(NAS WHIDBEY ISLAND)– The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) now has a presence aboard Naval Air Station Whidbey Island as FLTLT Sean Rutledge became the first RAAF pilot instructor to fly the new EA-18G Growler. Over the next three years, six crews from the RAAF will learn to fly this electronic attack platform at the U.S. Navy’s Fleet Replacement Squadron for 13 U.S. fleet and expeditionary Growler squadrons, Electronic Attack Squadron 129 (VAQ-129). As part of the U.S. Governments Foreign Military Sales program, the Australian government is purchasing 12 of the Boeing made Growlers. Australia is the first foreign customer of Growler, and will start taking delivery of this platform in 2017.
Royal Australian Air Force starts Growler training at NAS Whidbey Island