INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey-- --
U.S. Marines deployed to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, add a distinct piece to the puzzle of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE in supporting the fight against Da’esh.
Prowler maintenance Marines support the fight against ISIS by ensuring their aircraft are ready to go at a moment's notice.
U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Peter Frieslander, Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 4, electronic countermeasures officer, said detailed maintenance on aircraft and collaborative planning for support to U.S. and coalition forces is essential to a successful launch.
“Our men and women work hard ensuring aircraft are ready to go,” said Frieslander. “Watching them grow into their MOS’s (military occupational specialty) and impact the Prowler mission is a great success.”
The Prowlers here fly numerous flights per week, with Marines, many who are new to the military, working anywhere between 12 and 16 hour shifts.
“We are the last set of eyes on the aircraft before it takes off,” said Sgt. Eduardo Mendez, VMAQ-4 division NCO in charge and plane captain. “What we’re doing is important and the aircrew needs us, to make sure the mission is successful.”
The teamwork, coalition partnerships and missions the Marines support is the best overall accomplishment.
“With or without tasking and launches, maintenance is required,” said Mendez. “These aircraft use electronic warfare so inspections are vital and done daily.”
The Prowlers have the capability to degrade enemy communication links by disrupting signals.
“I make sure the job is done correctly and safely and I’m the final approval authority,” said Sgt. David Ramos VMAQ-4 collateral duty inspector. “My title has more meaning than ‘just a job’. Lives are at stake, so I do my part to make sure the aircrew come home safe.”
Communication denial and disruption is part of what Prowler aircrew’s priorities are.
“What we do may be seem intangible compared to other aviation professions,” said Frieslander. “But the EA-6B provides a critical layer of support.”
Electronic fires enhance the ability of coalition allies to accomplish their mission.
“We are added protection for our partners on the ground and in the air,” said Frieslander. “I can’t put a price on what we do, we’re here making a difference, working as a team.”