Posted by John McHaleST. LOUIS, 18 July 2011.EA-18G Growlers flown by U.S. Navy electronic attack squadron VAQ-132 pilots safely completed the first combat deployment of the Boeing [NYSE: BA] Growlers. The deployment, an eight-month stint, included combat operations in the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) areas of responsibility.During the missions, VAQ-132's aircraft and personnel supported CENTCOM operations in Iraq before moving to AFRICOM to conduct operations supporting NATO efforts in Libya.The EA-18G is has full-spectrum airborne electronic attack (AEA) capability combined with targeting and self-defense technology transitioned from the Navy's F/A-18E/F Block II Super Hornet. A derivative of the two-seat F/A-18F Block II, the EA-18G's flexible design enables operation from the deck of an aircraft carrier or from land-based airfields. It is replacing the EA-6B Prowler, the Navy's current AEA platform, which has been in service since 1971. The EA-18G joined the Navy's aircraft fleet in 2008.Additional EA-18Gs are deployed with electronic attack squadron VAQ-141 aboard the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN77) aircraft carrier, which is the aircraft's first sea-based deployment. VAQ-141 is expected to conduct support missions as part of Carrier Air Wing Eight in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf regions.A third electronic attack squadron, VAQ-138, has deployed to a land-based location.