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VMAQ-3 Moon Dogs 1993-2018

 

Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron-THREE (VMAQ-3) was activated at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina on the first day of July, 1992.  The new unit, which quickly took the title “Moon Dogs”, was formed out of VMAQ-2 detachment Z and initially equipped with six ICAP II EA-6Bs.

The new outfit’s initial deployment began in May 1993 as they made a six month trip to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan as part of the rotational Unit Deployment Program (UDP) under the 12th Marine Aircraft Group.

In 1994 the “Moon Dogs” were selected to make a carrier deployment and they joined Carrier Air Wing-ONE (CVW-1) onboard USS America (CV-66) for a Mediterranean cruise.  They would be the last Marine EA-6B squadron to make a major carrier deployment.

A trip to Aviano, Italy followed in February 1997, now participating in flight over the former Yugoslavia as part of Operation Deliberate Guard. 

Over the following two decades the “Moon Dogs” continued to cycle to global hot spots as needed by the National Command Authority.  As with the other three Cherry Point-based EA-6B units, VMAQ-3 would typically spend twelve months at home and six months overseas. The “time home” wasn’t necessarily with their families however as the squadron was frequently called to exercises like “Red Flag” or to provide support for training at the Marine Aviation Weapon Training Squadron-ONE at MCAS Yuma.  Through it all, VMAQ-3 provided highly professional Electronic Warfare support with their EA-6B Prowlers.

Combat operations dominated most overseas deployments as the squadron flew out of obscure locations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Turkey.  While few outside the community really understood what they provided, the work conducted by squadrons like VMAQ-3 saved lives on the ground by dominating the electromagnetic spectrum and denying its use by our nation’s adversaries.

The “Moon Dogs”, now one of only two VMAQ squadron remaining, returned home to North Carolina from its final deployment in October, 2017 and started the path to deactivation, which is scheduled for the spring of 2018.

Moon Dog Deployments

May-Nov ‘93

Iwakuni JA

UDP

 

Aug ‘95-Feb ‘96

USS America

ODF, ODE

CVW-1 Med cruise

Feb-Aug ‘97

Aviano IT

ODG

 

Sep ‘98-Mar ‘99

Iwakuni JA

UDP

 

Jan-Apr ‘01

PSAB SA

OSW

 

Nov ‘01-Feb ‘02

Incirlik TU

ONW

 

Jan-Jul ‘03

Iwakuni, JA

UDP

 

Jan-Aug ‘05

Bagram, AF

OEF

 

Jul ‘06-Jan ‘07

Al Asad, IZ

OIF

 

Apr-Oct ‘08

Al Asad, IZ

OIF

 

Jul ‘09-Feb ‘10

Al Asad, IZ

OIF

 

Oct ‘10-May ‘11

Bagram, AF

OEF

 

Sep ‘12-Apr ‘13

Bagram, AF

OEF

 

Jan-Feb ‘14

Bagram AF

OEF

 

Feb-Aug ‘14

Al Udied QA

 

 

Aug ‘15-Feb ‘16

Iwakuni, JA

UDP

 

Apr-Oct ‘17

Incirlik TU

OIR

 

ODE: Operation Decisive Edge
ODF: Operation Deny Flight
ODG: Operation Deliberate Guard
OEF: Operation Enduring Freedom
OIF: Operation Iraqi Freedom
OIR: Operation Inherent Resolve
OND: Operation New Dawn
ONW: Operation Northern Watch
OSW: Operation Southern Watch
UDP: Unit Deployment Program

General Royal Moore Award winner (Top Marine EA-6B Squadron)
2001, 2007, 2014, 2015.

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