Prowler Association

Home > Squadrons > VAQ-139

VAQ-139 COUGARS

Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron-139 (VAQ-139) was established on 1 July 1983 at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington as the tenth fleet EA-6B Prowler unit.  The new outfit took the nickname Cougars while adapting a version of the Mercury car logo for its patch, all on a field of “North Carolina Blue”.  They were also the first squadron to be initially equipped with the ICAP version of the EA-6B and not start in a previous mark.

139 was assigned to CVW-14, which would be the only Wing it ever deployed with in EA-6Bs. After about 18 months of work-ups (which included a ‘Pineapple cruise’ to Hawaii) they departed CONUS in February 1985 in the USS Constellation (CV-64) on their first major deployment, which was also significant as the first cruise for the new McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18A Hornet strike fighter. 

In 1988 VAQ-139 upgraded to ICAP II aircraft and made one more WestPac in “Connie” before moving to the USS Independence (CV-62) with CVW-14 in 1989.  Their 1990 deployment was punctuated by participation in Operation Desert Shield, where the ship and wing established many of the procedures that would be used by carriers that followed in Desert Storm.

In 1991 they participated in a “SWAPEX” with the USS Midway (CV-41) as that ship came home to the U.S. after its long assignment in Japan. The two ships and Air Wings (Midway bringing CVW-5 with it) met in Hawaii and switched ships with “Indy” continuing on to Japan to become the new forward-deployed carrier while CVW-14 returned to California onboard Midway.

In February 1994 the Cougars started the first of two deployments in the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) and then moved to the Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) in 1997. A single deployment in the USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) followed.  In 2005, VAQ-139 became the first operational squadron to fly the ultimate version of the Prowler, the ICAP III.  The “Cougars” would make the first deployment with the ICAP III in the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) in 2006.

VAQ-139 conducted six major deployments with the ICAP III onboard the Reagan before transitioning to the Boeing EA-18G Growler from December 2011.

VAQ-139 Major Prowler Deployments

Feb to Aug 1985

Constellation

CVW-14 WP/IO   

 

Apr to Oct 1987  

Constellation

CVW-14 WP/IO   

 

Dec 1988 to Jun 1989

Constellation

CVW-14 WP/IO   

 

Sep 1989 to Oct 1989

Constellation

CVW-14 NP

 

Jun 1990 to Dec 1990

Independence

CVW-14 WP/IO/PG

Desert Shield

Aug 1991              

Independence      

CVW-14 Hawaii   

Swapex

Aug-Sep 1991

Midway 

CVW-14 Hawaii

Swapex

Feb to Aug 1994 

Carl Vinson

CVW-14 WP/IO/PG

Southern Watch

May to Nov 1996

Carl Vinson

CVW-14 WP/IO/PG

Southern Watch

Jun to Nov 1998

Abe Lincoln

CVW-14 WP/IO/PG

Southern Watch  

Aug 2000-Feb 2001

Abe Lincoln

CVW-14 WP/IO/PG

Southern Watch

Jul 2002 to May 2003

Abe Lincoln

CVW-14 WP/IO/PG

OEF/OSW/OIF

May to Nov 2004

John C Stennis

CVW-14                 WP/IO/PG

OIF

Jan to Jul 2006     

Ronald Reagan

CVW-14 WP/IO/PG

OIF

Jan to Apr 2007   

Ronald Reagan

CVW-14 WP

 

May to Nov 2008

Ronald Reagan

CVW-14 WP/IO

OIF/OEF

May to Oct 2009

Ronald Reagan

CVW-14 WP/IO

OIF/OEF

Jun to Aug 2010

Ronald.Reagan

CVW-14 WP/IO

OIF/OEF

Feb to Sep 2011  

Ronald Reagan

CVW-14 WP/IO

OIF/OEF

WP: Western Pacific, IO: Indian Ocean,  NP: Northern Pacific, PG: Persian Gulf

OEF: Operation Enduring Freedom, OIF: Operation Iraqi Freedom

 

VAQ-139 EA-6B COMMANDING OFFICERS

CDR Dick “Bandstand” Clark

Jul 1983

CDR “Bad Bob” Dilks

Jun1985

CDR Jim Keresey 

Oct 1986              

CDR “Seadog” Fodor

Apr 1988

CDR John Flanagan

Aug 1989

CDR ‘TR’ Miller

Mar 1991

CDR Greg “Humble” Tritt   

Aug 1992

CDR Ken “Kilo” Parks

Mar 1994

CDR Ron Plucker 

May 1995

CDR Don “DQ” Quinn

Aug 1996

CDR Jay Smith

Nov 1997

CDR Dee Mewbourne

Mar 1999

CDR Jeff “AmtrackAmick 

May 2000

CDR Richard Simon

Sep 2001

CDR Scotty Pollpeter

Dec 2002

CDR Fred Niles

 Feb 2004

CDR Chuck Luttrell

May 2005

CDR Tony Calandra

Aug 2006

CDR Bruce “Flounder” Hay

Nov 2007

CDR Darryl “D-Day” Walker

Mar 2009

CDR C. “Milhouse” Middleton

April 2010

CDR Russell “Muscle” Jones

Jun 2011