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The Great Growler Gallery

Crazy8

New Member
I just finished up advanced and I'm slated to class up with VAQ-129 in late November. Besides travelling, getting my civilian ratings, and turning groceries into crap, I'd like to do something productive in the intervening time. Does anyone have unclassified Growler gouge? Is there a master curriculum guide for the FRS?
 

2sBrownBear

Member
None
The Navy has a few 'Expeditionary' squadrons of Prowlers that support the USAF. They do not deploy to the boat but instead deploy to land bases, generally with the USAF but sometimes with the Marines. Before OIF the two deployment sites were Incirlick, Turkey and Prince Sultan Air Base (PSAB), Saudi Arabia. Nowadays they are a little closer to the action. When I was in one there were four USAF aircrew in the squadron, one pilot and three Navigators. The pilots were a mix of tactical types, usually F-15E and F-16 but with a few A-10 guys too. The Navs were generally tactical too, mainly F-15E and B-1 guys, but a few were from the RC-135 and EC-130. They were usually good guys and gals and gave the squadrons a pretty broad base of experience when it came to USAF ops. When I was leaving the USAF had stopped sending Pilots and had started sending WSO's straight out of VT-86.

There used to be four squadrons but now there are only three, one of them was retired after OIF because they figured they didn't have as much of a need for them anymore. Whoops. There was supposed to be a fifth squadron but it never got off the ground, the Navy figured out there weren't enough Prowlers to go around. The reserve squadron, VAQ-209, has been treated as a part-time expeditionary squadron, deploying quite often for about 2 months at a time to fill gaps. Boat squadrons often supplement the expeditionary squadrons in their deployed locations now too with dets.

The four Marine Prowler squadrons were not officially considered expeditionary but they were treated as such when it came to deployments. There is supposed to be a VMAQ squadron in Iwakuni but that was often filled by a VAQ squadron while the Marines played in the sandbox. Occasionally even a boat squadron would go there.

If they want to continue the expeditionary squadrons after Prowlers leave the service someone will have to cough up the money to buy more Growlers. Just an offer for Navy guys to ride in anything they have is a bit pathetic.

Those were PEP guys and not part of the whole expeditionary arrangement. My last CO in Prowlers did a PEP tour with EF-111's and flew in the Gulf War.
The way I understand this is that the Navy currently has 4 expeditionary Prowler Squadrons that AF EWO types can fly in, but the pilot gig has gone away.

Will this expeditionary process continue with the Growler?

Has there been any thought of allowing AF pilots into the Growler as part of the expeditionary gig, or would that be a PEP route entirely? Are you familiar with why the AF discontinued sending pilots to these squadrons?
 

Brett327

Well-Known Member
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
The way I understand this is that the Navy currently has 4 expeditionary Prowler Squadrons that AF EWO types can fly in, but the pilot gig has gone away.

Will this expeditionary process continue with the Growler?

Has there been any thought of allowing AF pilots into the Growler as part of the expeditionary gig, or would that be a PEP route entirely? Are you familiar with why the AF discontinued sending pilots to these squadrons?
The three remaining Prowler squadrons either have or are in the process of transitioning to boat squadrons. Likewise, the first few Growler squadrons are currently serving in the expeditionary role. How that plays out in the future remains to be seen. AFAIK, USAF folks are in the Growler syllabus now, or will be shortly.

Brett
 

2sBrownBear

Member
None
The three remaining Prowler squadrons either have or are in the process of transitioning to boat squadrons. Likewise, the first few Growler squadrons are currently serving in the expeditionary role. How that plays out in the future remains to be seen. AFAIK, USAF folks are in the Growler syllabus now, or will be shortly.

Brett
Do you know if it is back seat types only? Or are AF pilots doing this as well?
 

Brett327

Well-Known Member
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
I think it includes pilots, but not certain. Don't know how they'll work the boat thing if that issue creeps up. There have only been one or two USAF pilots to go to the boat in a Prowler and it was day only.

Brett
 

Alpha_Echo_606

Does not play well with others!™
Contributor


111220-N-MO201-236 SOUDA BAY, Greece (Dec. 20, 2011) A Boeing EA-18G Growler aircraft takes off following a transient stop on Crete. The aircraft and four others assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 138 are headed home to Whidbey Island, Washington, following completion of a six-month deployment to Iraq supporting Operation New Dawn. (U.S. Navy photo by Paul Farley/Released)
 

Fetus

Member
None
I think it includes pilots, but not certain. Don't know how they'll work the boat thing if that issue creeps up. There have only been one or two USAF pilots to go to the boat in a Prowler and it was day only.

Brett
No pilots at this time. Three USAF EWOs, one in each exped EA-18g squadron. Some EA-6B USAF EWOs still inbound, but not many.
 

Brett327

Well-Known Member
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
No pilots at this time. Three USAF EWOs, one in each exped EA-18g squadron. Some EA-6B USAF EWOs still inbound, but not many.
I recall some drug deal where they would qual an Eagle driver, maybe only as a RAG exchange IP, but not as a deployable guy. That was the scuttlebutt about a year ago.

Brett
 

Alpha_Echo_606

Does not play well with others!™
Contributor

120718-N-XL102-453 ATLANTIC OCEAN (July 18, 2012) An EA-18G Growler assigned to the Zappers of Airborne Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 130 lands aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Harry S. Truman is underway conducting flight deck certification. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Tyler Caswell/Released)
 

Malo83

Keep the Faith

120718-N-XL102-453 ATLANTIC OCEAN (July 18, 2012) An EA-18G Growler assigned to the Zappers of Airborne Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 130 lands aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Harry S. Truman is underway conducting flight deck certification. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Tyler Caswell/Released)
Glad to see the Zappers again, busted many a knuckle on the EKA-3B Whales back in 72.
uss-midway-museum-photo_984341-770tall.jpg
 

Alpha_Echo_606

Does not play well with others!™
Contributor

120815-N-VZ328-211 NAVAL AIR FACILITY MISAWA, Japan (Aug. 15, 2012) An EA-18G Growler assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 132 takes off from the runway during a scheduled flight at Naval Air Facility Misawa. VAQ-132 is deployed to Misawa in support of the U.S. 7th Fleet. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth G. Takada/Released)
 

Alpha_Echo_606

Does not play well with others!™
Contributor

120906-N-ZT599-016 PACIFIC OCEAN (Sept. 6, 2012) Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 2nd Class Nam Nguyen, from San Francisco, Calif., directs an EA-18 Growler from the Shadowhawks of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 141 on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) during flight operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Brian H. Abel/Released)
 
F-15E's have conformal external tanks on the sides of the plane next to the engines. They help give the E's damn good range. They have also developed them for the UAE's F-16E/F's, they are on the top of the fuselage next to the engine. A potential problem for carrier airplanes is that they cannot be jettisoned in flight and there is only so much weight you can put on carrier airplanes. Though it is something the Navy should at least look at, if they have not already (anyone heard of that?).
This is an old post, but in a conversation with a Boeing engineer I asked about conformal fuel tanks. When Boeing was offering up ideas on an international variant of the Super Hornet, conformal fuel tanks and enclosed weapons pods were included in the description. In this link: http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/f22-raptors-to-japan-01909/ I think conformal fuel tanks look like they are above the wing, as opposed to to below the wing in the F-15E. Before they design and build the tanks they would need a contract though, but it seems doable. Of course, it would limit top speed. No idea what it would do to landing/approach speed.

In the F-15 Silent Eagle (aimed at Japan) they convert those conformal fuel tanks (at least partially) into weapons bays capable of holding a few missiles or bombs
 
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