the Marine Corps Aviation Association 2005 Prowler squadron of the year.

In January 2006, VMAQ-2 deployed to Al Asad, Iraq in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM 05-07. VMAQ-2 flew 691 combat missions for 3286.7 combat flight hours and supported 975 Joint Tactical Air Requests (JTARS). This rigorous operational tempo resulted in four times the normal airframe utilization rate.

In July 2007, VMAQ-2 returned to Al Asad, Iraq in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM 06-08. During the deployment, VMAQ-2 flew 821 combat missions for a total of 4423.0 combat flight hours while supporting Coalition ground forces. This sustained tempo led not only to the highest utilization rate for any Prowler squadron but also for any Type/Model/Series in the Marine Corps.

source: wikipedia
 
 
 

patches & more


vmaq-2 death jesters insignia crest patch badge marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 06    vmaq-2 death jesters insignia crest patch badge marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 07

vmaq-2 playboys insignia crest patch badge marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 02      vmaq-2 playboys insignia crest patch badge marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 03

vmaq-2 panthers insignia crest patch badge marine tactical electronic warfare squadron usmc 04
 
 
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