The 2020 edition of the annual Growler Ball video marks the 50th Anniversary of VAQ-129 Vikings, the Electronic Attack Fleet Replacement Squadron.
The 2020 edition of the annual Growler Ball video marks the 50th Anniversary of VAQ-129 Vikings, the Electronic Attack Fleet Replacement Squadron that began developing America’s EA-6B Prowler aircrew in 1970, and now is responsible for training the US Navy and Royal Australian Air Force’s EA-18G Growler communities.
On Sep. 1, 1970, Heavy Attack Squadron 10 (VAH-10) was redesignated to Electronic Attack Squadron 129 (VAQ-129) under the leadership of Commanding Officer J. D. Blackwood. The new name signaled a shift of the squadron’s aircraft and mission, as the A-3 Skywarrior was retired and replaced by the EA-6B Prowler. VAQ-129 accepted the first standard version Prowler in January 1971 and the Vikings assumed the role as Fleet Replacement Squadron for the new EA-6B community.
In June 2008 VAQ-129 accepted the first EA-18G Growler. The EA-18G is an Electronic Warfare platform derived from a combination of the two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornet airframe and the EA-6B ICAP III EW suite.
In 2015, VAQ-129 successfully completed the transition of all fleet squadrons from the Prowler to the Growler.
Today, VAQ-129 maintains 55 EA-18G aircraft.
Once again, this year’s video showcases the latest and greatest footage from all US Navy VAQ squadrons in Whidbey Island, WA and Iwakuni, Japan, as well as the RAAF 6th Squadron.
VAQ-135 Black Ravens
VAQ-142 Gray Wolves
VAQ-209 Star Warriors
Royal Australian Air Force 6th Squadron