By LTJG Benjamin Coats
Combat Aircrew from Patrol Squadron (VP) 9 operating the P-8A Poseidon aircraft participated in the annual Israeli-led exercise Noble Dina 2019 in the Mediterranean Sea, March 22 - April 11, 2019.
Noble Dina is a multilateral exercise involving armed forces from the United States, Greece, and Israel. The goal of this year’s exercise was to strengthen cooperation and maritime proficiency and interoperability between the participating nations. VP-9 began their U.S. 6th Fleet deployment in April by assuming the maritime patrol portion of the exercise from Patrol Squadron (VP) 26.
“Working with some of Israel’s finest surface assets was an amazing way to kick off deployment,” said Lt. j. g. John Tersoni, a co-tactical coordinator assigned to VP-9. “Knowing that we can integrate flawlessly with our allies to accomplish complex mission sets is a great feeling.”
The crews participated in at-sea drills throughout the exercise, including Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) missions, search and rescue, and responding to unlawful maritime activity.
“It’s important that crews are able to quickly respond to potential threats against our partner nations,” stated Lt. Fabian Serrano, a VP-9 mission commander. “We have a commitment to support our allies’ right to self-defense, and we were able to prove that we can do this from the maritime domain with our platform.”
Agility in a dynamic security environment was stressed throughout the exercise, with crews responding to simulated threats against allied forces in the Mediterranean.
“VP-9 played an important role in this exercise with the P-8,” said Serrano. “The capabilities we bring to the table provide much-needed ASW and surveillance support to the Israeli and Greek forces.”
VP-9 operates the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, capable of conducting ASW, maritime domain awareness, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, anti-surface warfare, and search and rescue missions. The squadron is forward-deployed to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility and is currently assigned to CTF-67, responsible for tactical control of deployed maritime patrol and reconnaissance forces throughout the European and African areas of responsibility.