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Electronic Attack Squadron 131
131 shoulder patch.jpg
VAQ-131 insignia
CountryUnited States of America
BranchUnited States Navy Seal United States Navy
RoleSEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses)
Part ofCarrier Air Wing 8
Garrison/HQNaval Air Station Whidbey Island
Nickname(s)Fourunners (VAH-4)
Lancers (VAQ 131)
Commander Thomas Lovett, USN

Electronic Attack Squadron 131 (VAQ-131), also known as the "Lancers," is a United States Navy tactical jet aircraft squadron specializing in kinetic and non-kinetic Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD). They are based at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, flying the EA-18G Growler and are part of Carrier Air Wing 8, deploying aboard USS George H.W. Bush.[1] Their radio callsign is "Skybolt."


VAH-4 KA-3B in 1967


VAQ-131 was originally established as Patrol Squadron 931 (VP-931). From 1946 through 1955, VP-931 flew the P2V Neptune.


In 1956, the squadron transitioned to the A-3 Skywarrior and was redesignated as Heavy Attack Squadron 4 (VAH-4).

During the Vietnam War detachments from VAH-4 were deployed on the following aircraft carriers operating on Yankee and Dixie Stations:[2]

  • 1 August 1963 – 10 March 1964, Detachment G A-3Bs were embarked on USS Oriskany for a Western Pacific deployment
  • 28 January-21 November 1964, Detachment E A-3Bs were embarked on USS Bon Homme Richard
  • 21 October 1964 – 29 May 1965, Detachment L A-3Bs were embarked on USS Hancock
  • 10 May-13 December 1965, Detachment 62 A-3Bs were embarked on USS Independence
  • 28 September 1965 – 13 May 1966, Detachment B A-3Bs were embarked on USS Ticonderoga
  • 19 October 1965 – 13 June 1966, Detachment C A-3Bs were embarked on USS Kitty Hawk
  • 26 October 1965 – 21 June 1966, Detachment M A-3Bs were embarked on USS Enterprise
  • 29 May-16 November 1966, Detachment G A-3Bs were embarked on USS Oriskany
  • 15 October 1966 – 29 May 1967, Detachment E A-3Bs were embarked on USS Ticonderoga
  • 5 November 1966 – 19 June 1967, Detachment C KA-3Bs were embarked on USS Kitty Hawk
  • 5 January-22 July 1967, Detachment B A-3Bs were embarked on USS Hancock
  • 26 January-25 August 1967, Detachment 31 A-3Bs were embarked on USS Bon Homme Richard
  • 16 June 1967 – 31 January 1968, Detachment G/34 KA-3Bs were embarked on USS Oriskany
  • 18 November 1967 – 28 June 1968, Detachment 63 KA-3Bs were embarked on USS Kitty Hawk
  • 28 December 1967 – 17 August 1968, Detachment 14 KA-3Bs were embarked on USS Ticonderoga

In addition to the carrier deployments, in 1966 a detachment of KA-3Bs was also sent to operate from NAS Cubi Point and Da Nang Air Base.[3]


VAQ-131 EA-6B prepares to launch from USS Ronald Reagan in 2013

In November 1968, VAH-4 received the EKA-3 version of the Skywarrior and was redesignated as Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 131 (VAQ-131). In 1971, they became the second squadron in the U.S. Navy to receive the Standard version of the EA-6B Prowler. The squadron transitioned to the Expanded Capability (EXCAP) version of the Prowler in 1976, to the Improved Capablility (ICAP) Prowler in 1978, and to the ICAP II Prowler in 1984.[4] In May 2014, they transitioned to the Boeing EA-18G Growler, which they currently operate. The EA-18G expanded the squadron's capabilities to enable more effective prosecution of radar and Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) sites in an Integrated Air Defense System (IADS), both through air-to-ground weapon employment and precision electronic attack, the latter being the Growler's niche capability. The EA-18G is also a capable air-to-air combat platform.

Home port assignments[edit]

The squadron was assigned to these home ports:

Aircraft Assignment[edit]


  1. ^ Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadrons
  2. ^ "Carrier, Carrier Based Squadrons and Non-Carrier Based Squadron Deployments to Vietnam" (PDF). Washington, D.C.: Naval Historical Center, Department of the Navy. 1995. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  3. ^ "A-3 Squadron History". A-3 Skywarrior Association. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  4. ^ VAQ-131 official website

External links[edit]

See also[edit]