Navy ROTC alumnus returns in Growler aircraft


Sara Petersen/Iowa State Daily

Current Navy ROTC students stand with commanding officers in front of the EA-18G Growler aircraft

Sara Petersen

Commander Matthew Bogue has lived nothing short of a high-adventure life. From serving on six deployments to flying a warfare aircraft during a hailstorm, Bogue has seen it all.

After 20 years, he returned to Ames on Thursday to tell the current ISU Navy ROTC about his experiences, including flying the EA-18G Growler.

Bogue, along with Lt. Michael Pardillo, brought an EA-18G Growler to Des Moines to showcase it for Iowa State midshipmen. It was the first time the ROTC has been able to view a Growler in person, even for ISU Navy ROTC Cmdr. Daniel Buhr.

Bogue said, this warfare aircraft is “one of the most advanced aircraft in the Navy’s inventory.”

Bogue took some time at the beginning to talk to the students about his experiences – both good and bad – and what it takes to be in the military.

One of his main points was to always have an optimistic outlook on life. He told them that it would not only change their lives, but it would change the lives of the people around them. He also shared some personal stories of how optimism has impacted his own life as well as the lives of others.

Both Pardillo and Bogue love what they do, especially when it comes to the Growler.

“Our role in the fight is not only important, but necessary,” Pardillo said. “We provide the ability to deny, delay and degrade the enemy through the use of kinetic and non-kinetic means. It’s because of these abilities and the people invested in the Growler community that I love what I do and wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

Pardillo took some time to show the ROTC students around the Growler, explaining how it runs and what parts of the aircraft work to make it so unique and successful.

The EA-18G Growler took place of the former warfare aircraft EA-6B Prowler. The Growler has several features that are of much higher quality than the ones of the Prowler.

“The EA-18G [Growler] solves all of the issues confronted by the crew of the EA-6B [Prowler]. It has an exceptional sensor suite, the world’s best air-to-air radar, and high-performance afterburning engines (General Electric F414 series) capable of producing over 20,000 pounds of thrust each,” Bogue said.

Bogue added that the Growler will be undergoing even more changes to add to the success of it.

“Several upgrades to the aircraft software are in test and development right now and the improvements to the basic airframe that will come with the Super Hornet Block III upgrade are substantial. The ability to communicate and share targeting information over a new high-speed data network will make the Growler more lethal and survivable than ever,” Bogue said.

Because Bogue is an ISU alumnus, he is especially excited for the future of the ISU Navy ROTC midshipmen.

“The Cyclone Battalion set me on a path toward a successful career, and I look forward to seeing today’s midshipmen become tomorrow’s commanding officers,” Bogue said.