EA-18G Growlers Take to Fallon Skies

Story Number: NNS101116-06Release Date: 11/16/2010 1:29:00 PM
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By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Christopher Shimana, Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center Public Affairs

FALLON, Nev. (NNS) -- Two airborne electronic attack aircraft, EA-18G "Growler," recently began validation with Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center's newest training department, the Airborne Electronic Attack Weapons School (AEAWS) Nov. 12.

NSAWC's AEAWS department will provide training to the fleets electronic attack squadrons with the techniques, tactics and procedures to ensure aviation superiority in the electronic attack and air-to-air arena.

"NSAWC has been working closely with Naval Air Station, Whidbey Island, Wash., and Commander Electronic Attack Wing Pacific (COMVAQWINGPAC) toward the goal of establishing a training center here in Fallon since 2006," said Cmdr. Peter Fey. "Commander Chris Bieber spearheaded most of this, but it's really come to fruition in the past year," said Fey. "Since October 2009, we've had the instructors show up to start working issues. Now we've got the airplanes to validate all the work they've done including building scenarios, flights, simulations and lectures."

Growler training at NSAWC will be similar to the older EA-6B "Prowler" training program, with emphasis on electronic attack protection and the inclusion of Top Gun lectures covering the air-to-air arena. Because it is now at NSAWC, vice Whidbey, the style of training will be run similar to the Top Gun program.

The Growler is the Navy's replacement aircraft for the Prowler as it is enters its fourth decade of service. Its many capabilities include achieving optimum flight speed of Mach 1.8, offensive electronic jamming, electronic emission detection, monitoring, classification and electronic suppression of enemy air defenses.

"The Growler is basically an ICAP III Prowler stuffed inside an FA-18F," said Fey. "Boeing and Northrop Grumman essentially combined the two proven systems to make this airplane. It has the same functionality of the latest and greatest Prowler, coupled with the great airframe provided by the FA-18."

Along with its state-of the-art weapons systems, it is highly economical by retaining 90 percent common parts with the F/A-18/F Super Hornets and reducing the operating crew size by 50 percent.

"Just the decrease in maintenance will be a huge factor for the fleet," said Fey

The Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center is the center of excellence for naval aviation training and tactics development in integrated strike warfare, weapons employment, irregular warfare, and maritime and overland air superiority.

For more news form Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/nsawc/.

Capt. Brad Russell, commodore of Electronic Attack Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet, accepted an EA-18G Growler as the first Growler stationed aboard Naval Air Station Whidbey during and acceptance ceremony.
Official U.S. Navy file photo.
June 5, 2008
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