NAS Whidbey planes returning from Libya operations

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WHIDBEY ISLAND NAVAL AIR STATION, Wash. (AP) -- The Navy says five Growler warplanes are returning Saturday to the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station after supporting coalition forces in Libya.

The Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 132 Scorpions originally deployed in November to Iraq. After March the planes took part enforcing the no-fly zone in Libya against the forces of Moammar Gadhafi.

The Navy says VAQ-132 was the first EA6B Prowler squadron to transition to the Boeing-built Growler planes, a Super Hornet variant. It was the first Growler squadron to deploy and the first to conduct an entire eight-month expedition from land. Most such squadrons operate from aircraft carriers.

The Scorpions crews flew 700 combat missions in the new aircraft.

Squadron support personnel returned to Whidbey Island July 1 on a chartered jet from Aviano Air Base, Italy.