VAQ-131 returns from deployment

Family and friends of the Electronic Attack Squadron 131 welcomed home the “Lancers” Aug. 18 after a seven-month deployment.

“It was one of the sweetest moments I’ve seen,” said Clemente Armendariz, a sailor who attended the homecoming to capture photos of friends who were deployed.

“It was one of those moments that makes you want to tear up from joy.”

The 204-member squadron contributed to the liberation of Mosul, Iraq, and to significant advances in Ar Raqqa, Syria, against Islamic State control. The Lancers protected air assets from surface-to-air missile threats and restricted the enemy’s use of the electromagnetic spectrum in their support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

The VAQ-131 Lancers flew 270 combat sorties, totaling 1,890 hours in support of the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleets. This was the maiden combat deployment with the EA-18G “Growler” aboard the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier.

While deployed, the Lancers transited over 50,000 miles on the aircraft carrier with port visits to Souda Bay, Crete; Manama, Bahrain; Dubai, UAE; Haifa, Israel; and Portsmouth, England.

The squadron concluded its deployment by participating in the joint exercise Saxon Warrior in the United Kingdom.

“After a successful deployment and exercise, the squadron is looking forward to returning to their homes and families in Whidbey Island,” said to Lt. James Lykins, a spokesman for VAQ-131,

“It was a beautiful homecoming,” said Armendariz. “A sweet moment, and unique seeing families be reunited after being gone that long.”

Family and friends of the Electronic Attack Squadron 131 welcomed home the “Lancers” Aug. 18 after a seven-month deployment. “It was one of the sweetest moments I’ve seen,” said Clemente Armendariz, a sailor who attended the homecoming to capture photos of friends who were deployed. “It was one of those moments that makes you want […]

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