Cougars return to NAS Whidbey


Electronic Attack Squadron 139, the Cougars, brought home all personnel from almost 10 months of deployment to the Pacific Ocean and Persian Gulf June 3.

During the deployment, VAQ-139 Cougars provided electronic warfare support to the USS Carl Vinson’s carrier Air Wing 17 strike operations in Iraq and Syria and flew 12,300 sorties with 2,382 combat missions and more than a half-million pounds of ordnance against ISIS on deployment. Of those CVW 17 sorties, 1,200 sorties with 267 combat missions were by VAQ-139.

“We denied their command and control networks; we kept them at arm’s reach,” Cmdr. Lewis Callaway said.  “We protected our fellow brothers, our coalition brethren absolutely. We kept them from getting shot down; we enabled a lot of targeting with the weapon systems we have on the Growler like the Northrop Grumman’s AN/ALQ-218 that can listen to radios and radars.”

The VAQ-139 motto of Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum, or, translated from Latin, “if you want peace, prepare for war,” certainly applied to this deployment, according to Callaway. From successful pre-deployment training, Exercise Valiant Shield 2014 to maintain access and maneuverability for warfighters, and exercises with the Malaysian military — VAQ-139 lived up to that motto on this deployment, Callaway said.

Ultimately to Commander Callaway, VAQ-139 “made the world safer for America, no doubt.”


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