In order to replace their aging EA-6B Prowlers the USN acquired a specialized version of the F/A-
18F Super Hornet, the EA-18G Growler. The Growler is an advanced airborne electronic attack
aircraft capable of tactical jamming and electronic protection. The first EA-18G Growler flight took
place in August 2006 with the first USN production aircraft being delivered to VAQ129 in June
2008. After operational capability testing full production of the EA18G Growler began in late 2009.
In 2010 VAQ-132, 138 and 141 were re-equipped with the Growler.
In the spring of 2012 VAQ-141 Shadowhawks transferred from NAS Whidbey Island, Washington
to NAF Atsugi, Japan and assigned to the USS George Washington. In 2015 VAQ-141 crossed
decks to the USS Ronald Reagan and in 2017 spent three months deployed in the Indo-Asia
Pacific region. When the unit returned on November 28 VAQ-141 relocated to MCAS Iwakuni.
One of the VAQ-141 Growlers was 168893 c/n G-91 that originally had been assigned to
VAQ-129 Vikings as NJ-543.