The Yellow Jackets of VAQ-138 are
charged with projecting electronic attack dominance anywhere in the world at
any time by providing fully combat ready aircraft and personnel. Based in
the Pacific Northwest at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, WA, VAQ-138
projects electronic dominance utilizing the new EA-18G Growler. The Growler is the Navy's premier
Electronic Attack asset specializing in the suppression of enemy air
defenses though non-kinetic and kinetic means. Based on the proven F/A-18F Super Hornet,
the EA-18G is equipped with two F414-GE-400 turbofan engines, an APG-79
AESA radar, the ALQ-218 receiver system, and forward and aft cockpit Joint
Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems.
Additionally, the combat load out for the Growler includes a
combination of external fuel tanks, ALQ-99 tactical jamming pods, AIM-120
AMRAAM, and AGM-88 HARM.
VAQ-138 was commissioned as an
operational squadron in February of 1976.
The Yellow Jackets first appeared in the history books flying the
EA-6B Prowler aboard USS SARATOGA (CV 60).
With the USS SARATOGA (CV 60) they embarked on two deployments to
the Mediterranean Sea where they immediately distinguished themselves as a
leader in aviation safety, earning the Chief of Naval Operations Safety
Award. The Yellow Jackets then conducted operations with USS RANGER (CV 61)
in 1978 before making three deployments to the Mediterranean Sea aboard the
USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN 69) and USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV 67). The
1980s saw the Yellow Jackets deploy five times aboard the USS NIMITZ (CVN
68) where they conducted presence operations and flew in support of
Operations PRAIRIE FIRE and EL DORADO CANYON.
In 1990 VAQ-138 was embarked aboard
the USS CONSTELLATION (CV 64) during her transit from Naval Station San
Diego to Philadelphia Naval Shipyard for overhauls. The Yellow Jackets then
deployed, once again, with USS NIMITZ (CVN 68) for four WESTPAC Cruises
from 1991-1998 where they flew in support of Operations DESERT STORM,
PROVIDE COMFORT, and SOUTHERN WATCH. VAQ-138 also deployed in support of
Operation ALLIED FORCE, first with the USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV 67) in 1998
and then again with the USS JOHN C. STENNIS (CVN 74) in 1999.
The new millennium saw VAQ-138 deploy
twice more aboard CVN 74 in 2000 and 2001/2002 in support of Operations
SOUTHERN WATCH and ENDURING FREEDOM.
Following their 2002 deployment the Yellow Jackets joined the USS
CARL VINSON (CVN 70) for two deployments in support of Operation IRAQI
FREEDOM in 2003 and 2005, the latter of which was a World Cruise to
transition the ship from Naval Station Bremerton to Naval Station Norfolk.
In 2006 the Yellow Jackets began operating again with the USS JOHN C.
STENNIS (CVN 74), and deployed in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM
and IRAQI FREEDOM in 2007 before embarking on a WESTPAC cruise in 2009
which was Team Rampage's final deployment flying the EA-6B Prowler.
From late 2009 through
2010, VAQ-138 returned to VAQ-129 to facilitate the transition from a sea
going EA-6B squadron to an expeditionary EA-18G squadron. After earning
their mission ready qualifications in 2011, the Yellow Jackets made their
first deployment as an expeditionary squadron to Al-Asad
Air Base, Iraq and Al-Jaber, Kuwait in support of
Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and NEW DAWN. In 2013 the Yellow Jackets again
deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.
With over 37 years of service, Team
Rampage continues to operate at the leading edge of Airborne Electronic
Attack, ever adapting to the dynamic nature of electronic warfare as they
remain true to their squadron motto - "NIHIL
MINOR QUAM OPTIME" - NOTHING LESS THAN THE BEST.