SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany --
In coordination with the German government, six U.S. Navy EA-18G Growlers traveled from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island, Washington to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, 28 March 2022, in order to bolster readiness, enhance NATO's collective defense posture and further increase air integration capabilities with Allied and Partner nations.
EA-18G Growlers, assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 134, specialize in flying electronic warfare missions using a suite of jamming sensors to confuse enemy radars, greatly aiding in the ability to conduct suppression of enemy air defense operations. The aircraft are equipped for a variety of missions to deter aggression and to defend Allies should deterrence fail.
In addition to the EA-18G deployment to Spangdahlem Air Base, 12 F-35A Lightning II fifth generation fighter aircraft from Hill Air Force Base’s 34th Fighter Squadron deployed to Spangdahlem in February and four KC-135 Stratotankers from Fairchild Air Force Base’s 92nd Air Refueling Wing arrived earlier in the month.
These deployments were conducted in full coordination with the host nation and NATO military authorities, and although temporary in nature, they are prudent measures to increase readiness and enhance NATOs collective defense during this period of uncertainty.
Spangdahlem AB traditionally hosts a single fighter mission with the 480th Fighter Squadron’s F-16 Fighting Falcon along with various transitory aircraft throughout the 726th Air Mobility Squadron. Due to the ongoing crisis in Eastern Europe, Spangdahlem AB has taken on a crucial role as the epicenter for generating and projecting NATO’s airpower throughout U.S. European Command’s theater of operations.