Whidbey 'Cougars' Home for Thanksgiving
November 28, 2008 · Updated 9:53 AM
Tyler, age 3, escorts his dad, Lt. Cmdr. Aaron “Lumps” Buckles, from his airplane after he flew in to Whidbey Island Naval Air Station Monday with the Electronic Attack Squdron 139 “Cougars.” The 186-member squadron left here in May for the San Diego based-carrier USS Ronald Reagan to operate in the Western Pacific and Middle East. The squadron provided disaster relief in the Republic of the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Fengshen before heading into the Northern Arabian Sea for Operation Enduring Freedom support in Afghanistan. VAQ-139 provided full spectrum electronic support to International Security Assistance Forces and U.S. ground forces engaged in direct combat as part of the global war on terrorism. They flew 77 combat missions, totaling 434 flight hours. During the overall course of deployment, the Cougars logged 515 sorties and 1,010 hours. Crew members arrived home for Thanksgiving on Tuesday.