Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 4 (VMAQ-4) was initially activated as a reserve squadron as part of the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing on 21 May 1981. During official ceremonies on 7 November 1981, the Squadron was commissioned and assigned to fly the EA-6A. Many members of the newly established VMAQ-4 had flown EA-6As in Vietnam with VMCJ-1, and when the time came to designate a tail code the Seahawks reprised the old “Romeo Mike” as a remembrance of VMCJ-1. The “RM” designation dates back to 15 September 1952, when VMC-1 received the identifier with its establishment at Pohang-dong in Korea.
In March 1991, VMAQ-4 mobilized to support Operation DESERT STORM and assumed control of six EA-6Bs. In June 1991, the Seahawks flew to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan to relieve VMAQ-2's Detachment Xray. The Seahawks participated in exercises at Kadena AFB, Curfcin Australia, and Misawa AFB. In November 1991, VMAQ-4 returned to NAS Whidbey Island for demobilization.
On 12 September 1992 LtCol S. K. Protezeller passed the squadron colors to LtCol D. P. Rann in a ceremony that marked the deactivation of VMAQ-4 as an element of the Marine Corps Reserve. On 2 October 1992, LtCol Rann assumed command of VMAQ-4 as the squadron was re-activated into the Regular Marine Corps and relocated to MCAS Cherry Point, NC.
From its activation, the Seahawks enjoyed several successful deployments, participating in many exercises and operations. These included BATTLE GRIFFIN in Bodo, Norway as well as inclusion in the regular Iwakuni deployment cycle where the squadron participated in a two and a half month deployment to Darwin, Australia for Exercise SOUTHERN FRONTIER '94.
On 19 November 1994, VMAQ-4 was given a rapid deployment order to take part in Operation DENY FLIGHT. Within 24 hours, Seahawk aircrew and equipment were on their way to NAS Sigonella, Italy, in support of NATO and UN operations in Bosnia. The Seahawks returned to Cherry Point in January 1995 and immediately began preparations for their May 1995 deployment to Iwakuni. During this time of increased operational tempo, VMAQ-4 received MCAA’s 1995 inaugural Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron of the Year for VMAQ-4’s commitment to excellence. The Seahawks due diligence was also recognized with the CNO Safety Award.
Upon return to MCAS Cherry Point in January 1996, the Seahawks participated in various exercises which were in preparation for its upcoming deployment to Aviano AB to relieve VMAQ-2. From August 1996 to February 1997, VMAQ-4 supported Operation DECISIVE ENDEAVOR and Operation DELIBERATE GUARD. They also conducted War at Sea exercises against 26th MEU and the USS Arleigh Burke.
VMAQ-4 would find itself spending more time in Northern Italy as they deployed on schedule once again from February 1998 to July 1998 back to Aviano Air Base, Italy, in support of Operation DELIBERATE GUARD. In March of 1999, VMAQ-4 received the order to redeploy to Aviano AB, Italy, for Operation ALLIED FORCE and NATO strikes on the Former Republic of Yugoslavia.
In 2000 the unit participated in Exercise MAPLE FLAG in Cold Lake AB, Canada, and later in Exercise FOAL EAGLE in Iwakuni, Japan. In 2002 the Seahawks participated in Operation CORONET WHITE.
In August of 2003, the squadron deployed to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH. Upon returning to Cherry Point, the Seahawks made preparations for fall detachments to Exerise RED FLAG at Nellis AFB and a DEFTAC exercise at MCAS Yuma. From January to April 2004, VMAQ-4 again deployed to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan and upon return sent a detachment to Cold Lake AB, Canada for Exercise MAPLE FLAG.
In January 2005, the squadron deployed to Al Asad, Iraq for a six- month combat tour. After a successful deployment, the squadron returned to Cherry Point in July and supported the fall WTI course in Yuma, AZ. In 2006, VMAQ-4 conducted a DEFTAC exercise in MCAS Yuma and later that year supported Exercise RED FLAG 06-02B.
In January 2007, VMAQ-4 deployed to MCAS Iwakuni from January to April where they conducted DEFTAC and HARM exercises at Kadena AFB in Okinawa and participated in Operation FOAL EAGLE. VMAQ-4 returned from deployment in April 2007.
On August 2007, VMAQ-4 conducted a TACDEMO exercise at MCAS Yuma in order to prove the effectiveness of the integration of the EA6B and the LITENING Targeting Pod. Later that fall, a VMAQ-4 detachment augmented WTI 1-08 in MCAS Yuma.
During December 2007, VMAQ-4 deployed to MCAS Yuma in support of Exercise DESERT TALON 01-08. Upon return to MCAS Cherry Point, the squadron spent the remainder of 2007 preparing for the upcoming deployment to Operation IRAQI FREEDOM in January 2008.
In January 2008, VMAQ-4 deployed to Al Asad Air Base for a six month deployment in support of OIF 06-08.