Electronic Attack Squadron
(VAQ) 132 “Scorpions”
Based: Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington
Current Commanding Officer: Cmdr. Robert L. Holmes
Mission: Electronic Attack
Brief History: Sailors of VAQ-132 “Scorpions” completed their third Western Pacific deployment in 2016 and earned their second consecutive Battle “E.” This success reflects a strong tradition of Scorpion achievements dating back to the squadron’s beginnings in 1955 when it flew the P2V Neptune and was designated Patrol Squadron (VP) 29 “Royal Rampant.”
The aircrew and sailors continued to excel in adapting to advanced technology. In 1957, the squadron was re-designated as Heavy Attack Squadron (VAH) 2 and transitioned to the A-3D Skywarrior. Soon after, the squadron’s homeport became NAS Whidbey Island. By 1968, the unit was re-designated to Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron (VAQ) 132, transitioning its platform to the EKA-3B Skywarrior. VAQ-132 was then tasked with the dual missions of electronic countermeasures and in-flight refueling. In 1971, the squadron was the first to transition to the EA-6B Prowler.
The “Scorpions” were the first Prowler squadron in Vietnam and flew combat support flights from six different carriers on Yankee Station in the Gulf of Tonkin, including support of Operation Linebacker II. In 1991, they were the first Prowler squadron to support Operation Desert Storm. During NATO’s Operation Deny Flight in 1994, the “Scorpions” were first to the fight once more onboard USS Enterprise (CVN 65).
In 2000, the squadron joined the USS George Washington (CVN 73) and supported Operations Southern Watch, Joint Guardian and Enduring Freedom following the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
The squadron continued its efforts and spirited contributions to partnered operations in the Middle East and Pacific from 2004 to 2007. In 2008, they became the first fleet squadron to transition to the EA-18G Growler. In 2010, VAQ-132 was the first squadron to deploy with the Growler, providing support to Operation New Dawn in Iraq, and became the first to employ the AGM-88 HARM in combat from the Growler while supporting Operations Odyssey Dawn and Unified Protector over Libya.
Since 1955, the unit has successfully transitioned through many new technologies and missions, but the squadron has always lived up to its nickname: “First to the fleet, first to the fight!”
Aircraft Flown: EA-18G Growler
Number of People in Unit: 200
- First squadron to transition to the EA-6B Prowler
- First Prowler squadron in the Vietnam War
- First Prowler squadron to support Operation Desert Storm and Operation Deny Flight
- First fleet squadron to transition to and deploy with the EA-18G Growler