MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 2, also known as the “Death Jesters,” arrived aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, in support of the Unit Deployment Program, Jan. 27, 2015.
According to Maj. Nathaniel Baker, the operations officer with VMAQ-2, the squadron’s mission is to revisit the roots of electronic warfare in the Pacific and bring their capabilities to this theater.
“What the mission refers to is primarily more of the traditional air strike capabilities,” said Baker. “We came to the theater to train and be ready for any contingency operations that may occur.”
Baker added that VMAQ-2 trains to improve its capabilities, regardless of familiar or unfamiliar territory, and prepares for any situation, while supporting the needs of the Marine Air Ground Task Force.
“Marines with VMAQ-2 are adapting very well to Japan as they accomplish their mission,” said Gunnery Sgt. Jay Barker, the quality assurance chief with VMAQ-2. “The Marines are taking advantage of resources on and off base as we progress in our deployment.”
Barker added that as VMAQ-2 prepares for upcoming training exercises like, Exercise Max Thunder; he has confidence in the skills of his Marines and knows they will continue to keep their high standards while in country.
“Exercises like max thunder allow the squadron to participate in face-to-face planning, simulation training and providing them the opportunity to work through language barriers,” said Baker. “That’s why they are vital to the squadron.”
According to Baker, opportunities like the ones presented during training exercises are hard to obtain at their home station, MCAS Cherry Point, N.C., and they help prepare the squadron for future combat situations.
“I have the upmost confidence in the Marines of VMAQ-2,” said Baker. “We have a very busy schedule coming up and I know they will not disappoint.”
At the conclusion of their participation in the UDP, Marines of VMAQ-2 are scheduled to return home to MCAS Cherry Point, not only better trained but also as a culturally diverse squadron.