Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 125 arrived at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni, February 2. The Tigertails of VAW-125 are relieving the Liberty Bells of VAW-115 as the early-warning squadron of the US Navy’s Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, supporting the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Carrier Strike Group.
“We are excited to join the Forward Deployed Naval Forces at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in the amazing city of Iwakuni,” said Cmdr. Daniel Prochazka, VAW-125’s commanding officer. “I would like to thank the city for its hospitality and for warmly welcoming us to this incredible place. This is my second time in the Forward Deployed Naval Forces. My fond memories make me personally very thrilled to be back.”
VAW-125’s arrival also brings enhanced capabilities to the region, as the squadron’s five E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft provide substantial upgrades over the E-2C Hawkeye platform. VAW-125 is the US Navy’s first operational fleet squadron to utilise the E2-D. “VAW-125 is the first and most experienced E-2D squadron in the US Navy,” Prochazka said. “This aircraft has the most advanced airborne radar in the world, and the people who fix and fly it are the best in the US Navy.” Among the improvements in the E-2D are an all-new electronics suite, enhanced turboprop engines, modernized communications, and upgrade potential for mid-air refuelling capabilities. The US Navy first took delivery of the E-2D in July of 2010 and began a phased replacement of the venerable E-2C aircraft, which has served the fleet since 1973.