report by: Harry Morrow
MCAS Cherry Point is a 13,164-acre military reservation north of the town of Havelock, in southeastern Craven County, North Carolina. Commissioned in 1942, MCAS Cherry Point currently provides support facilities and services for the Second Marine Aircraft Wing, houses facilities for training and supporting the Atlantic Fleet Marine Force aviation units, and is designated as a primary aviation supply point. MCAS Cherry Point’s mission is to provide the highest quality operating environment for all using activities; operate and maintain facilities and assigned aircraft.The largest command at Cherry Point is the 2d Marine Aircraft Wing. TheMarine Aircraft Group 14 is based at Cherry Point, as well as , Marine Wing Support Group 27 and Marine Air Control Group 28.
Marine Aircraft Group 14’s flying squadrons include three AV-8B Harrier squadrons, one EA-6B Prowler squadron and one KC-130 Hercules refueling squadron. The Marine Corps’ only Harrier training squadron and only Hercules training squadron are also located at the air station. Harriers are used primarily for close air support of ground troops and Cherry Point squadrons own both AV-8B II Harriers and AV-8B II Plus models.
Marine Attack Squadron 223, one of three AV-8B Harrier squadrons assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 14, provides offensive air support, armed reconnaissance and air defense for Marine expeditionary forces.Marine Attack Squadron 231, known as the “Ace of Spades” and the Marine Corps’ oldest air squadron (1919), is a fixed-wing attack squadron made up of AV-8B Harrier jets. In recent years its air operations have included providing battlefield air interdiction, deep and close air support, helicopter escort, rescue combat air patrols and reconnaissance mission Marine Attack Squadron 542, “The Tigers,” was commissioned in 1944 as a night fighter squadron flying F6F Hellcats. Today, the Tigers and their present-day Harrier attack jets have consistently been in the forefront of U.S. action in the Middle East and South Asia.
Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 2 (VMAQ-2) is a United States Marine Corps electronic warfare squadron consisting of EA-6B Prowler jets. The squadron is based at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina and falls under the command of Marine Aircraft Group 14 (MAG-14) and the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (2nd MAW). Support the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Commander by conducting airborne electronic warfare, day or night, under all weather conditions during Expeditionary, Joint, or Combined operations. VMAQ-2 boasts a proud history of service to the Marine Corps through its predecessor squadrons flying various electronic warfare aircraft, to include: the AD-5 Skyraider, the EF-10 Skyknight, and the EA-6A Intruder. The mission of the Prowler squadron is to suppress enemy radar and surface-to-air missiles, using electronic jamming equipment and High-speed Anti-radiation Missiles (HARM), as well as gathering electronic intelligence data.
the E-A6B was highly productive in a fight over Syria, jamming militants and protecting U.S. pilots from enemy air defense systems.On May 11,or VMAQ-3, based out of Cherry Point, North Carolina, held its deactivation ceremony, leaving VMAQ-2 as the last EA-6B Prowler squadron in the Corps. VMAQ-3 will complete its deactivation May 31, according to Capt. Sarah Burns, a Marine spokeswoman.The last remainingin the Corps will begin its deactivation in October 2018.“VMAQ-2′s deactivation in FY19 will mark the end of the EA-6B’s service in the Marine Corps, as well as its continuous employment as a joint tactical Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) asset,” Burns told Marine Corps Times.
Marine Attack Training Squadron 203’s main mission is to instruct AV-8B Harrier II pilots, aircrews and maintenance personnel; the squadron has deployed several times in recent years for instructor and student training. Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 provides assault transport for personnel, equipment and supplies, battlefield illumination, aerial medevac, and refueling services to fixed and rotary-wing aircraft, 24/7, in all weathers. The Marine Corps’ oldest continually active squadron, it usually includes about 240 enlisted Marines, 50 officers and a dozen aircraft, though its strength fluctuates.
Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, the Marine Corps’ largest air base, put on another successful Air Show, featuring the world’s top aviation aerobatic team, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. And for the first time ever, the Cherry Point show featured two world-class jet aerobatic teams when the Canadian Snow Birds jet team joined the lineup! Globalairpower would like to thank Cpl Lemons, Cody J. Combat Mass Communicator Communication Strategy and Operations MCAS Cherry Point who permited us to make this report.