The EA-6B Prowler has been stricken from the Navy’s inventory for almost a year now, but the Marines still fly the plane with four squadrons remaining active. Yet the end is near for the Prowler in USMC service as well, and these shots commemorate the last time all four Marine Corps Prowler squadrons will fly together.
Soon, these four units will begin to shutter their doors at the end of the fiscal year, starting with Tactical Electronic Warfare Training Squadron 1 which trains pilots and electronic warfare officers. This will lead to the type’s retirement in full.
The USMC’s Prowlers will not be replaced. Unlike the US Navy, the USMC did not procure the EA-18G Growlers, instead the electronic warfare mission will be re-aligned under a concept called Marine Air-Ground Task Force Electronic Warfare, or MAGTF-EW. Under this new concept electronic warfare will be dispersed across ground-based and air-based assets, many of them modular and podded systems that can be flown on various platforms including unmanned aircraft. Eventually, the F-35 will be a key part of this concept.
This all sounds great, but make no mistake, the capability lost with the retirement of the Prowler will be sorely missed and their absence will make the USMC’s ability to fight conflicts independently much harder.
Contact the author at Tyler@jalopnik.com.
Photo credit USMC