VAQ-138 Growler Detachment Arrives at Clark Air Base

Photo of VAQ-138 GrowlerClark Air Base, June 16, 2016 —At the direction of the U.S. Pacific Commander, and with the approval of the Government of the Philippines, the United States stood up an Air Contingent in April 2016 to promote interoperability and U.S.-Philippines security cooperation.

As part of this contingent, the U.S. Navy sent a detachment of EA-18G Growler airborne electronic attack aircraft to Clark Air Base on June 15, where it will train with Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) FA 50 aircraft pilots.

In addition to these bilateral training missions, Growler aircraft will support routine operational missions that enhance regional maritime domain awareness. The detachment is composed of four aircraft and approximately 120 personnel assigned to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines offered to host the U.S. Air Contingent at Clark Air Base for the duration of their mission for the purposes of training the AFP’s FA 50 pilots and its support units for TDO, specifically on Maritime Security Operations. Clark Air Base is the home of the FA 50 and its pilots in training. Placing the U.S. Air Contingent at this base gives the AFP an opportunity to train with U.S. servicemen on Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR).

The U.S. Air Contingent training with the AFP is part of the Mutual Defense Board Activities agreed upon by the Philippine and U.S. governments as part of Maritime Domain Awareness and the promotion of interoperability between both nations’ armed forces.