Aviation Survival Training Center
Aviation Survival Training Center (ASTC) Jacksonville is one of eight ASTCs around the country that are tasked to provide safe and effective survival training for aviators and aircrew. Training includes classroom lectures and simulator devices in a curriculum that emphasizes hands-on exposure to survival skills.
New aviators and aircrew undergo their initial survival training at NAS Pensacola, after which they are required to attend an ASTC refresher course every four years.
ASTC Jacksonville provides a modern facility and advanced training equipment. The focus of this training is to enhance the operational readiness of the joint warfighter, to include designated aviators and aircrew (joint and allied), student aviators and aircrew (joint and allied), contract pilots, selected passengers, project specialists, VIPs and USMC non-aircrew. Naval aviation survival training emphasizes mishap and accident prevention, enhancing and sustaining performance, and mishap survival.
ASTC Jacksonville is a detachment the Naval Survival Training Institute and the Navy Medicine Operational Training Center at NAS Pensacola, which serves as the training agent for aviation survival training and the subject matter experts on all military operational medicine.
For more information on survival training or class schedules, contact ASTC Jax at 904-542-2595.
Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit Jacksonville
The Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit (CNATTU) Jacksonville is a tenant command based at NAS Jacksonville. CNATTU Jacksonville provides advanced technical training to Navy and Marine Corps personnel for the P-3 Orion aircraft, H-60 Seahawk helicopter, aviation maintenance administration management, tactical mobile, aviation support equipment and undersea warfare aircrew training.
CNATTU Jacksonville consists of six maintenance training units and Training Support Det. Mayport, providing 142 courses of instruction, training for more than 5,000 students annually, representing 48 Navy enlisted classification codes.
Commander, Navy Region Southeast
Rear Adm. Mary Jackson is one of 11 Navy Region commanders worldwide, setting policy and providing the leadership and continuity necessary to sustain the highest quality, combat-ready force. Navy Region Southeast leads the combined efforts of 18 installations that support our operational fleet units in the southeastern United States and the Caribbean, including:
- Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida.
- Naval Station Mayport, Florida.
- Naval Air Station Key West, Florida.
- Naval Support Activity Mid-South, Millington, Tennessee.
- Naval Support Activity Orlando, Florida.
- Naval Support Activity Panama City, Florida.
- Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida.
- Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Florida.
- Naval Support Facility Beaufort Hospital, South Carolina.
- Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia.
- Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport, Mississippi.
- Naval Air Station Meridian, Mississippi.
- Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, Louisiana.
- Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas.
- Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas.
- Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas.
- Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
- Naval Ordnance Test Unit Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The commander serves as the Navy’s regional planning agent and regional environmental and public affairs coordinator, as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency liaison. She is also the casualty assistance calls officer for the southeastern United States and serves as the Response Task Force commander.
DLA Distribution Jacksonville
DLA Distribution Jacksonville, Florida, ensures that its major customer, the Fleet Readiness Center Southeast (FRCSE), has the right material at the right place, at the right time and at the right price to perform depot maintenance on aircraft engines, avionics, airframes and other electronic components. These parts are critical to the rework facilities and maintenance teams that travel worldwide to assist air squadrons and other units requiring aircraft maintenance, modification and repair work. The airplanes, engines and components repaired at the FRCSE are critical items for the warfighter in their combat arenas around the world.
DLA Distribution Jacksonville also supports a wide variety of customers from the Department of Defense and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to the U.S. Customs Service. DLA Distribution Jacksonville’s customer base includes NAS Jacksonville and NS Mayport, as well as operational and deployed Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Fleet Area Control Surveillance Facility Jacksonville
Upon establishment of Fleet Area Control Surveillance Facility (FACSFAC) Jacksonville (FACSFACJAX), the mission assumed was one that was initially assigned to Commander, Fleet Air Jacksonville (COMFAIRJAX) until June 30, 1973. On July 1, 1973, upon disestablishment of COMFAIRJAX, four members of COMFAIRJAX staff were transferred to NAS Jacksonville for administrative support and co-located with the Navy Ground Control Intercept Site (NGCI) to continue the mission as the Jacksonville Operating Area Coordination Center (JOACC). This was the first small step toward combining the individual functions associated with scheduling and control of the Jacksonville fleet operating areas.
Since 1973, the mission performed by JOACC steadily increased in scope and complexity. In July 1974, the chief of naval operations verified the operational requirement for the establishment of a FACSFAC at NAS Jacksonville, and the JOACC and NGCI site were scheduled for expansion into an interim FACSFAC. To fulfill this ever-increasing need for coordinating military and civilian use of the Jacksonville fleet areas, the chief of naval operations directed in August 1976 that FACSFACJAX be established as a separate command effective April 1, 1977.
FACSFACJAX is responsible to COMNAVAIRLANT for the scheduling and control of offshore fleet operating areas, military special use airspace, and land target and electronic warfare missions. FACSFACJAX is also the military coordinator with the Federal Aviation Agency and other applicable agencies for the liaison required by fleet users for operations in the FACSFACJAX area of responsibility.
NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center Jacksonville
Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Jacksonville, one of eight fleet logistics centers under NAVSUP Global Logistics Support (GLS), provides operational logistics, business and support services, and other functions as may be directed by GLS to the fleet, shore and industrial commands of the Navy, Coast Guard, Military Sealift command and other joint allied forces. Services include contracting, regional transportation, fuel, material management, household goods movement support, postal and consolidated mail, warehousing, global logistics and husbanding, hazardous material management and integrated logistics support.
NAVSUP FLC Jacksonville manages a workforce of more than 900 military, civilian and contractor personnel, delivering combat capability through premier regional logistics, at the right level and the right cost.
Through NAVSUP transformation initiatives, NAVSUP FLC Jacksonville has evolved from a local storefront operation with several remote regional sites to a unified and decentralized single-point provider of supply chain and logistics products and services for all naval activities throughout Navy Region Southeast, from Texas to Cuba.
The command’s expanded area of responsibility through a series of supply functional alignments includes 17 sites, 49 fleet units and two industrial activities in seven states throughout the southeastern United States and the Caribbean, in each case bringing efficiencies to the newly aligned organizations.
Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 58 (VR-58)
Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 58 (VR-58) was established at NAS Jacksonville in November 1977. The squadron is composed of active-duty and Selected Reserve personnel who provide seven-day, around-the-clock, worldwide logistics support for all Department of Defense forces.
The “Sunseekers” operate three Boeing C-40A Clipper aircraft. The C-40A operates at speeds in excess of 500 mph and altitudes up to 41,000 feet and is capable of carrying seven crewmembers, 121 passengers, 30,000 pounds of cargo, or various combined passenger and cargo loads.
Since its establishment, VR-58 has compiled more than 30 years and more than 130,000 Class-A mishap-free flight hours, provided more than 17 million cargo ton miles and more than 16 million passenger seat miles, and provided personnel and aircraft for 120 overseas detachments.
Squadron missions encompass worldwide fleet support throughout the United States, Caribbean, Central and South America, Asia, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Mediterranean and the western Pacific, including the Republic of China and the Indian Ocean.
VR-58 has directly supported operations for U.S. forces in Lebanon, Grenada, NATO, and operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, as well as many other missions. Awards include the CNO Safety Award, the Congressman Bill Chappell Award for operational excellence, the Meritorious Unit Commendation, the Navy Unit Commendation, the Fleet Logistics Support Wing Training Excellence Award and the James M. Holcombe Award for Maintenance Excellence. The squadron also earned the JOSAC Operational Unit of the Year Award for 2000-2001, the Regional Environmental Stewardship Award, the National Defense Transportation Association Military Unit Award for 1996-1997 and the Administrative Excellence Award. Additionally, the Sunseekers of VR-58 received the ultimate honor for the logistics community by winning the coveted Noel Davis Trophy for achieving the highest level of readiness.
VR-58 also coordinated and executed operations directly supporting operations Enduring Freedom, New Dawn, Enduring Freedom — Philippines, Tomodachi and countless multinational exercises. The Sunseekers concurrently trained VR-56, a sister Navy Unique Fleet Essential Airlift squadron, on C-40A operations and VP-30’s P-8A Fleet Integrations Team on the intricacies of operating and maintaining a commercial derivative.
In the event of mobilization and recall of military forces, VR-58 is completely prepared and would conduct the same mission it performs throughout the year. Through reserve squadrons such as VR-58, the U.S. military ensures quick reaction to any emergent world situation. VR-58 is a prime example of the “One Navy” concept, in which a reserve force squadron is fully integrated into fleet service.
Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 62 (VR-62)
The mission of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 62 (VR-62) is to provide rapid response, global air logistics and support to U.S. Maritime Forces worldwide and International Security Operations. VR-62 was commissioned at NAF Detroit in 1985. In 1994, VR-62 was ordered to change homeports to NAS South Weymouth, Massachusetts, though the squadron subsequently moved to NAS Brunswick, Maine, and then to their present location at NAS Jacksonville Sept. 1, 2009. It was during this time the VR-62 became known as the Nomads.
VR-62 crews and aircraft, which provide the Navy Unique Fleet Essential Airlift, respond on short notice to meet emerging needs of fleet operations. They have maintained a year-round presence around the with five C-130T aircraft. The Nomads remain an integral part of fleet support to the Navy and Marine Corps team, having been involved in the support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Tomodachi. To date, they have transported in excess of 40,000 passengers and more than 50 million pounds of cargo since receiving the C-130T aircraft.
Fleet Readiness Center Southeast
Fleet Readiness Center Southeast (FRCSE) is one of eight fleet readiness centers commissioned by the U.S. Navy and only one of three depots performing in-depth maintenance, repair, modifications and overhaul for assigned aircraft platforms, engines, weapons, systems, components and accessories. The command has oversight for three military detachments located at NAS Jacksonville, NS Mayport and NAS Key West, Florida. FRCSE shore-based Sailors serve in a variety of technical, administrative and leadership specialties. They provide intermediate-level maintenance and repair support for homeported and visiting squadrons. FRCSE is the largest tenant command on NAS Jacksonville and the largest industrial employer in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia. FRCSE has a personnel complement of 2,900 federal civilian employees and 900 Sailors, augmented by 550 contract workers. Artisans perform phased and planned maintenance and repairs, conversion, modernization, integrated maintenance and in-service repair on P-3C Orion, F/A-18 Hornet, T-6/T34/T-44 Trainer, H-60 and MQ-8B Fire Scout aircraft. Manufacturing fabricates a wide variety of the parts and components needed to support service life extension and high flight hour programs. Artisans utilize conventional and computer numerically controlled machining to fabricate, repair and refurbish aircraft and engine components and sheet metal parts. They are often called upon to fabricate scarce or one-of-a-kind parts and components to meet urgent fleet demands. In-house engineering and logistics personnel provide production and fleet support. The Crinkley Engine Facility, the Navy’s largest engine repair facility, leverages state-of-the-art technology to provide complete overhaul capabilities for most repairable engine components, assemblies and accessories. FRCSE repairs components at the intermediate and depot-level facilities in support of the structural mechanical, avionics and engine component programs. These components include miniature and sizable electronic and mechanical parts that make up aircraft, engine and weapon systems.
Fleet Replacement Squadron Patrol Squadron 30 (VP-30)
Patrol Squadron 30 (VP-30), the “Pro’s Nest,” is the Navy’s maritime patrol and reconnaissance fleet replacement squadron. VP-30’s mission is to provide P-3- and P-8-specific training to pilots, naval flight officers and enlisted aircrew prior to reporting to the fleet. More than 650 staff personnel train more than 800 officer and enlisted personnel annually, using 17 P-3 and five P-8 aircraft. Foreign military personnel from Thailand, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Japan and the Republic of Korea have all received specific aircrew and maintenance training on P-3 operations and systems at VP-30.
VP-30 was commissioned in June 1960 at NAS Jacksonville to train flight crews for P-5 Marlin and P-2 Neptune aircraft. In June 1963, VP-30 Detachment ALFA was formed at Patuxent River, Maryland, to begin training in the newly introduced P-3 Orion. Growth of VP-30 Detachment ALFA soon became significant enough that the squadron homeport was moved from NAS Jacksonville to NAS Patuxent in 1966. Flight operations continued at NAS Jacksonville until P-2 aircraft were phased out of service in December 1968. In 1970, VP-30 assumed the training of P-3 maintenance personnel with the Fleet Readiness Aviation Maintenance Program. From March to August 1975, VP-30 returned to its present homeport of NAS Jacksonville. In August 1991, the command was designated a major shore command as the maritime patrol community fleet replacement squadron.
VP-30 not only ensures the fleet receives safe and competent replacement naval aviators, naval flight officers and aircrew, but the Pro’s Nest also provides post-FRS training to the fleet as well. In 1998, VP-30 formed the P-3 Weapons Tactics Unit to provide fleetwide training on topics including advanced tactics, weapon system employment and, in an effort to improve survivability during overland missions, counterthreat training. As a result, full operational integration of this platform was achieved during operations in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq, where Aircraft Improvement Program-equipped P-3s fired missiles in combat for the first time since Vietnam. In 2002, VP-30 graduated the first VQ naval flight officers after assuming the duties as EP-3E Sensor System Improvement Program model manager. In 2003, the squadron instituted the Fleet Instructor Training Course, and the NATOPS department integrated the Naval Portable Flight Planning System into the P-3 fleet for training and evaluation.
With the consolidation of VP-30 and VP-31 into a single-site FRS in 1993, VP-30 is now the largest squadron in naval aviation. There are 12 active-duty VP fleet squadrons homeported in Jacksonville; Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii; and Whidbey Island, Washington; one special project squadron homeported in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii; and one fleet air reconnaissance squadron homeported in Whidbey Island, Washington. In addition, a Squadron Augment Unit was established at VP-30 to aid in the responsibilities of supporting the reserve component units as part of active reserve integration. All of these operational squadrons are supported by the dedicated men and women of the Pro’s Nest.
VP-30’s awards include six Navy Meritorious Unit commendations, including three for the training and introduction of P-3s for the Norwegian Navy, for P-3C Update II training of the Japanese and Royal Netherlands navies and for the consolidation of all P-3 training into a single-site FRS. VP-30 also received the United States Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation with Operational Distinguishing Device for participation in the 1985-1986 Winter Law Enforcement Operation; the 1971, 1983, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1998, 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2012 CNO Safety Award; and the 1995, 1999, 2000 and 2001 CINCLANTFLT Golden Anchor Award for retention. VP-30 was honored to receive the 2008 Golden Wrench Award as well as the 2010 DEFY Fulcrum Shield Award and 2010 Retention Excellence Award. In December 2013, VP-30 surpassed 49 years and more than 471,000 flight hours without a Class-A mishap. Additionally, the 2010 Naval Safety Center Aviation Maintenance Survey assessed VP-30 as having the best overall score of more than 300 units evaluated over the previous year. VP-30 has also been the recipient of two consecutive Cmdr. T.G. Ellyson awards for aviator production excellence presented to the Navy’s most effective fleet replacement squadron.
The future of VP-30 and the entire maritime patrol and reconnaissance community is the P-8A Poseidon, based on the reliable Boeing 737-800 series. The P-8A is the Navy’s newest, long-range antisubmarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft. Capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations, the P-8A will influence how the Navy’s maritime patrol and reconnaissance forces train, operate and deploy. VP-30 accepted the first operational aircraft in April 2012. On July 11, 2012, VP-16 became the first VP squadron to begin transition to the P-8A Poseidon. VP-16 achieved Safe for Flight status in January 2013, completed its interdeployment readiness cycle and became the first VP squadron to deploy with the new aircraft in December 2013. VP-5 achieved SFF and began its IDRC in August 2013, and VP-45 achieved SFF and began its IDRC in March 2014.
Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron 11 (HS-11)
Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron 11 (HS-11) was established June 27, 1957, at NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island. The primary mission of the Seabat was antisubmarine warfare (ASW) utilizing a dipping sonar. Later models of the Seabat were upgraded with Doppler radar and automatic stabilization and hover capabilities for all-weather operations. The HS-11 “Sub Seekers” were assigned to Carrier Antisubmarine Air Group 52 (CVSG-52) with the tail code AS and deployed aboard USS Wasp (CVS 18).
In 1962, the squadron transitioned to the Sikorsky twin engine SH-3A Sea King and would later upgrade to the SH-3D and SH-3H in 1969 and 1980, respectively. In December 1969, HS-11 became the first ASW helicopter squadron to deploy as part of a modern carrier air wing with CVW-17 aboard USS Forrestal (CVA 59). From 1970-1973, HS-11 was assigned to CVSG-56, deploying aboard USS Intrepid (CVS 11) with the tail code AU. On Oct. 17, 1973, HS-11 moved to its new homeport of NAS Jacksonville and was reassigned to Carrier Air Wing 1 (CVW-1), where it remains assigned to this day. In 1989, HS-11 changed its official call sign to “Dragonslayers.” HS-11 has made deployments aboard USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67), USS America (CV 66), USS George Washington (CVN 73), USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and USS Enterprise (CVN 65). HS-11 is currently attached to Strike Group 12.
In 1994, HS-11 transitioned to the Sikorsky SH-60F and HH-60H Seahawk, the current aircraft in use today by the Dragonslayers. The capabilities of this latest airframe allowed the squadron to greatly expand its mission areas. In addition to ASW and search and rescue, the Dragonslayers added such missions as vertical replenishment, naval special warfare support, and combat search and rescue to its capabilities. With the addition of the Hellfire missile system and GAU-16 .50-caliber machine gun in 1999, HS-11 became capable of effectively conducting anti-surface warfare.
The Dragonslayers history has many distinguished highlights. In November 1962, HS-11 sailed to the Caribbean aboard USS Wasp to enforce the Cuban quarantine. Later that decade, the squadron played a leading role in astronaut recovery operations during the Gemini missions, plucking from the sea such famed astronauts as White, McDivitt, Lovell and Aldrin. In 1976, the squadron was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation for saving countless lives after ship collisions at sea while attached to USS John F. Kennedy. Throughout the years, HS-11 has the answered the domestic call for help numerous times in support of hurricane relief efforts, including Hurricane Andrew in 1993. In 1999, squadron search and rescue swimmers rescued nine men whose ship was sunk during Hurricane Floyd in winds more than 50 knots and seas measuring 30 feet.
More recently, HS-11 was the first Navy squadron on station just hours after Hurricane Ike swept through Galveston, Texas, in September 2008. In January 2010, the squadron detached four aircraft aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and sailed to Haiti in support of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations following a massive earthquake. HS-11 solidified its place in history while embarked aboard USS Enterprise, serving with honor and distinction during the “Big E’s” last deployment.
HS-11 is slated to transition from NAS Jacksonville to Norfolk, Virginia, in 2016.
Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing, Atlantic DET Jax
Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing, Atlantic DET Jax carries on a long tradition of support to Atlantic Fleet helicopter squadrons. Originally established as Helicopter Antisubmarine Wing 1 (HSWING 1) on April 1, 1973, at NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island, the wing was relocated to NAS Jacksonville Dec. 15, 1973, and subsequently redesignated as Helicopter Antisubmarine Wing, U.S. Atlantic Fleet (HSWINGLANT). Its mission was to train and support carrier-based (CV/CVN) HS squadrons to conduct all-weather, multisensory antisubmarine warfare (ASW), comprehensive, overwater search and rescue (SAR), and logistics support missions for all types of Atlantic Fleet units.
HSWINGLANT was disestablished and assimilated into Helicopter Sea Combat Wing, U.S. Atlantic Fleet (HSCWINGLANT) in Norfolk, Virginia, April 1, 2005, as part of a major reorganization of the Navy’s helicopter community. HSCWINGLANT Det. Jax was maintained at NAS Jacksonville to continue the support and training of Atlantic Fleet HS squadrons in the traditional missions of CV/CVN-based ASW, overwater SAR and logistics support, as well as missions such as combat search and rescue, naval special warfare support and anti-surface warfare. As HS squadrons transitioned to HSC squadrons and were relocated to Norfolk, the HSM community began its expansion at NAS Jacksonville. Helicopter Sea Combat Wing, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Det. Jax was reassigned to Commander, Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing, Atlantic (CHSMWL) in April 2011. HSMWL DET Jax continues to provide support and training to both expeditionary and CVN-based HSM squadrons stationed at NAS Jax. All squadrons professionally fly and maintain the MH-60R helicopter in support of critical U.S. Navy missions around the world.
Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadrons
Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 70 (HSM-70)
Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 70 (HSM-70) was established Feb. 12, 2009, with the directed mission to conduct all-weather sea control operations in open-ocean and littoral environments as an integral part of a carrier air wing in support of a distributed force with a core aboard the CVN and MH-60R detachments aboard surface combatants. HSM-70 was assigned to Carrier Air Wing 8 and made her maiden deployment on USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). HSM-70 was established as the East Coast’s first MH-60R squadron, bringing new systems and capabilities to the fleet. The MH-60R is the most survivable, lethal and reliable helicopter in the U.S. Navy’s arsenal — projecting enhanced combat power to perform missions of antisubmarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, area surveillance and combat identification.
Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 72 (HSM-72)
Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 72 was commissioned at NAS Jacksonville on Jan. 15, 2013. HSM-72 deploys people and MH-60R helicopters to all corners of the globe in support of a carrier air wing. While previously known as Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron Light 42 at Naval Station Mayport, the command was the first East Coast Lamps MK-III squadron to fly the SH-60B helicopters. HSL-42 supported 10 operational detachments, which deployed with one or two aircraft providing a multimission air warfare capability. The squadron’s namesake, “Proud Warrior,” is derived from the heritage of the Native American Indian: principled ... disciplined ... confident.
Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 74 (HSM-74)
Helicopter Antisubmarine Light 44 (HSL-44) was established Aug. 21, 1986. During Operation Desert Shield and Storm, HSL-44 deployed five combat-ready detachments for maritime interdiction, surveillance and gunfire support missions. They also provided mine countermeasures support for the ships of the multinational forces.
HSL-44’s mission was to embark combat-ready SH-60B Seahawk helicopters, aircrew and maintainers as helicopter detachments in Atlantic Fleet warships. HSL-44 earned the Commander Naval Aviation Atlantic Battle Excellence award in 1989, 1995, 1996 and 1998, as well as the 1989 and 1996 Safety “S” awards.
Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 74 (HSM-74) was established June 9, 2011, at NAS Jacksonville, when the squadron was redesignated HSM-74 from their previous designation of HSL-44. The change reflected their transition from employing the SH-60B to the MH-60R, as well as from a detachment-based, expeditionary squadron to its realignment in support of a carrier air wing. As part of this transition, then-HSL-44 relocated to NAS Jacksonville from their previous home of Naval Station Mayport in November 2009.
Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast
Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast currently employs approximately 1,700 civilians, 140 military personnel and 45 contractors in 12 states from Charleston, South Carolina, to Kingsville, Texas, and south to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The volume of business for fiscal year 2016 was projected at $2 billion with an annual payroll of $160 million. The headquarters, in Jacksonville, Florida, supports activities in more than 18 field offices within their area of responsibility. NAVFAC Southeast plans, designs and manages construction for the Navy and other governmental agencies. NAVFAC Southeast professionals also acquire and dispose of real estate, provide environmental support, manage and maintain the facilities on all naval bases, and provide housing for military families. NAVFAC Southeast public works departments provide facilities support services to each naval installation in their area of responsibility. Every day presents new and different challenges for the professionals of the command. From planning a new full-service hospital to the construction of a state-of-the-art hangar facility, members of the command make significant contributions to the Navy.
Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Jacksonville
The NOSC, formerly known as Naval Air Reserve (NAVAIRES) Jacksonville, was established in April 1946 as the Naval Air Reserve Training Unit. NAVAIRES Jacksonville became the NOSC March 31, 2006.
Jacksonville Reserve units were called to duty during the Korean conflict, the Berlin crisis and the Cuban missile crisis. Many Jacksonville-based units served during the Vietnam War, flying voluntary missions to the western Pacific in support of the U.S. effort by airlifting humanitarian goods. More than 400 members of the Jacksonville Reserve team deployed during Desert Storm, which was the largest and fastest mobilization since World War II. After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Navy Reserve greatly increased the number of individual and unit mobilizations and drew from its full-time support (FTS) staff to perform individual augmentations all over the world. Since 2005, NOSC Jacksonville has successfully mobilized 995 selected reservists and multiple large reserve units in support of the global war on terrorism, operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, and a host of other Navy requirements.
Today, NOSC Jacksonville is the largest NOSC in the southeast region and supports more than 2,100 selected reservists in 66 reserve units throughout the area. A staff of 38 FTS personnel and five civilians ensures reserve personnel are billeted, paid, trained, supported and medically prepared to mobilize and provide critical support wherever it is needed.
Navy Entomology Center of Excellence
In 1947, the Malariology and Pest Control Unit was relocated to Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, and commissioned the Malaria and Mosquito Control Unit No. 1 July 1, 1949. In 1952, the unit was renamed Preventive Medicine Unit No. 1 (PMU-1). PMU-1 became the Disease Vector Control Center (DVCC) in 1957 and was assigned an expanded mission and area of operation to include roughly half the world. In January 1978, DVCC officially became the Navy Entomology Center of Excellence (NECE).
NECE is the Navy and Marine Corps center of expertise for operational entomology. We develop and evaluate novel products and application technologies to better protect deployed forces from blood-feeding insects and other arthropods that transmit human diseases. We provide force health protection through operational disease vector surveillance, control and training to enhance Navy and Marine Corps mission readiness. We are an expertly prepared and led team of diverse, motivated Sailors and civilians who, guided by our core values, demonstrate enthusiasm and pride in everything we do, squarely focused on mission accomplishment and the success of our customers.
More information can be found at the NECE home page at www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcphc/nece.
For questions concerning mosquitoes, ticks or other pests, please contact the Navy Entomology Center of Excellence by emailing Fleetsupport-NECE@med.navy.mil.
Navy Munitions Command Det. Jacksonville
The Navy Munitions Command (NMC) CONUS East Division (CED) was established Dec. 1, 2005. The mission of the division is to provide East Coast ordnance management for fleet and shore stations; to exercise command and control responsibility over the NMC CED detachments and units and sustain stock points assigned; to provide quality and responsive ordnance material handling, technical, material support to the fleet and other customers in the areas of retail ammunition management; and to maintain and operate explosive ordnance out-loading and transshipment facilities.
NMC established a new detachment at NAS Jacksonville Oct. 1, 2008, when it transitioned from the NAS Jacksonville Weapons Department. NMC Det. Jacksonville functions as one of the Navy’s centers for ordnance management that aligns all fleet ordnance support operations ashore worldwide and provides quality and responsive logistics, technical and material ordnance support to the warfighters. NMC is responsible for providing ordnance management for fleet and shore stations, quality and responsive ordnance material handling, technical and material support to the fleet and customers in the areas of retail ammunition management, and for operating explosives ordnance out-loading and transshipment facilities.
NMC Det. Jacksonville is a shore activity in an active, fully operational status commanded by an officer in charge (OIC). The detachment reports to the commanding officer of NMC CED located in Yorktown, Virginia. The NMC OIC collaborates with the installation commanding officer for local ordnance operational issues.
Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 11
Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 11’s history and reputation remain unparalleled. Commissioned Aug. 15, 1942, at Norfolk, Virginia, Patrol Wing 11 relocated five days later to San Juan, Puerto Rico, to provide support for Allied shipping convoys in the Navy’s Caribbean Sea Frontier. As the Navy overcame Germany’s Atlantic/Caribbean U-boat campaign, Wing 11’s PBY-5Ns patrolled a million square miles of ocean, providing assistance and spotting to scores of stricken Allied ships and sinking 10 German submarines while damaging 18 others.
In 1950, during the post-World War II drawdown, Wing 11 shifted homeports to Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, and transitioned to the P2V Neptune. Throughout the decade, Wing 11’s squadrons continued to patrol vast areas in support of long-range reconnaissance and fleet exercises. Operational commitments grew as the Cold War intensified, and Maritime Patrol Aviation (MPA) continued to refine warfighting competencies in antisubmarine warfare, aerial mine warfare, search and rescue, and aerial photographic intelligence.
MPA excellence continued in the 1960s. Wing 11 supported the Project Mercury Space Program by operating aircraft on station during the recovery of the nation’s first astronauts. Later on when President John F. Kennedy ordered a naval blockade of Cuba, Wing 11 squadrons monitored Soviet ship movements and provided overhead surveillance. Beginning in the 1960s, the venerable P-3C Orion, a land-based, long-range antisubmarine warfare patrol aircraft, replaced the P2V Neptune fleet. In the years that followed, the squadrons recorded thousands of hours “on top” of Soviet submarines during Cold War operations from Greenland, Iceland, Bermuda, Ascension Island, the Canary and Azores islands, and bases throughout the Mediterranean.
Post-Cold War, the wing continued to meet the evolving needs of the Navy, proving the P-3C as a multimission platform over land and sea; supporting operations Desert Shield and Storm; establishing an airborne reconnaissance capability during the Balkan wars; and supporting counterdrug detection, monitoring and interdiction operations in the Southern Hemisphere.
In 1998, the Navy formally recognized the close link between VP and VQ missions, bringing Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron 2 into Wing 11 and amending the command name to Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 11.
The P-3C saw significant enhancements through its life at the wing. The Anti-surface Warfare Improvement Program delivered traditional maritime capabilities, real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and Standoff Land-Attack Missile (SLAM) capability to theater and fleet commanders. Wing 11 units proved their continued relevance and vitality during Operation Allied Force over Kosovo in 1999 and in subsequent stabilization efforts there.
The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, signaled a new focus for Wing 11 units. In addition to traditional missions, units supported homeland defense and the global war on terrorism in operations Vigilant Shield and Enduring Freedom, respectively. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, Wing 11’s VP-45 was the first East Coast squadron to establish a permanent detachment site in Iraq, flying combat missions in direct support of the troops on the ground. Additionally supporting Department of Defense initiatives, Wing 11 transferred administrative control of VQ-2 to Wing 10 in Whidbey Island, Washington, and subsequently acquired Jacksonville’s Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department and Aviation Supply Detachment.
Wing 11’s most recent combat role includes providing thousands of on-station hours in the skies over Libya in support of Operation Unified Protector. In 2011, a VP-5 crew fired AGM-65F Maverick missiles at a Libyan patrol craft, causing it to be beached. The patrol craft was suspected of attacking merchant vessels in the port city of Misrata. The P-3C continues to prove itself a vital asset in naval aviation.
After 50 years of faithful service and the 50th anniversary of Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force, the P-3C Orion is being phased out of the fleet. In 2012, the wing accepted its first fleet delivery of the P-8A Poseidon multimission aircraft. In addition, Wing 11 has recently added a new squadron to its arsenal: Unmanned Patrol Squadron 19 (VUP-19), which will fly the MQ-4C Triton unmanned aerial system (UAS). The P-8A and MQ-4C will serve as the future of maritime patrol and reconnaissance. Wing 11’s history proves it to be a necessary force in the naval aviation community as it will man, train and forward deploy squadrons well into the future.
Wing 11’s squadrons include VP-5, VP-8, VP-10, VP-16, VP-26, VP-45, VP-62 and VUP-19.
Patrol Squadron 5 (VP-5)
Through almost eight decades, the command now recognized as Patrol Squadron 5 (VP-5) has served the cause of freedom. From ocean to ocean, the Sailors and aviators who have comprised this squadron’s roll call have helped build a record of maritime patrol aviation (MPA) warfighting excellence and extraordinary professional achievement and service.
Commissioned in 1937 and initially designated as VP-17, the Navy’s second oldest VP squadron flew and maintained the PM-1. In part because the squadron operated predominantly out of Alaska and other Pacific Northwest sites, the first squadron patch depicted a seal balancing a bomb on its nose. In 1938, VP-17 transitioned to the new PBY-2 and continued to operate primarily in northern patrol zones. VP-17 changed designation to VP-42 in 1939 and two years later transitioned to the newer PBY-5. In 1942, the squadron again accepted a new aircraft, the amphibious-capable PBY-5A.
During World War II, the squadron directly contributed to some of the earliest Allied victories in the Pacific theater. In February 1943, the Navy redesignated VP-42 as Bombing Squadron 135 (VB-135) at Whidbey Island, Washington. Nicknamed the “Blind Fox” squadron, reflecting the squadron’s method of flying “blind” through heavy weather, the squadron altered the patch to depict a fox riding a flying gas tank. In this classic patch, the blindfolded fox carried a bomb underneath one arm and with the opposite hand held a cane to assist in navigating through the clouds. This steely airmanship underpinned the squadron’s service in the Kiska Blitz, wherein Blind Foxes joined sister squadrons in persistent bombing of Kiska Harbor in advance of an anticipated August 1943 amphibious assault of Kiska Island in the Aleutians. Undeterred by enemy fire and extreme weather, squadron aviators typically approached the target area shrouded in clouds, executed a diving descent to release ordnance below the cloud deck, then raced back above the layer to escape ground fire.
Following the war’s end, the squadron again received a new Lockheed aircraft, the PV-2 Harpoon. Peacetime brought significant force structure changes, and in 1945, the Navy Department moved the squadron to Edenton, North Carolina, and then to Quonset Point, Rhode Island. Redesignated as VP-135 and then Medium Patrol Squadron 5 (VP-ML-5), the Blind Foxes relocated again in January 1947 to Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, under operational control of Commander, Fleet Air Wing 11.
In 1948, the squadron took inventory of its first Lockheed P2V Neptune, an aircraft equipped with magnetic anomaly detection (MAD) equipment capable of detecting large, magnetic objects underwater. The technology to detect submerged submarines through nonacoustic means facilitated a major capability leap in antisubmarine warfare (ASW) and manifested itself not only in squadron operations but also in the evolution of the squadron name and patch. Designated as VP-5 in December 1948, the squadron became known as the “Mad Foxes” and changed the patch to depict a fox casually preparing to strike a submarine with a sledgehammer.
The Mad Foxes moved to Jacksonville, Florida, in December 1949, deploying regularly to Bermuda, Sicily, Spain, the Azores, Puerto Rico, Iceland, Newfoundland and the Philippines. Continuing a well-established record of long-range maritime warfighting and surveillance excellence, the Mad Foxes excelled in Cold War antisubmarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (ASUW) encounters with Soviet and Soviet-aligned forces. Additionally, the Mad Foxes continued to answer the nation’s call to service whenever it came. VP-5 aided the post-mission, seaborne recovery of one of America’s first astronauts, Cmdr. Alan Shepard Jr., May 5, 1961. Later in the year, VP-5 contributed to Capt. Virgil Grissom’s Project Mercury post-mission recovery. The cost of freedom became readily apparent to Mad Foxes everywhere when the squadron endured a tremendous setback the following year. On Jan. 12, 1962, squadron Executive Officer Cmdr. Norbert Kozak launched in LA-9 from Keflavik for an ice patrol mission along the Greenland coast. In an apparent controlled flight into terrain episode, the aircraft crashed into the upslope of the Kronborg Glacier near the Denmark Strait, killing all 12 men aboard. In 2004, the Navy accomplished a daunting recovery of remains and memorialized the crew at the crash site, fulfilling a dream of many active-duty and retired maritime patrol aviation (MPA) Sailors.
In October 1962, VP-5 became one of the first and most critical units supporting President John F. Kennedy’s ordered quarantine of Cuba. Staging patrols from Jacksonville, Roosevelt Roads and Guantanamo Bay, Mad Fox crews encountered, photographed and tracked the lead Soviet ship inbound to Cuba in advance of its contact with U.S. Navy surface forces. Once again, MPA’s long legs and stalwart crews validated their value to the nation.
In June 1966, VP-5 transitioned to the Lockheed P-3A Orion and in the following years consistently succeeded in prosecuting frontline Soviet submarines in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. Squadron crews also participated in Yankee Station patrols off Vietnam. Duties included anti-filtration and open-ocean surveillance flights and night radar coverage of the Gulf of Tonkin in defense of U.S. Navy aircraft carriers.
In early 1974, VP-5 transitioned to the P-3C Orion and began writing the next chapter in operational excellence with further Cold War triumphs over Soviet targets in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. Mad Fox crews continued to be first on scene for some of the period’s most notable maritime incidents. In February 1986, a VP-5 crew launched following the Challenger disaster and located the space shuttle nose cone to help direct recovery vessels to the site. During August of the same year, another VP-5 crew spotted a disabled Soviet Yankee class submarine. The Mad Foxes remained on top the stricken submarine for the final hours it remained afloat and provided critical information to the chain of command during an episode with clear national security implications.
In August 1995, VP-5 became the first squadron to cover the entire Atlantic Ocean operational MPA requirement alone. “Tri-sited” between Keflavik, Puerto Rico and Panama, VP-5 helped usher in an era of multiple detachments within a single deployment. In February 1997, the squadron repeated the deployment, maintaining high operational tempo in support of Keflavik-based ASW and NATO interoperability flights and Caribbean drug interdiction flights. Amassing more than 6,000 flight hours through the six-month deployment, VP-5 contributed to a U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) yearlong total interdiction effort valued at more than $1 billion.
In 1998, VP-5 became the first East Coast deployer with the P-3C Aircraft Improvement Program (AIP) modification. Originally designated as the ASUW Improvement Program modification, the new warfighting suite enabled MPA fliers to improve their already formidable contributions to national security objectives during the Balkan wars. The Mad Foxes excelled in missions over Bosnia-Herzegovina in support of Operation Deliberate Forge and over Kosovo in Operation Eagle Eye, bringing to the theater the first long-legs, all-weather, day or night, overland reconnaissance sensor-to-shooter platform.
Deployed to Sigonella in August 2001, VP-5 relocated multiple crews and aircraft to Souda Bay, Crete, following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. Following the commencement of Operation Enduring Freedom, the Mad Foxes provided the backbone of a sweeping theaterwide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operation encompassing 6,600 mishap-free flight hours. Additionally, the squadron supported continued efforts to maintain peace and stability in the Balkans with flawless performances in operations Deliberate Forge and Joint Guardian.
On the eve of the Iraq War, Mad Foxes once again packed their seabags for deployment and in the months that followed proved their resilience and flexibility. In a deployment unprecedented in its scope of detached operations, the Mad Foxes executed 5,800 flight hours while operating from as many as eight sites simultaneously. VP-5 succeeded across a host of missions, including Pacific and Caribbean counterdrug operations, sensitive SOUTHCOM overland reconnaissance operations, Atlantic and Mediterranean armed escort missions, and critical surface surveillance missions in the Red Sea during U.S. combat operations against Iraq. The Navy’s premier ASW and maritime surveillance crews also flexed to Operation Iraqi Freedom requirements, completing the first P-3C sortie over northern Iraq, braving known high-threat areas to provide critical real-time intelligence to U.S. forces engaged with theenemy.
During their 2006-2007 deployment, the Mad Foxes conducted operations simultaneously in three operational theaters in support of the global war on terrorism and the war on drugs. In SOUTHCOM, VP-5 aircrews executed nearly 150 missions in support of counterdrug operations, resulting in 30 metric tons of drugs seized. In U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), Mad Foxes flew more than 70 missions in support of operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. In U.S. European Command (EUCOM), VP-5 flew 36 missions in direct support of Operation Active Endeavor and reinitiated support of Kosovo Force (KFOR).
In 2009, VP-5 was called upon for a multisite deployment to include both SOUTHCOM and U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) sites. In SOUTHCOM, VP-5 provided combat-ready aircrews to execute missions in support of Joint Interagency Task Force South’s (JIATF-S) counternarcotics mission. This deployment also included redeployment to Natal, Brazil, to support the search and rescue effort for Air France Flight 447. VP-5 coordinated operations and search tactics with the Brazilian Search and Rescue Center and flew three flights searching more than 6,000 square miles of sea space. While in PACOM, VP-5 expertly directed the MPRA effort during several multinational events. The Mad Foxes orchestrated and executed a bilateral ASW prosecution utilizing U.S. and Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) assets, resulting in over 165 hours of contact time.
Afterward in 2011, VP-5 completed a very demanding and complex tri-site deployment. There were 12 crews deployed to El Salvador, Sigonella and Djibouti, in support of CTG 47.1, CTG 67.1 and CTG 67.5. In response to many world events, VP-5 participated in major operations to include Odyssey Dawn, Unified Protector, Caper Focus and Enduring Freedom. The squadron flew more than 3,956 flight hours. One of the major highlights during deployment was the historic AGM-65F Maverick engagement during Operation Odyssey Dawn. This was the first successful employment of a Maverick against a hostile target in the history of maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft.
In May 2012, Patrol Squadron 5 deployed to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, and the 7th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR). Bringing the first five C4ASW-modified Orions seen in the theater, the Mad Foxes immediately began providing timely and accurate intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), maritime domain awareness (MDA) and antisubmarine warfare (ASW) products to high-level authorities in PACOM, all while practicing the “hub and two spoke” method of detaching combat air crews to western Pacific nations to build and foster relationships with our partners in an ever-important and dynamic region. VP-5 would complete an eventual 30 detachments to countries including Australia, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Palau, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Furthermore, the summer of 2012 proved to be the busiest typhoon season in years and required the Mad Foxes to evacuate the island of Okinawa 11 times. While deployed, the squadron participated in a variety of major exercises and operations including Enduring Freedom — Philippines, Valiant Shield, Keen Sword and Kuru Kuru.
Shortly after returning from deployment, Patrol Squadron 5 began 2013 by transitioning to the new P-8A Poseidon aircraft after flying the P-3C Orion for more than 39 years. The transition was concluded Aug. 2, 2013, when VP-5 successfully completed their Safe for Flight inspection. Following Safe for Flight, the Mad Foxes independently launched the P-8A Poseidon for the first time Aug. 6, 2013. Upon the completion of the transition, VP-5 entered a robust interdeployment readiness cycle. For the first time, Mad Fox combat aircrews tactically employed the P-8A Poseidon during the USS George H.W. Bush Group Sail Exercise, the Submarine Command Course — 38, the USS Bataan ARG/MEU Exercise, the USS George H.W. Bush Composite Training Unit Exercise and the Joint Task Force Exercise. In January 2014, VP-5 conducted its first operational P-8A detachment while supporting Koa Kai 14-1 in Hawaii. In July 2014, the Mad Foxes again deployed to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, and the 7th Fleet AOR, this time as only the second squadron in Navy history to deploy with the new P-8A Poseidon.
The P-8A Poseidon has provided the squadron a new, more technologically advanced platform to successfully execute the missions that Patrol Squadron 5 has excelled at for more than 75 years. Currently, the Mad Foxes continue to move forward as one of the premier maritime patrol and reconnaissance aviation squadrons while embodying their motto “No Fox like a Mad Fox!”
Patrol Squadron 8 (VP-8)
The “Fighting Tigers” of VP-8 were commissioned in September 1942 as Patrol Squadron 201 in Norfolk, Virginia. During World War II, VP-201 flew the sea-based PBM Mariner, combating the German submarines that threatened Allied shipping throughout the Atlantic. In September 1948, the squadron received its current designation, VP-8. In October 1962, the Fighting Tigers became the first operational squadron in the fleet to fly the P-3A Orion.
Today, the squadron is composed of P-3C aircraft operated by 12 combat aircrews. Each combat aircrew consists of three pilots, a tactical coordinator, a navigator/communicator, two flight engineers, two acoustic operators, a nonacoustic operator and an in-flight technician. The combat aircrews are responsible for employing the aircraft mission systems to accomplish complex and dynamic tasking. Squadron manning includes a remarkably talented group of 65 officers and more than 300 enlisted personnel.
VP-8 maintenance, comprising more than 200 highly skilled maintenance professionals, has earned a reputation of “best in the fleet” through their record of generating superb levels of aircraft availability and material readiness.
A motivated corps of administrative specialists supports the squadron’s worldwide operations.
The P-3C Orion is recognized throughout the world for its capabilities as an anti-submarine warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) precision strike target and undersea warfare (USW) platform. The P-3C is unequalled in its ability to locate, track and, if required, attack hostile submarines beneath the waves. The Fighting Tigers and other maritime patrol squadrons have successfully demonstrated their pre-eminent USW capabilities in every ocean of the world.
The success of these operations is made possible by the array of sophisticated communications, navigation, detection and monitoring systems installed on P-3C aircraft. Nonacoustic detection systems include the APS-137 radar, the Advanced Imaging Multi-spectral System electro-optical sensor, the ALR-95 Electronic Support Measures system, the USQ-78B Acoustic Signal Processor and the magnetic anomaly detector system. Information from these tactical sensors can be transmitted via a satellite communications suite in near-real time.
One of the most dramatic improvements for the P-3C has been the Aircraft Improvement Program (AIP). Some of the upgrades include the APS-137 Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar/Synthetic Aperture Radar, a long-range image radar used to identify land and sea targets; the Advanced Imaging Multi-spectral System, a sophisticated long-range electro-optical and infrared sensor suite; and a robust communications suite. This communications suite allows the aircraft to transmit imagery and data to shore nodes in near-real time. AIP aircraft have conducted ISR missions in support of operations Deliberate Forge over Bosnia-Herzegovina; Joint Guardian, Allied Force and Noble Anvil over Kosovo and the Adriatic Sea; Enduring Freedom over Afghanistan; Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn over Iraq; and Odyssey Dawn over Libya.
In addition to its significant sensor capabilities, the P-3C is unsurpassed as an all-weather strike aircraft. The Orion is capable of carrying a payload of 20,000 pounds of ordnance — including the Harpoon missile; the Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response; the AGM-65F Maverick air-to-ground missile; MK-46, MK-50 and MK-54 torpedoes; rockets; mines; depth bombs; and conventional bombs such as CBU-99 Rockeye cluster bombs and MK-80 series bombs. The multimission P-3C offers naval and joint task force commanders a potent weapons platform for worldwide employment with rapid response time.
Whether in direct support of the strike group or shore commands, conducting long-range reconnaissance, strike warfare, or anti-surface or antisubmarine warfare, the P-3C is firmly in place as an extension of the eyes, ears and arm of the strike group or task force.
In December 2008, VP-8 departed on deployment from NAS Brunswick, Maine, for the final time as they commenced a homeport change to NAS Jacksonville, in conjunction with a deployment to Qatar, Djibouti and Japan. The Fighting Tigers completed more than 650 missions and 4,500 flight hours in support of operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom and coalition counterpiracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin. VP-8 was the first Department of Defense asset on scene during the Merchant Vessel Maersk Alabama hostage crisis and ultimately maintained round-the-clock coverage until Capt. Richard Phillips was rescued by USS Bainbridge and naval special warfare operators on Easter Sunday 2009. The squadron returned to its new homeport at NAS Jacksonville in June 2009.
During the following interdeployment readiness cycle, the Fighting Tigers worked tirelessly to address and resolve the many challenges as they prepared to deploy again to the Middle East and Far East in November 2010. During the cycle, the squadron detached crews to participate in several multinational joint exercises in Canada, Argentina, Hawaii and Italy. In response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti in January 2010, VP-8 flew multiple missions in direct support of ongoing relief operations. In November 2010, the squadron deployed its crews to three separate sites in both the 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility. During the deployment, they conducted more than 900 missions and 5,500 flight hours in support of operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn, along with the continuing coalition counterpiracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and the Somali Basin.
Returning from deployment to plan and execute a 12-month interdeployment readiness cycle, the squadron participated in several exercises in support of the USS Enterprise Strike Group — culminating in Composite Training Unit Exercise/Joint Task Force Exercise conducted in conjunction with Exercise Bold Alligator, the largest naval exercise in 12 years in Atlantic Fleet.
The squadron has received multiple Navywide awards during 2011 — the Capt. Arnold Jay Isbell Trophy for ASW Excellence, the AVCM Donald M. Neal Golden Wrench Award, as well as the Squadron Blue “M” Award for medical readiness.
The Fighting Tigers have achieved a reputation of operational excellence without sacrificing safety standards — the squadron has completed more than 200,000 mishap-free flying hours since 1978. The pride and professionalism of every squadron member serves as a reminder to all of VP-8’s dedication to excellence and service to our nation.
Patrol Squadron 10 (VP-10)
Patrol Squadron 10 (VP-10) is one of the original naval aviation squadrons and one of the oldest patrol squadrons in the U.S. Navy. VP-10 was originally a derivative of VS-15, which formed in 1921. The squadron traces its official heritage, however, to July 1, 1930, with the commissioning of Patrol Bombing Squadron 10S.
In January 1934, as VP-10F, the squadron established a world record for nonstop transpacific formation flying in a 24-hour transit from San Francisco to Hawaii. After four years in Hawaii, VP-10 was redesignated as VP-25 in 1939. VP-10 was again redesignated as VP-23 in 1941.
On Dec. 7, 1941, eight of 12 squadron aircraft were damaged or destroyed in the attack on Pearl Harbor. On June 4, 1942, a squadron PBY-5A Catalina aircraft flown by Lt. J.G. Howard Ady and Lt. William Chase was the first to locate and report the positions of four large aircraft carriers of the Japanese navy’s striking force on their way toward the Island of Midway. This action helped begin the greatest victory in American naval history — the Battle of Midway.
The squadron went on to serve with distinction at the Gilbert and Marshall islands, Guadalcanal, and the Solomon Islands during World War II. The squadron was disestablished following the war Jan. 25, 1946.
Patrol Squadron 10’s modern era began with its re-establishment at NAS Jacksonville in March 1951, flying the PB-4Y Privateer. In February 1952, VP-10 transitioned to the P-2V Neptune and moved to Brunswick, Maine.
Two years of transition began in 1965 when the P-3A Orion aircraft was delivered. One year later, the P-3B arrived and served the squadron until 1980 when transition to the P-3C Update II began. These aircraft provided significant advancements in the rapidly developing field of antisubmarine warfare.
Transition to the P-3C Update III occurred in 1996 and delivered improvements in both the aircraft’s antisubmarine and anti-surface capabilities. In 1998, VP-10 received the P-3C Update III Aircraft Improvement Program (AIP) aircraft. The AIP aircraft brought significant improvements in satellite communications, electronic surveillance and computer systems.
During the past four decades, the squadron has flown P-3 aircraft to numerous sites around the world. The squadron deployed to Sigonella, Sicily, in 1991 and 1994, operating in support of operations Desert Storm, Restore Hope, Provide Promise, Sharp Guard and Deny Flight.
From 1996 to 1998, VP-10 completed back-to-back multisite deployments to Puerto Rico, Iceland and Panama. During this period, the squadron was credited with interdicting the flow of more than $2 billion of illicit narcotics to the United States. This unprecedented success was topped in 2000 when the squadron interdicted 34 metric tons of narcotics worth more than $5 billion.
In February 1999, VP-10 began a six-month deployment to Sigonella, Italy. This deployment saw the “Red Lancers” become one of the first squadrons tasked with the operational employment of the AIP aircraft. VP-10 was also the first squadron to operationally employ the Stand-Off Land Attack Missile during Operation Allied Force.
From 1999 to 2005, the squadron participated in operations Deliberate Forge, Eagle Eye, Allied Force, Noble Anvil and Enduring Freedom while on numerous worldwide deployments.
In December 2005, Patrol Squadron 10 completed a challenging six-month, multisite, EUCOM, CENTCOM and SOUTHCOM deployment. They achieved unparalleled mission accomplishment in operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, Joint Guardian, Deliberate Forge, Caper Focus, Carib Shield, Hilgard, Gwot Pan Sahel, and numerous joint and NATO exercises.
In December 2007, the Red Lancers returned from their latest deployment to 7th Fleet. This proved to be the most widely distributed 7th Fleet MPRA/PACOM deployment in recent history as the Red Lancers expertly planned and executed 30 operational detachments to 11 countries throughout PACOM traversing the Pacific and Indian oceans. Flying 5,500 operational flight hours, VP-10 had a 96.5 mission completion rate, the highest ASW aircraft RFT rate on record. VP-10 successfully prosecuted six high-interest out-of-area submarines, while simultaneously flying overland combat missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The Red Lancers spent 2008 conducting the basic and intermediate phases of the work-up cycle, building and preparing 12 combat aircrews for the upcoming CENTCOM deployment. Throughout these work-ups, the Red Lancers simultaneously surged as CTG 67.1 in support of EUCOM and AFRICOM and as CTG 47.1 to El Salvador, conducting four months of counternarcotics work in support of SOUTHCOM/JIATF as part of operations Caper Focus and Carib Shield and achieving the largest drug seizure ever.
In June, the Red Lancers deployed from Brunswick for the last time as they headed downrange to assume CTG 57.2 for a CENTCOM deployment based out of Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, and Camp Lemonier, Djibouti. While deployed, the squadron flew missions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, maritime security operations and antipiracy missions to protect American’s maritime interests in the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. The squadron safely flew more than 731 sorties, amassing more than 4,000 flight hours and accomplishing a 100 percent mission completion rate. They conducted multiple joint military operations and exercises, established course rules for coalition flight safety in Djibouti, combated piracy and built diplomatic bridges to foster international relations. In December 2009, VP-10 returned from their combined 5th and 6th Fleet deployment and moved to their new home station at NAS Jacksonville.
In February 2010, the Red Lancers earned the 2009 Naval Air Forces Atlantic VP Battle “E” for their accomplishments in the previous fiscal year.
In late May 2011, the Red Lancers once again deployed for six months to the 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility in support of Operation New Dawn, Operation Enduring Freedom and other joint exercises. They flew an astounding 6,320 flight hours in more than 900 sorties with a 99 percent mission completion rate.
In November 2012, the Red Lancers deployed to the 4th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility, beginning their tri-site deployment to Misawa and Kadena in Japan and Comalapa in El Salvador. While deployed, the Red Lancers flew 250 sorties and amassed more than 2,900 flight hours. The squadron supported USPACFLT, JIATF-S, and Operation Martillo and participated in eight multinational exercises while operating out of six different countries. In March 2013, the Red Lancers surpassed the historic aviation benchmark of 40 years and 235,000 mishap-free flight hours. During the course of 102 sorties flown in support of JIATF-S, the Lancers interdicted 23,199 kilos of illicit narcotics worth an estimated $1.6 billion, leading to the arrest of 33 smugglers.
Shortly after returning home in June for its interdeployment readiness cycle, the squadron assumed the duties of ready squadron, hosting squadron and modline hosting squadron, the first time in MPRA history a single squadron has held all three duties simultaneously. During this timeframe, Lancer maintainers completed more than 30 engine changes, 10 intermediate maintenance concept inspections and 25 prop changes while supplying nearly 40,000 hours of labor in the handling of 37 aircraft, nearly a quarter of the P-3C fleet.
In addition, the Red Lancers were paired with the USS George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group for the remainder of its work-up cycle. All told, the Lancers participated in five major exercises culminating in the CSG’s Composite Unit Training Exercise and Joint Task Force Exercise, in which the squadron executed 15 of 16 events and compiled more than 90 hours of on-station time, contributing greatly to the battle group’s readiness in preparation for its upcoming U.S. 5th Fleet deployment. The squadron also detached in support of multiple multinational ASW exercises, most notably to Barranquilla, Colombia, where two combat aircrews flew two of three planned events in support of UNITAS 2013.
Since reactivating in 1951, Patrol Squadron 10 has won numerous awards and accolades. The squadron has been awarded three Joint Meritorious Unit commendations, eight Meritorious Unit commendations, three Navy Unit commendations, and four Navy Battle Efficiency “E” awards. VP-10 won nine Capt. Arnold Jay Isbell trophies for air ASW excellence, most recently in 2007, and is the first squadron to win consecutive awards (’83, ’84, ’85, and ’97 and ’98) since the trophy’s first presentation in 1958. Patrol Squadron 10 was awarded the Atlantic Fleet Golden Wrench award in 2002, 2005 and 2006. The squadron was recently awarded its 10th consecutive CFFC Retention Excellence Award. VP-10 has won nine CNO Aviation Safety awards, the most recent being 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997 and 2005.
Patrol Squadron 16 (VP-16)
VP-16 was commissioned at NAS Cecil Field, Jacksonville, Florida, in May 1946 as Naval Air Reserve Training Squadron VP-ML-56 and equipped with six PBY Catalina amphibians. Redesignated Patrol Squadron 741 in 1949, the squadron continued to operate in reserve status. With the outbreak of hostilities in Korea in 1951, the squadron’s Catalina aircraft were replaced with Lockheed P2V-2 Neptune patrol bombers.
In February 1953, the squadron was redesignated VP-16 and became part of the regular Navy. During their colorful history, the “War Eagles” have performed operations on both the East and West coasts and throughout the world. These activities included Operation Springboard, various UNITAS exercises around South America, counterdrug operations in the Caribbean, antisubmarine warfare (ASW) patrols in the North Atlantic, ASW and anti-surface warfare patrols in the Mediterranean, and overland operations in the Balkans. In 1961, VP-16 was part of the Project Mercury Space Capsule Recovery Force. A VP-16 Neptune was the first aircraft over Lt. Col. John H. Glenn’s “Friendship Seven” capsule after splashdown.
The War Eagles transitioned to the Lockheed P-3A Orion in 1964 and then integrated the P-3C Aircraft Improvement Program with advanced sensors and communications capabilities. The Orion was unequaled in its ability to locate, track and, if required, attack hostile submarines beneath the waves. The War Eagles, with their maritime patrol sister squadrons, have successfully demonstrated their pre-eminent capabilities in every ocean of the world. Similarly, the squadron has fully exploited the P-3C’s exceptional command and control capabilities for special operations missions involving exercises of Navy SEALs and other special forces.
In 2013, VP-16 became the first maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft operational squadron to transition to the P-8A Poseidon and the first squadron to deploy with the new aircraft in November 2013.
The P-8A is a militarized Boeing Next-Generation 737 derivative. It has a maximum speed of 490 knots, a ceiling of 41,000 feet and provides a range of more than 1,200 nautical miles with four hours on station. The Poseidon is capable of delivering a host of weapons that include MK-54 torpedoes and Harpoon missiles as well as pinpoint mine-laying capabilities of harbors and shipping lanes. The multipurpose Poseidon offers a joint, combined or naval operational commander a potent weapons platform for worldwide employment with a rapid response time.
Patrol Squadron 26 (VP-26)
VP-26 is a maritime patrol squadron with a worldwide theater of operations. Mission areas include antisubmarine warfare (ASW); anti-surface warfare (ASU); command and control warfare; command, control and communications; intelligence; mine warfare; and mobility.
VP-26 can trace its lineage back to Aug. 26, 1943, when Bombing Squadron VB-114 was established at NAS Norfolk. The PB4Y-1 Liberator, a four-engine, land-based patrol aircraft, was the first aircraft assigned to the squadron. By 1944, the war in Europe was in high gear and patrol planes were needed in the Mediterranean to flush out German U-boats. From June 1944 to February 1945, the squadron played an important part in the turning point of the war.
A detachment of six searchlight-equipped Liberators deployed to Dunkeswell, England, to protect the Allied fleet from U-boat attacks during the Normandy invasion.
In October 1945, VB-114’s designation changed to Patrol Bombing Squadron VPB-114. As the war in Europe ended in May 1945, the squadron set yet another first for the U.S. Navy by becoming one of the first units to fly hurricane reconnaissance missions.
The command soon moved to their new home at NAS Edenton, North Carolina, and transitioned to the PB4Y-2 Privateer. In May and November 1946, the squadron changed its designation to Patrol Squadron VP-114 and then Heavy Patrol Squadron VP-HL-6. January 1947 saw the squadron moving again, this time to NAS Atlantic City, New Jersey. As the 1940s drew to a close, the squadron saw its designation change to the present one of VP-26.
On April 8, 1950, a VP-26 PB4Y-2 was intercepted by four Soviet fighters over the Baltic Sea. The aircraft was shot down, becoming the first publicized shoot-down of the Cold War. That summer, VP-26 relocated to NAS Patuxent River, Maryland. The following year, the squadron began transitioning from its Privateers to the P2V Neptune. Along with the new aircraft came a new home. On Jan. 11, 1952, VP-26 moved to its new homeport of NAS Brunswick.
In 1956, while deployed to Thule, Greenland, VP-26 became the first patrol squadron to fly all 12 aircraft over the North Pole. In 1956, they became the first U.S. Navy combat aircraft to land at the newly established NAS Rota.
During the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, several squadron aircraft were deployed on short notice to NAS Key West, Florida. More than 1,000 hours were flown in direct support of the Cuban quarantine. October 1965 to January 1966 marked the beginning of a new era for VP-26. After 15 years of faithful service, the P2V Neptune was replaced by the P-3B Orion. On Jan. 4, 1966, VP-26 became the Navy’s first operational P-3B squadron. On Nov. 24, 1967, VP-26 deployed to Southeast Asia, operating from Sangley Point, Philippines, and U-Tapao, Thailand. The “Tridents” averaged 1,500 hours per month flying combat patrols seeking out seaborne infiltrators from North Vietnam trying to deliver supplies to the Viet Cong along the southern coastline.
VP-26’s outstanding performance in the early 1970s earned the squadron the Navy Unit Commendation, the Chief of Naval Operation’s Safety Award, a Meritorious Unit Commendation and a U.S. Atlantic Fleet Citation for Aviation Safety. VP-26 was named the Fleet Air Wing Atlantic recipient of the Chief of Naval Operations Safety Award for 1972. As a result of the squadron’s tactical efforts throughout 1973 and 1974, VP-26 was awarded the Capt. Arnold Jay Isbell Trophy for excellence in ASW.
The Tridents were awarded the Capt. Arnold Jay Isbell Trophy, a Meritorious Unit Commendation, both the Silver and Golden Anchor awards for retention excellence, and the CNO Aviation Safety Award for operations conducted throughout 1976 and 1977. In March 1979, VP-26 began transitioning from the P-3B to the state-of-the-art ASW aircraft, the P-3C Update II.
In March 1980, the squadron deployed to Kadena, Okinawa, Japan, while maintaining a detachment in Diego Garcia. This marked the first time since 1967 that an East Coast patrol squadron had deployed to Southeast Asia. Throughout the deployment, the Tridents operated out of the Philippines, the Middle East and the west coast of Africa. The squadron returned to Brunswick in September and received the Navy Expeditionary Medal for its activities in the Indian Ocean.
In May 1981, VP-26 became the first squadron to deploy the new Harpoon missile-capable P-3C to the Mediterranean theater. The Tridents returned home in October to receive the 1981 CNO Safety Award. On July 1, 1982, VP-26’s special projects detachment (“Old Buzzards”) broke away and became a squadron of its own. The newly formed squadron was established as Special Projects Patrol Squadron VPU-1 after being a VP-26 detachment since 1969. Also in July 1982, the Tridents deployed to Keflavik.
In November 1983, VP-26 deployed to Bermuda, with detachments to Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, and Lajes, the Azores, where they averaged more than 1,000 flight hours per month for three consecutive months. VP-26 again deployed to Kadena, Japan, in January 1985. During this time, VP-26 operated with units of the 7th Fleet in the western Pacific and Indian oceans. In June 1986, VP-26 deployed to Rota and Lajes Field.
In November 1987, the Tridents deployed to Keflavik. While on deployment, the crews achieved an impressive ASW mission record against a number of the most modern Soviet submarines. The deployment was rounded out by the reception of another Golden Wrench Award and a second Battle “E” for 1988. In June 1989, VP-26 deployed to Rota and Lajes for another record-setting deployment, accumulating more than 5,400 flight hours in six months. The squadron was then awarded its third Battle “E” Award.
As the world scene changed in the 1990s, VP-26 faced new challenges. With the disintegration of Yugoslavia, VP-26 saw three consecutive deployments to Sigonella. Detachments were sent to Saudi Arabia to monitor the United Nations embargo against Iraq. Over the Adriatic Sea, VP-26 enforced the embargo against the former Yugoslavia in the first continuous armed patrols in the Mediterranean since World War II, carrying live torpedoes and Maverick missiles.
On Nov. 7, 1990, VP-26 departed NAS Brunswick to conduct a unique tri-site deployment, distributing Trident aircraft in Key West, Roosevelt Roads and Lajes Field. While performing narcotics detection and monitoring operations out of Key West and Roosevelt Roads, Trident aircrews located two suspicious vessels that were seized and confirmed to have held a total of more than 1,300 kilos of cocaine with an estimated street value in excess of $30 million.
The squadron’s May 1992 split-site deployment to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and Sigonella earned the Tridents a Meritorious Unit Commendation for operations in the Adriatic Sea, the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. VP-26 forged history once again during this time as the first P-3 squadron to fly missions over the Adriatic Sea during Operation Maritime Monitor.
VP-26 was also awarded the Joint Meritorious Unit Commendation for meritorious service in support of Operation Desert Calm, United Nations’ sanctions against the former Republic of Yugoslavia, and operations with deployed marine amphibious readiness groups and carrier battle groups from September 1993 to February 1994. The Tridents flew more than 620 armed sorties, amassing 4,800 flight hours.
In January 1995, the Tridents returned to Sigonella for their third consecutive Mediterranean deployment. VP-26 flew more than 5,000 hours and 468 armed sorties in support of operations Sharp Guard and Deny Flight. From July 1995 to February 1996, the Tridents began an intense seven-month transition to the P-3C Update III aircraft.
In August 1996, VP-26 continued to set records during their tri-site deployment to Iceland, Puerto Rico and Panama. The Tridents achieved the highest drug interdiction rate ever with more than $1.9 billion in cocaine and marijuana busts. VP-26 was also the first U.S. military unit invited to participate in the Norwegian national exercise FLOTEX 96. The squadron was then awarded its fourth Battle “E” Award for 1996.
The Tridents returned home to Brunswick in January 1997 and then quickly began preparations for deployment to Sigonella in February 1998. VP-26 flew more than 180 flights in operations Joint Guard and Forge in support of the United Nations and Implementation peacekeeping forces on the ground in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Tridents logged the historic 500th flight in support of Operation Deliberate Guard.
During their next deployment, the Tridents were split between Keflavik and Naval Station Roosevelt Roads. Those deployed to Iceland supported NATO operations throughout the Atlantic. VP-26 also conducted many detachments to Manta, Ecuador, to carry the counternarcotics mission to the eastern Pacific.
The crowning achievement of the Trident’s millennium deployment was the attainment of 275,000 mishap-free flight hours during 38 years (2000). In preparation for its next Mediterranean deployment, VP-26 trained all 12 aircrews in the new P-3C Update III AIP aircraft. The squadron received its first AIP aircraft in September 2000.
February 2001 saw the Tridents returning to Sigonella in support of operations Deliberate Forge and Joint Guardian and several multinational exercises throughout Africa and Europe.
On Aug. 10, 2001, the Tridents arrived back in Brunswick in preparation for a highly charged interdeployment cycle. Following the events of Sept. 11, 2001, VP-26 moved to a heightened state of readiness. The squadron supported the war on terrorism by taking part in various Homeland Defense operations.
In August 2002, VP-26 began its six-month, split-site deployment at NAS Keflavik and NAS Roosevelt Roads. Efforts in the Caribbean and eastern Pacific led to Tridents’ interdiction of 12,641 kilograms of cocaine with a street value of more than $3.4 billion. The squadron executed more than 5,000 flight hours, including 83 ASW events, and was nominated for the 2002 Phoenix Award for Maintenance Excellence and the 2002 Battle Efficiency Award.
On April 7, 2003, two crews and maintenance support personnel departed for the Mediterranean. During the next several years, the Tridents supported missions for operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, Active Endeavor, Joint Guardian, Deliberate Force, Caper Focus and Carib Shield along with exercises Noble Manta, Brilliant Mariner, Shark Hunt, Arabian Shark, Foal Eagle, Anatolian Sun, Shamrock Key and Able Warrior.
In February 2007, VP-26 was again recognized with the Capt. Arnold J. Isbell Trophy for ASW excellence and the Gold Anchor for retention excellence, and in October 2008, the squadron received the Commander Naval Air Force Battle “E” for battle efficiency.
In November 2009, VP-26 deployed from NAS Brunswick for the last time before beginning its transition to NAS Jacksonville due to the Base Realignment and Closure Act of 2005, which resulted in the closure of NAS Brunswick. The Tridents were the last squadron of Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 5 to leave Brunswick for Jacksonville and their new home with Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 11. En route, they supported a tri-site deployment to El Salvador in support of counternarcotics operations, NAS Sigonella in support of NATO exercises and Operation Active Endeavor, and Djibouti in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and counterpiracy operations in the Horn of Africa.
The squadron is currently transitioning to the new P-8A Poseidon aircraft.
Patrol Squadron 45 (VP-45)
VP-45 was initially commissioned Patrol Squadron 205 (VP-205) Nov. 1, 1942, at NAS Norfolk, Virginia. The squadron was soon ordered to San Juan, Puerto Rico, where it received a full complement of 13 PBM Mariners for its mission of antisubmarine patrol and convoy escort over Atlantic and Caribbean waters.
During 1944, VP-205 moved to NAAF/NAF Port of Spain; Trinidad, British West Indies; NAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; then back to NAS Norfolk for refresher training at Navy Auxiliary Air Station Harvey Point, Hertford, North Carolina. The squadron was redesignated Patrol Bombing Squadron 205 (VPB-205) and joined the Pacific Fleet at NAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, at the end of 1944. In 1945, VPB-205 carried out missions of ASW, surveillance patrols, and search and rescue from Tanapag, Saipan; Chim Wan, Okinawa; and Wakayama, Japan.
The squadron returned to Norfolk in October 1945 for training and overhaul and moved to NAS Bermuda in April 1946. Its designation was changed to VP-MS-5 in 1946 and then to its present designation of VP-45 Sept. 1, 1948. VP-45 subsequently had changes of homeport back to NAS Norfolk and NAS Coco Solo, Panama, Canal Zone, in 1951 when it transitioned to P5M Marlin seaplanes and back to NAS Bermuda in 1956.
VP-45 took part in numerous Caribbean operations with seaplane tenders and was airborne on all Mercury space shots as part of the Bermuda Recovery Unit.
In 1962, VP-45 deployed to Guantanamo Bay for ASW and shipping surveillance during the Cuban missile crisis.
In September 1963, the VP-45 “Pelicans” established detachments at NAS Patuxent River and NAS Jacksonville to commence transition to the P-3A Orion aircraft.
On Jan. 1, 1964, the squadron changed homeport to NAS Jacksonville and became part of Fleet Air Wing 11. VP-45 was fully operational in the P-3A by May 1964 and detached five aircraft to NAS Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada, for deployment operations of ASW surveillance and ice reconnaissance until February 1965. After a brief period at home, the squadron deployed to NAS Adak, Alaska, in July 1965 but returned to NAS Jacksonville in January 1966. In July 1966, VP-45 returned to NAS Bermuda with a six-plane detachment, during which time it carried out ASW operations in the central Atlantic.
In December 1968, VP-45 departed for a six-month deployment in support of U.S. combat operations in Southeast Asia. Under the consecutive operational control of CPW-10 and CPW-8, the squadron carried out operations from bases at NS Sangley Point and U-Tapao.
Resuming normal operations at NAS Jacksonville in June 1969, the squadron deployed four months later to NS Rota, operating with a four-plane, six-crew detachment. The detachment augmented 6th Fleet ASW forces in the Mediterranean, participated in several exercises and conducted numerous patrol operations.
In October 1970, the squadron deployed to NAS Sigonella, conducting ASW and surface surveillance operations. The squadron flew numerous operations during the Jordanian crisis and logged more than 3,500 flight hours.
In April 1972, VP-45 began transitioning to the P-3C Orion. In October 1973, the Pelicans completed a five-month deployment to NAF Lajes and were the first P-3C squadron in the Mediterranean. VP-45 was later awarded the Capt. Arnold J. Isbell Trophy for excellence in antisubmarine warfare for the NAS Sigonella deployment. In July 1974, VP-45 deployed to NAS Keflavik and conducted flight operations in the North Atlantic.
The Pelicans deployed to NAS Sigonella in August 1975 and logged nearly 6,000 flight hours during the five-month deployment.
In July 1976, VP-45 participated in UNITAS XVII, an annual U.S. and South American naval exercise. In 1976, VP-45 deployed again to NAS Keflavik, conducting surface surveillance and ASW operations in the North Atlantic and Norwegian Sea.
In September 1984, VP-45 began a split deployment to NS Rota and Naval Air Facility Lajes. The Pelicans deployed to NAS Sigonella again in July 1987, flying more than 4,500 hours of high-tempo operations in direct support of the 6th Fleet. The Pelicans then returned home to Jacksonville, where they became the first active-duty patrol squadron to retrofit the P-3C baseline aircraft with the advanced Update III package.
In 1992, VP-45 embarked upon a split deployment between Keflavik and Jacksonville. During the deployment, the squadron surpassed 155,000 hours of mishap-free flying and achieved a phenomenal 99 percent sortie completion rate. Another multisite deployment followed in 1993, with the aircrews showing their versatility by participating in both operations Desert Storm and Sharp Guard. The Pelicans received the Golden Wrench Award for outstanding maintenance and the Capt. Arnold J. Isbell Trophy for ASW excellence.
The Pelicans deployed to NAS Sigonella in 1996 and again set new standards for maritime patrol aviation by participating in 18 exercises and detaching to five locations throughout Europe and the Middle East. The squadron demonstrated the multimission capability of the P-3C, flying both tactical reconnaissance missions overland in Bosnia and blockade support missions in Operation Sharp Guard.
Returning to NAS Sigonella in 1997, the Pelicans flew more than 5,000 hours with a 98 percent sortie completion rate, supporting 18 detachments from 10 different locations. The squadron continued to set high standards for on-station presence and performance, both overland in Operation Deliberate Guard and in a remarkable 28 exercises in support of the 6th Fleet. For outstanding performance throughout the year, the VP-45 Maintenance Department received the Golden Wrench Award for 1998.
Returning home to Jacksonville in August, the squadron began another rigorous interdeployment training cycle (IDTC), which included transitioning to the latest P-3 upgrade, the Aircraft Improvement Program (AIP) modification. With the transition complete in August 2000, VP-45 took AIP back on deployment to NAS Sigonella. VP-45’s deployment encompassed more than 84 armed missions in support of 6th Fleet contingency operations. The squadron was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation for its success while deployed. They also earned the 2000 Golden Wrench Award, the Capt. Arnold J. Isbell Trophy and the Southeast Region Navy Community Service Award for the second consecutive year.
After the terrorist attacks in September 2001, VP-45 flew long-range reconnaissance missions along the East Coast in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The Pelicans were awarded the Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy and the CNO Personal Excellence Partnership Award for 2001.
The squadron departed for a split-site Puerto Rico and Keflavik deployment in February 2002 and operated from multiple detachment locations spanning three continents. During this deployment, the squadron was involved in the largest maritime drug interdiction in SOUTHCOM history, totaling more than $12.4 billion. The Pelicans received the Chief of Naval Operations Safety Award and the Capt. Arnold J. Isbell Trophy in 2002.
In February 2004, the Pelicans returned home from NAS Sigonella, completing a challenging Mediterranean deployment operating from eight different countries directly supporting the global war on terrorism. The squadron received the Command Retention Excellence Award, a second consecutive CNO safety award and a second consecutive CPRW-11 nomination for the Golden Wrench Award.
In June 2005, VP-45 set a new precedent as the first East Coast VP squadron to deploy to 5th and 7th fleets since the Vietnam era. Operating out of 16 countries throughout the deployment, the Pelicans flew more than 3,800 hours in direct support of operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. For their outstanding performance, the Pelicans were awarded the 2005 Battle “E” and the Arleigh Burke Award.
In 2009, the Pelicans executed a challenging multisite deployment operating in both the Pacific and Southern Commands’ areas of responsibility (AOR). While on deployment, VP-45 executed 500 missions and 11 detachments, encompassing 3,321 mishap-free flight hours in support of 7th Fleet operational tasking and 4th Fleet counterdrug operations. Shortly after returning from deployment, VP-45 supported the nation of Haiti during post-earthquake recovery efforts. The Pelicans maintained their impressive safety record, flying more than 5,200 hours mishap-free, culminating in the squadron being awarded the CNO Safety “S” Award for the second consecutive year. The Pelicans were also recognized with the COMNAVAIRLANT Battle “E” for 2010.
In 2011, the Pelicans headed out for a successful tri-site deployment to Comalapa, El Salvador; Djibouti, Djibouti; and Sigonella. The deployment supported U.S. Navy 5th and 6th fleets’ involvement in operations Enduring Freedom, Unified Protector, Active Endeavour, Carib Shield and Caper Focus.
The Pelicans deployed to the 7th Fleet AOR in summer 2012.
Unmanned Patrol Squadron 19 (VUP-19)
The Navy’s first Triton squadron, Unmanned Patrol Squadron 19 (VUP-19), “Big Red,” stood up Oct. 1, 2013. The mission of VUP-19 is to operate continuously from fixed land bases supporting operational and exercise requirements of combatant commanders; to operate and maintain the MQ-4C Triton unmanned aerial system (UAS) to initially support 5th Fleet, 6th Fleet, 7th Fleet, U.S. Fleet Forces Atlantic Operations and Commander Task Force 80 operations; and to be prepared to support Northern Command and Southern Command operations when tasked.
The unmanned aircraft is operated by crews consisting of Navy P-8A pilots, naval flights officers and aviation warfare operators using a mission control system located at NAS Jacksonville or NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. VUP-19 provides the organizational framework for mission control, mission planning and data analysis from NAS Jacksonville.
The MQ-4C Triton, formerly known as Broad Area Maritime Surveillance UAS, is a maritime UAS similar to the U.S. Air Force Global Hawk.
VUP-19 honors the legacy and tradition of VP-19, which was disestablished by the Navy in August 1991.
Reserve Squadron Patrol Squadron 62 (VP-62)
Patrol Squadron 62 (VP-62) is a Reserve Force unit commissioned in November 1970 to provide fully manned and equipped squadrons in the event of war or national emergency. VP-62 is at NAS Jacksonville and has operated the SP-Neptune, the P-3AJB Orion, the P-3C Update III and currently the P-3C Aircraft Improvement Program Orion.
The squadron has selected reservists who commute across the southeastern United States to take part in proficiency training and fleet contributory support missions. Since commissioning, VP-62 has logged thousands of operational flight hours supporting the fleet throughout the world. During reservists’ two-week annual training periods, VP-62 personnel have operated out of the Azores, Bermuda, Brazil, Chile, Crete, Japan, Iceland, Norway, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Sicily, Spain and the United Kingdom.
The overwhelming success of these deployments has highlighted the advanced capability of the PR3C AIP and demonstrated the Naval Reserve’s ability to effectively operate and maintain frontline equipment in a challenging real-world environment.
Through the years, the “Broadarrows” of VP-62 have been recognized in the areas of operational readiness and command efficiency. Command awards include the Battle Efficiency “E,” the Liberty Bell Trophy for antisubmarine warfare excellence, the Top Bloodhound Award for torpedo delivery excellence, the Mining Derby Award and the Administrative Excellence Award. The Broadarrows surpassed 23 years and 86,000 hours of mishap-free flying, and in 1998 became the first reserve force unit to be awarded the NAS Jacksonville Tenant Command Safety Award.
Southeast Regional Calibration Center
Southeast Regional Calibration Center (SERCC) is a world-class calibration, maintenance and repair center providing superior electrical, electronic, and physical and dimensional calibration services in support of warfighters in the eastern United States, Atlantic Fleet and Caribbean Sea. SERCC is located in Building 101U at the corner of Ranger Street and Saratoga Avenue. Visitors must be cleared by the Fleet Readiness Center Southeast Security Department and check in via the administration office located near the north entrance.