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The Marine Corps Aviation Reconnaissance Association, Inc. (MCARA), was formed in 1990 to serve the interests of active duty, retired and former Marines of all ranks & MOS who have served or are currently serving in Marine Corps aviation reconnaissance or electronic warfare units. New members are welcome! Join now!

President's Comments

Airborne reconnaissance has been an integral part of Marine aviation since 1911 and for the last 65 years, airborne electronic warfare (EW) has been part of that portfolio to detect, locate and interdict enemy air defense, communications and remotely controlled weapon systems. Since 1990, MCARA has been a non-profit, civilian proponent and advocate organization for Marine Corps aviation reconnaissance and EW doctrine, tactics, operators and systems, as well as a repository for information on past Marine Corps aviation EW/ reconnaissance operational accomplishments. As the latest Marine Corps EW aircraft, the EA- 6B, has sunset and the reconnaissance role of unmanned aircraft has been expanded to take on more airborne EW capabilities, MCARA was excited to support this MAGTF transition to a more robust spectrum maneuver warfare capability to counter the enemy's RF sensing, connecting and controlling capabilities. On 28-29 October 2015, MCARA partnered with the Association of Old Crows (AOC) to co-sponsor the Marine Corps Spectrum Maneuver Warfare Conference at MCAS Cherry Point. Immediately after this conference, MCARA sponsored a 2-day (30-31 October 2015) VMAQ/VMCJ Reunion and 40th Anniversary of VMAQ-2 at MCAS Cherry Point. We invited all MCARA members and non-members with past service or interest in Marine Corps aviation reconnaissance and EW units to join us at MCAS Cherry Point for both of these events. Click the above buttons to be directed to more information on these past events.

Semper Fi,

Kenny Watts
MCARA President

“John R. Dailey” Squadron
Marine Corps Aviation Association

For those who flew and supported the VMAQ / VMFP / VMCJ Electronic Warfare and Reconnaissance missions, understand the significance of these missions, and acknowledge the accomplishments attained by these communities; congratulations on your dedication and commitment to the Corps. Your efforts have a made a noteworthy difference in Marine Corps aviation and in the National Defense of this country over the last 60 years.

No matter how our military leadership spins their decision to disband the VMAQ community and stand down the Prowler, the unique airborne EW capabilities provided by the EA6B ICAP III and the high-end EW training delivered over the years will be sorely missed when VMAQ-2’s Colors are encased for the last time in early 2019.

As a collective group we can continue to play a vital role in the Marine Corps Electronic Warfare community that has been at the forefront of airborne EW for the last six decades. To this end, I’m requesting your assistance; my goal is to provide a forum for discussions of airborne EW issues, preserve the Marine Corps Aviation EW expertise and knowledge base, and provide a mechanism for our Marines to network their EW talents to organizations that recognize their abilities and sacrifices.

I am extremely proud of my association with the VMAQ community, as you should be. We are the last of the finest group of Electronic Warfare specialists the world has ever known. We represent 60 years of airborne Electronic Warfare and we are the legacy bearers for every man and woman who has worn the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor and called the VMAQ / VMCJ squadron’s home.

With the standing up of the MCAA’s “John R. Dailey” squadron, I cordially invite you to become a plank holder. Keep the “Can Do Easy Spirit” alive.

Join the MCAA at
If already a MCAA member, request national HQ to affiliate their membership with the John R. Dailey.

Charley Yankee / Electronic Warfare to my Soul,

Ricky B
“John R. Dailey” Squadron


Baker_and_Ricky Article / Photo of the 15E43 (ICAP III Backseat Trainer) March 30, 2018

In a ceremony held at the AV8B / EA6B trainer building aboard MCAS, Cherry Point the EA6B ICAP III backseat simulator (15E43) used to train the ICAP III Electronic Counter-Measures Officer’s (ECMO) over the last eight years was powered down for the last time. Rick Johnson, a retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel and Prowler simulator instructor for the last 21 years was given the honors of pushing the “Red” emergency shutdown button as Lieutenant Colonel Baker, executive officer of MAG14 and EA6B ICAP III pilot watches.
Another phase in the continuing decommissioning of the VMAQ community and sun downing of the EA6B ICAP III aircraft; scheduled to be completed with the encasement of Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron Two’s Colors in the Spring of 2019.

Update - Syria Airstrike

We are sure they had good reason to use the retired EA-6B instead of the EA-18G Growler on the mission targeting Syria's chemical weapons program.
Find out more by clicking on this link
How the U.S.-led airstrikes hit their targets in Syria

Upcoming Event


EA-6B Sunset News

The Registration web site for the SUNSET program events should be up and running soon after the New Year.

The general plan for events leading up to the Saturday Night Dinner is as follows:

7 March             * VMAQ-2 will open the doors at the squadron for
                      tours, viewing of memorabilia, Simulator runs, etc.
                    * MCARA final Dinner/members and invited guests
                    * Pig pickin on base

8 March             * Simulator flying competitions in the morning
                    * 1300 Decommissioning Ceremony on base
                    * Happy Hour at Miller's Landing around 1700

9 March             * Dinner at the Crystal Coast Civic Center with 
                      social gathering starting around 1700
                    * Possible gold game in the morning

MCARA: Thursday March 7 our final dinner will be held in the Havelock Town Center. Invited are all MCARA members and families and invited guests. The dinner is a catered event and there will Adult refreshments available. Time frame is 1800 social hour with call to dinner about 1900. At some point speeches and general frivolity will ensue. Closeout is an individual decision. It will be a Cash bar but the dinner is paid for.

The Holiday Inn Express has blocked rooms under MCARA 2019 for the 6-10 March period. Their # is 252-447-9000. The Holiday Inn is 100 yds from the Town Center. There is a Hampton Inn next door as well.


The events are all on base except for the Saturday night formal dinner. The dinner is now in Morehead due to the significant damage done by Hurricane Florence to facilities in New Bern.

The activities on Cherry Point include a barbeque, squadron tours, a Happy Hour at the Club, etc. There is a Committee putting that schedule together and we expect regular updates from John Gumbel(COL/USMC/RET) as the plan solidifies. I believe there will be activities on 7, 8 and 9 March on the base. The Dinner is 9 March.

MCARA members are invited to all of the Squadron events but as individuals and costs of attendance are unknown at this time.

We will continue to provide updates as we get them via the MCARA member distribution list.

Once the Registration Site is up , all of the pertinent information will be provided for each event and any that are not addressed above.

If anyone has specific questions or issues at any time, E mail Len Ingram at or call at 256-536-2694.


Judging by the fact that Huge Tom said he hadn’t heard from me since October, it would appear that my last email did not make out of Spectrum cable. It showed “sent” on my end. Hopefully this one will actually leave eastern NC. Please read my 10 Nov email (below) before this one.

We have settled on the Morehead City Hampton Inn as the event hotel. They have agreed that we can have wine and beer in our Ready Room but we can’t serve hard alcohol. That was a reasonable compromise to having to buy their alcohol. We will have mixers, however. The Morehead City Hampton Inn is on Bogue Sound and next door to Bistro by the Sea restaurant. It is a .7 mile, 14 min walk from the Crystal Coast Civic Center where the Sundown Happy Hour and Sundown Gala will be taking place. They have 118 rooms and will be giving us a courtesy block of 30 rooms at the per diem rate of $94/nt. I should have the code for reservations for that room block this week (so you can get the per diem rate) and will put it out by email. There is also another Hampton Inn at Pine Knoll Shores and a Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn Express in Havelock. Since the DoubleTree at Atlantic Beach is apparently full with Shriners that weekend, those three Hampton Inns and the Holiday Inn Express are the only hotels I would recommend east of New Bern and in the Morehead City area.

We still hope to have the reunion registration website up by the end of Nov. My active duty Q-2 reunion lead was stuck in Souda Bay for two weeks on his way home and made it to Lajes late last week. He may be in Cherry Point by now but I don’t know. Two of the six jets were home on Wednesday. We need to work face to face with the active guys to get the registration website done and make progress on everything else that needs to be accomplished. I’m looking forward to being able to sit down with them for the first time possibly this week.

S/F Gumby

Q-2 Sunset & Reunion update 11/10

Happy 243rd USMC Birthday. You have earned your Veterans Day. There were about 200 guys in my high school class of which 3 or 1.5% are veterans. I hope the rest of them enjoy their day off too. The Q-2 Main Body was back from overseas on 1 Nov. The planes had reached Souda Bay when I checked on Wednesday and they had some maintenance issues. The earliest they were expected here (Cherry Point) was today (11/10). I don’t have an update on that. I’m looking forward to them ge􀆫ng back so we can do some face to face planning for the reunion and share more of the workload. (I would like to be spending a week in Souda Bay now myself.)

I haven’t updated the status in a while because I’ve been waiting for the hotel situation to solidify and I’ve been traveling for work more this quarter. (I still have four more trips before the end of the year.) The hotel situation still hasn’t solidified. I wanted to take a straw poll on which hotel we want to use as our main hotel and was waiting for word on hotel status. It took the DoubleTree Atlantic Beach a friggin month to give me a simple answer about their availability that weekend. Just yesterday after weeks of asking they finally told me that they’re full with Shriners that weekend. They actually asked me if I could wait until Tuesday for an answer. I said no. Unbelievable. We got back our deposits from both the New Bern Convention Center and the New Bern DoubleTree.

That leaves us with the Hampton Inn Morehead City and the Hampton Inn Pine Knoll Shores. We have had rates and held a room block at the Hampton Inn Morehead City for about three weeks now. (The block is not open yet.) Just yesterday when I went to confirm our block the Morehead City Hampton Inn told me for the first time that they don’t allow outside alcohol in their meeting room and that any alcohol would have to be purchased from them. That is NOT what we have planned and not what we have previously discussed with them. When we were still in the New Bern DoubleTree we had a Ready Room just like they have at the MCAA Symposiums where we bring in our own alcohol. If we had to pay hotel prices it will be unaffordable for a sponsorship. You might be able to tell that I’m getting just a bit frustrated at this point. We already have a sponsorship for the Dan Seifert Ready Room. Not allowing outside alcohol is just a policy of that hotel and not a county or state requirement. I have asked that they change the policy for us and they said they’d get back with us. In the meantime I’ve called the Hampton Inn at Pine Knoll Shores. They have room and will get back with me on the alcohol issue. I am hoping by next weekend I can give you firm word on the primary hotel. We may have other work-arounds for the alcohol issue at the Hampton Inn as well. I’m not saying that we have to have alcohol at the Ready Room, but unlike me and Skull Daddy you guys have not gotten any prettier with age and I think alcohol could only help. And there are always plenty of beach rentals and airbnb that time of year, the Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn Express in Havelock, and the BOQ and BEQ. You will be able to find some place to stay.

The registration website has still not gone hot yet because of the churn caused by the hurricane and now Q-2 retrograding home. We hope to get it live by the end of the month. We still have a few budget and event pricing issues we’re trying to figure out. It’s hard to price stuff when you have no idea how many people will actually show up.

My roof repair estimator (yes, estimator – not the repair guys) is finally supposed to be coming to my house this Wednesday. (The storm was on 9/14.) But since this is Eastern NC, Wednesday could mean any day in the next month or so. (It’s like in Mexico, where mañana literally means “tomorrow morning” but in practice just means “not today” and could be weeks or months from now.) In the meantime my temp patch failed in a large storm we had the other night and soaked some new insulation I had already put in and re-stained the ceiling below it. Time to pull up the attic flooring, again, and put down some new insulation, again. This storm recovery stuff is starting to get old. They finally started picking up storm debris in my neighborhood last weekend.

Look down this chain for how to donate. I didn’t get any more individual donations after I mentioned in the update below how Q-2 was stuck with all their Bday Ball mementos. We have donations from 27 individuals on my email lists and 12 sponsorships from companies or organizations. I spoke with Martin-Baker a couple weeks ago. They said they’d sponsor but I haven’t heard back from them since I sent the information. Could be an address issue. I’ll check. P&W is still the largest sponsor BY FAR.

S/F Gumby

Introducing Our Website.

Below is information about each of our main website sections:

* Learn more about MCARA and Contact Us from our About page which also includes our BOD, Membership Directory (for members only), Website Acknowledgments and a Site Map.
* Join MCARA or renew your membership on the Join/Renew page.
* Find out more about our past and future meetings on our Reunions page.
* Read about our individual squadrons on our Units page.
* Our Aircraft page includes detailed information, photographs and videos of planes flown by MCARA members.
* Notables is devoted to individuals from our Recon/EW squadrons that have made noteworthy and unique contributions to our profession and the Marine Corps.
* Enjoy entertaining tales and details from memorable events experienced by our members on the Stories page.
* The Ready Room is your link to the MCARA Yahoo group where our members interact.
* Find similar websites from our Favored Links page.
* We pay tribute to members who have passed on the Honor Roll page.
* Our Final Inspection page honors all our fallen comrades.
* Use our Site Search to quickly and easily find exactly what you're looking for on our website.

Questions? Contact:

Secretary/Treasurer: Len Ingram
Home Phone: (256) 536-2694

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Page last updated: 07/16/2018