U.S. Navy


The E-2D is the most advanced Airborne Command and Control platform that the U.S. has in its inventory

U.S. Navy E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes with Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 125 “Tigertails” arrived at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Feb. 2, 2017.

The Tigertails’ journey from Norfolk, Virginia, to the air station is to support the strong, enduring alliance with the government of Japan through the forward deployment of the most capable U.S. Navy ships and squadrons in Japan.

“The arrival of VAW-125 with the E-2D signals the United States’ commitment to the defense of Japan and our Pacific partners,” said U.S. Navy Cmdr. Shane Tanner, the executive officer for VAW-125. “This move is in accordance with the Navy’s strategic vision for the rebalance to the Asia-Pacific, which puts the most advanced and capable units forward in order to maintain stability and security in the region.”

As we have already explained in a previous post the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye possesses highly sophisticated air radars and systems, which increases its capabilities and ability to defend Japan. It is the centerpiece of the Navy Integrated Fire Control – Counter Air (NIFC-CA) system.

“The E-2D is the most advanced Airborne Command and Control platform that the U.S. has in its inventory,” said U.S. Navy Lt. j.g. Russel Kinder, a naval flight officer with VAW-125. “Equipped with the new APY-9 radar, the weapons system will detect and track targets earlier and more accurately in littoral, overland and overwater environments than the E-2C’s APS-145. The advanced sensors, on-board tactical data processing systems and voice and data link communications systems onboard this platform will instantly enhance, expand and integrate the air and missile defense capability of this region.”

Kinder also said VAW-125 will continue the Hawkeye tradition as the “digital quarterback” for the Carrier Strike Group and the theater air and missile defense architecture. They will maximize blue force lethality, survivability and mission effectiveness by providing real-time battle space management, command and control and situational awareness of even the most advanced threats.

While goal oriented toward providing support in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, the Tigertails will also focus on building relations within the local community.

“VAW-125 is already integrating with the Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni team and its tenant commands,” said Tanner. “We intend to help build, expand, and strengthen the services, facilities and overall fantastic esprit de corps of this burgeoning community for the service members and their families.”

Tanner said on a personal level, the Tigertail service members and their families are looking forward to developing a strong and lasting bond with the city of Iwakuni.

“This bond will be built upon a foundation of trust, respect, and cultural engagement,” said Tanner. “As a squadron, we will develop professional relationships with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force through routine operational training and engagement. This will improve interoperability and solidify our ability to conduct combined operations at sea.”

Photo credit: Lance Cpl. Joseph Abrego / U.S. Marine Corps

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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