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VAQ-309 Axemen

Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron-THREE ZERO NINE was established at NAS Whidbey Island WA on 1 December 1979 in the Naval Reserves as a member of Reserve Carrier Air Wing-THIRTY (CVWR-30).  Initially equipped with Grumman EA-6A “Electric Intruders” the new unit adopted the nickname Axemen and designed a patch featuring an ax-wielding character named Andy in a suitable pose and environment.


Squadron operations included land-based detachments in support of fleet exercises and test programs as well as numerous visits to the boat for Carrier Qualifications.


The Axemen began transition to the EA-6B Prowler in 1989 with their first aircraft arriving on 8 June. They eventually accepted four ICAP II aircraft, reaching operational status on 2 December.  The squadron would remain busy operationally for the next five years, making several carrier detachments and participating in numerous exercises at places like Nellis AFB, Klamath Falls OR, Miramar and Key West. They made an impact wherever they went, with the training they provided to the fleet making the regular forces that much more capable in the area of Electronic Warfare .
VAQ-309 was disestablished in September 1994 along with the rest of CVWR-30 as part of the post-Desert Storm draw down.


Their EA-6Bs were marked with CVWR-30’s ND tailcode with side numbers 604 to 607 assigned.

Commanding Officers (INCOMPLETE)
CDR J.W. Pate     1 Dec 1979
CDR D.J. Smith    25 Jul 1981
CDR “Zip” Trower   20 Aug 1983
CDR D.W. Ahrens   12 Jan 1985
CDR R.R. Mattson  19 Jul 1986
CDR J.M. McDonald   6 Jun 1987
CDR D.T. Pinkney   10 Dec 1988
CDR F.M. Christiansen   2 Jun 1990
CDR T.P. Wood   7 Dec 1991
CDR D.J. Cronk   5 Dec 1992
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