Weapons system officer Capt. Alain Martinez recently joined Navy Electronic Attack Squadron 140 (VAQ-140) at NAS Whidbey Island, Wash., becoming the unit’s first USAF EA-6B Prowler electronic countermeasures officer. While airmen occasionally fly with shore-based Prowler units, Martinez is unique among even this select group. “It is definitely a challenge and a little daunting, but I see it as a great experience that few Air Force aviators ever get a chance to partake in,” said Martinez. He will serve aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower when VAQ-140 deploys as part of Carrier Air Wing Seven. Previously assigned to the 494th Fighter Squadron at RAF Lakenheath, Britain, flying the F-15E, Martinez completed WSO training at NAS Pensacola, Fla., in 2005. (Whidbey Island release)
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.