MCAS Cherry Point – Dulles International Airport was the last-ever flight of an EA-6B Prowler before retirement

The crew of the last ever EA-6B flight from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, to Dulles airport, Washington DC. The aircraft will be on display at the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

EA-6B 162230/CY-02 will be on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC.

Last week, the last U.S. Marine Corps Prowler squadron, Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 2 (VMAQ-2), was formally deactivated.

On Mar. 8, 2019, the last two EA-6B aircraft (162230/CY-02 and 162228/CY-04) took part in Sundown Ceremony that also included flying in formation over Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, with other Marine tactical aircraft: an F-35B STOVL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing) variant of the Lightning II, an AV-8B Harrier II and an F/A-18C Hornet.

However, that mission, that marked the end of operations of VMAQ-2 and celebrated the retirement of the Prowler after more than four decades of service, was not the last-ever EA-6B flight. This came some days later, on Mar. 14, when the Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 2’s “CAG” bird, 162230/CY-02, launched from MCAS Cherry Point for the last time, and headed to Dulles International Airport. Indeed, the aircraft will be displayed at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

From left to right, U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Andrew Rundle, Lt. Col. Julian Flores, Maj. Judson Riordon and Maj. Christopher Larson pose for a photo next to an EA-6B Prowler at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, March 14, 2019. The aircraft is the last Prowler to leave Cherry Point and will be displayed at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Rundle is the former commanding officer of Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron (VMAQ) 2. Flores is the former executive officer of VMAQ-2. Riordon is the former operations officer of VMAQ-2. Larson is the former aircraft maintenance officer of VMAQ-2. The aircraft was assigned to VMAQ-2. VMAQ was a subordinate unit of Marine Aircraft Group 14, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Cody Rowe)

The aircraft was flown on the last historic sortie by U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Andrew Rundle, Lt. Col. Julian Flores, Maj. Judson Riordon and Maj. Christopher Larson. Rundle is the former commanding officer of Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron (VMAQ) 2. Flores is the former executive officer of VMAQ-2. Riordon is the former operations officer of VMAQ-2. Larson is the former aircraft maintenance officer of VMAQ-2. The aircraft was assigned to VMAQ-2. VMAQ was a subordinate unit of Marine Aircraft Group 14, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.

The last Prowler leaves Cherry Point to be displayed at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. The aircraft was assigned to Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 2, Marine Aircraft Group 14, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Damaris Arias)

As already explained in a previous article Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 2 (VMAQ-2) was the last to fly the Prowler in combat, supporting troops who were taking on Islamic State group terrorists in the Middle East late last year.

The EA-6B was born out of military requirements during the Vietnam War. It entered service in 1971 and 170 aircraft were built before the production was terminated in 1991. For more than four decades, the Prowler has been “at the forefront of military electronic warfare allowing high-profile air combat missions.”

VMAQ-2 completed its last deployment in support of Operation Resolute Support and Freedom’s Sentinel in Afghanistan as well as Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria in October 2018.

Three Prowler squadrons were deactivated ahead of VMAQ-2. VMAQ-1, in May 2016, VMAQ-4 in June 2017 and VMAQ-3 in May 2018.



About David Cenciotti 3758 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.