|The last Navy EA-6B Prowler pulls vapor in a final flight flyover of the Electronic Warfare Laboratory at Point Mugu on June 27. (U.S. Navy photo)|
PT Mugu July 12, 2015 - With a screaming growl, the last U.S. Navy EA-6B Prowler banked over the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division’s (NAWCWD) Electronic Warfare (EW) Laboratory at Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC), Point Mugu, completing a victory lap around the installation before coming in for a final landing June 27.
Met by a small crowd of former EA-6B pilots and EW engineers and specialists from NAWCWD, the Navy’s last Prowler pulled in behind the EW lab, where it will be demilitarized in preparation for a move to its final home: Missile Park. There, it will stand as a testament to Point Mugu’s long history in EW research, development, test and evaluation.
Dr. Ronald Smiley, director of NAWCWD’s Avionics, Sensors and E*Warfare Department, and Capt. Chris Janke, NBVC’s commanding officer, met the aircrew as they disembarked, thanking them for bringing the airframe safely home to Point Mugu.
And for the fun flyovers.
|Dr. Ron Smiley, director of NAWCWD’s Avionics, Sensors and E*Warfare Department, grabs one last photo of the Navy’s last EA-6B Prowler as it taxis to a stop behind the EW Laboratory at Point Mugu on June 27. (U.S. Navy photo)|
“We were just having fun,” said Lt. Brian Thorpe, one of four aviators from Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 134 tasked with bringing the aircraft to Point Mugu. “It was her last flight, after all.”
The Prowler, a long-range aircraft with advanced electronic countermeasures capabilities, was officially retired from the Navy fleet in a sunset ceremony at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Washington, launching for the last time as the Navy retires the airframe in favor of the EA-18G Growler. The U.S. Marine Corps will continue to fly the Prowler through 2019.