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Whidbey Prowlers due home from Afghanistan

After six months aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, 180 members of Electronic Attack Squadron 140 “Patriots” return to Whidbey Island Naval Air Station next week after supporting American and coalition troops engaged in combat in Afghanistan.

Four VAQ-140 EA-6B Prowler jets and the maintenance and support personnel airlift arrive here Tuesday, according to Kim Martin, base public information officer.

The squadron left in February 2009, spending a two-day port call in Marseilles, France before sailing into the 5th Fleet area of operations via the Suez Canal.

The squadron’s electronic attack focused on disrupting the enemy’s ability to communicate and support coalition stabilization efforts through the broadcast of humanitarian message for the Afghanistan people. The Patriots flew 335 sorties encompassing 1,275 mishap-free flight hours from the deck of the Norfolk, Va., based USS Eisenhower.

While flying with Carrier Air Wing 7, the Patriots claimed “Top Hook” honors for the best landing grades of any squadron in the air wing. This unprecedented achievement is the first time in Carrier Air Wing 7 history that a Prowler squadron has achieved such recognition. The air wing includes F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet squadrons and an E-2 Hawkeye squadron.

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