MCARA Units > VMAQ-1 (1992)
MARINE TACTICAL ELECTRONIC WARFARE SQUADRON 1, (VMAQ-1) History
Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 1 (VMAQ-1) traces its lineage back to Marine Composite Squadron One (VMC-1) which was activated on 15 September 1952 at Pohang (K-3), Korea, under teh command of LtCol Lawrence F. Fox. During the Korean War the squadron flew AD-2Q and AD-4N Skyraider electronic warfare aircraft. Following the, VMC-1 was redeployed to MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii where it transitioned to the AD-5N Skyraider. In 1958 it moved to MCAS El Toro, California and was re-designated as Marine Composit Reconnaissance Squadron One (VMJ-1). VMCJ-1 deployed to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan in the Fall of 1959 with RF-8A Photo Crusaders and EF-10B Sky Knight electronic warfare aircraft. The squadron remained there until the start of the Vietnam War in 1965 as the parmanent forward deployed VMCJ squadron. It was manned by a cadre of personnel that rooted from VMCJ-3 in CONUS each Fall.
In 1964 a detachment of RF-8A Photo Crusaders was deployed to Southeast Asia aboard Task Force 77 aircraft carriers to augment VFP-63, the forward deployed Navy reconnaissance squadron. In April 1965, the command element of VMCJ-1 deployed to Danang AB in the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) with the EF-10Bs and were later joined by the RF-8As. On 29 April the squadron flew the first electronic attack mission against the formidable North Vietnam air defense radar network in support of USAF F-105 attack aircraft strikes. From that point on until June, 1970 the squadron would provide electronic warfare support for both the USAF and Navy air operations over North Vietnam, and photo reconnaissance in support of Marine Corps ground units in South Vietnam. The EA-6A Electric Intruder and RF-4B Photo Phantom aircraft were introduced in the fall of 1966. VMCJ-1 was deployed to NAS Cubi Point in April 1972 with its EA-6As supporting Operation Linebacker the final US air operation against North Vietnam by cycling through Danang AB. The squadron received numerous awards independently and as part of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, including the PUC and NUC.
In 1975, following the Vietnam conflict, the composite community was again reorganized and split into Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron Two (VMAQ-2) and Marine Photo-Reconnaissance Squadron Three (VMFP-3). VMAQ-2, Detachment A, flying the EA-6A, rotated to MCAS Iwakuni in September 1975 to relieve VMCJ-1 which was decommissioned. A rotation of VMAQ-2 detachmentsfollowed flying the EA-6As in support of the USS Midway Carrier Air Wing and 1st MAW until 1978.
VMAQ-2 began to transition to the more advanced EA-6B Prowler ICAP I aircraft in 1977 and VMAQ-2 Detachment X-ray deployed to the USS Midway to begin a three year rotation. In 1980 VMAQ-2 Detachment Zulu brought the EA-6Bs to MCAS Iwakuni under the Unit Deployment Plan with continued detachment rotations until June 1992.
Following Operation Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf, the criticality and shortage of electronic attack assets was finally recognized. The decision was made to reorganize VMAQ-2 detachments X-ray, Yankee, and Zulu into three separate tactical electronic warfare squadrons. While deployed to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, VMAQ-2 detachment X-ray was commissioned as Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 1 (VMAQ-1) on 1 July 1992 with the mission to conduct electronic warfare in support of Marine Air/Ground Task Forces and Join/Combined operations.
Since its activation in 1992, VMAQ-1 has maintaied the highest levels of combat efficiency. The squadron has provided tactical electronic warfare support to Marines, sister services, and allies on 15 separate deployments; 13 of which were in direct support of combat operations in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.
VMAQ-1 has received many unit awards and accolades to include nine Marine Corps Aviation Association Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron of the Year awards and eight Chief of Naval Operations Safty Awards. Additionally, the squadron received the 2011 Secretary of Defense Phoenix Award for the most outstanding maintenance within the Department of Defense.
Over the course of the years from VMC-1 to VMAQ-1, this unit has flown numerous different type, model and series of aircraft. However, whether flying the AD-5N Skyraider or the EA-6B ICAP III, the character and traditions of squadron today remain true to the standards set by its predecessors.
The squadron ended it long illustrious history in 2013 when it was redesignated Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Training Squadron 1 (VMAQT-1). This signified a transition from supporting deployed forces to training aircrew in the EA-6B in order to successfully fulfill the assigned annual aircrew training requirement. VMAQT-1 is now responsible to the rest of teh VMAQs to supply the required aircrew so that they can meet their mission.