Marine Corps retiring aircraft utilized for over four decades

11-13-18 Prowlers last deployment 5 (Merrilee Moore, NewsChannel 12 photo).png
There were warm embraces, smiles and tears as those flying those Prowlers were finally home again. (Merrilee Moore, NewsChannel 12 photo)

A Marine squadron returned from its last deployment on Tuesday. As the group greeted their families, they said "goodbye" to a chapter in their lives.

The Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 2 returned from their last deployment on the EA-6B Prowlers. The Marine Corps is retiring the aircraft which the military has utilized for over 40 years.

Happy families reunited with their service members, after a nearly eight-month deployment, at Marine Corp Air Station Cherry Point. The EA-6B Prowlers were used in operations from Vietnam to the present in electronic attacks.

The service members who were a part of this squadron get to pick the next aircraft they work with in their day-to-day lives.

"This is the end for a lot of us. Once the end of this year comes and we send down the aircraft, it's the last time we'll fly so it's bittersweet. But we do have a lot of talented Marines that are going to go on and do other things, that are transitioning to work on the F-35. We've got a couple that are gonna go fly the F-35, fly Hornets and things like that; so Prowler guys will still be around," said Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 2 Commanding Officer Andrew Rundle.

The Prowlers will mostly be replaced by the F-35 B.

NewsChannel 12's Merrilee Moore was there to capture their final arrival. Click the video to see the emotional moment.