Moon Dogs arrive aboard Iwakuni air station
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 3, the “Moon Dogs,” arrived aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, in support of the unit deployment program, Aug. 7, 2015.
The squadron’s mission is to conduct airborne electronic warfare in support of Marine Corps operations. This includes colleting tactical electronic intelligence and suppressing enemy radar and surface to air missiles using electronic jamming and High-Speed Anti-Radiation missiles.
“In the Pacific (our main mission) is to be trained, ready and equipped to support the U.S. Pacific Command and attain qualifications for our aircraft,” said Sgt. Maj. Richard A. Anderson, VMAQ-3 sergeant major. “Through keeping up with good maintenance and making sure our Marines are on the ball when our time comes to fly, we will accomplish our mission here.”
With approximately 200 Marines and approximately five EA-6B Prowlers, VMAQ-3 is replacing VMAQ-2, the “Death Jester”, who recently completed their deployment aboard MCAS Iwakuni. Both squadrons are originally from MCAS Cherry Point, N.C.
“The Pacific is a major focus of the U.S.,” said Lt. Col. David Manka, commanding officer of VMAQ-3. "Our presence here is a small contribution to maintaining a substantial and long lasting peace in the Pacific."
VMAQ-3 will train locally and abroad to achieve qualifications for the Marines and aircraft while supporting the day to day operations of Marine Aircraft Group 12 aboard the air station.
“This exercise will help junior Marines that lack deployment history gain the necessary experience needed to be trained and ready to fight,” said Staff Sgt. Alex Michael Warrens, the power line staff noncommissioned officer in charge with VMAQ-3.
Since VMAQ-3’s last visit to MCAS Iwakuni in January of 2003, U.S. Central Command remained the primary focus of the squadron. Now, the squadrons’ goals on the air station are to conclude this training- deployment - ready and equipped with the experience to support the Marine Corps’ mission in the Pacific.