Wednesday, March 18, 2009

VAQ-136 Prowler Makes Last "Flight" at NAF Atsugi

Sailors assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron 136 tend the guide lines while "Crispy," the squadron's EA-6B Prowler model, is craned to a permanent display in Naval Air Facility Atsugi's Prowler Park. The 1962 prowler made its final trip from the Atsugi flight line to the park after it was completely gutted and restored by VAQ-136 Sailors. (U.S. Navy photo)

By Tim McGough, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan, Public Affairs

ATSUGI, Japan (NNS) -- Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 136's EA-6B Prowler made its final "flight" at Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi, Japan, March 13.

The aircraft was moved to a static display area in the facility's Prowler Park. To move the Prowler into place, Sailors from VAQ-136 and naval security police, environmental, air operations and public works departments pulled together to get it ready.

"It's a sad day but also a good day," said Cmdr. Mark Colombo, VAQ-136 commanding officer. "It's a sad day to see a good friend go but it's also a comforting day to know it's going to rest well in its last assigned duty station, NAF Atsugi."

Colombo gathered members from VAQ-136 and escorted the Prowler through the streets of Atsugi to Prowler Park.

A 200-ton crane was on deck for the Sailors, civilians and Japanese contractors assisting the Prowler. With safety a priority, everyone donned gear as if they were on the flight line or a carrier.

"We have to make sure everything is secured properly before we begin to raise her to her mounts," said Lt. Freddie Koonce, Atsugi's air field support officer and project manager for the Prowler move.

With slow and steady precision and Sailors tending the lines, the Prowler was lifted off the jacks and was "airborne."

The Prowler made a perfect "landing" at the final resting place for NAF Atsugi residents and guests to enjoy for years to come.