By Lt. j.g. Mary Carter Jordan, VP-5 Public Affairs
From Dec. 9-17, 2017, the ‘Mad Foxes’ of Patrol Squadron (VP) 5 traveled to Iceland’s Keflavik International Airport to participate in an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercise with NATO allies. VP-5 sent two combat air crews (CAC), CAC-6 and CAC-12 on the detachment where they conducted seven ASW flights. The exercise provided a realistic training opportunity for VP-5 to perform coordinated operations with different countries and to strengthen relationships between the U.S. Navy and its NATO partners.
The CACs operated in the North Atlantic Ocean along with British and French naval units. The exercise incorporated VP-5’s P-8A Poseidon aircraft, the Navy’s newest patrol aircraft, capable of extended range operations to conduct its missions.
As the host nation, Iceland provided support for VP-5 operations out of Keflavik while CAC-6 and CAC-12 conducted flights during which they were able to practice scenarios that emulated real-world operations. Throughout these mission flights, VP-5 was partnered with the British and French forces to locate and track the submarine targets.
“The target submarine was very evasive while we were tracking it, but this exercise was an excellent opportunity to demonstrate how multiple platforms working together can provide positive results,” said Naval Air Crewman (Operator) 1st Class Xavier Page. “We operated seamlessly with the other platforms to successfully execute each mission.”
The complex nature of the flights during the exercise tested VP-5’s ASW acumen, as well as its ability to work with NATO allies in order to further advance security, safety and stability in the region.
“The exercise provided an excellent opportunity for the crews to enhance their interoperability and increase their proficiency in ASW skills,” said Lt. Eran Wilson, officer in charge of the VP-5 detachment in Keflavik. “We look forward to any opportunity to return and participate in more exercises with our NATO partners.”
U.S. P-8A Maritime Patrol Aircraft regularly conduct routine maritime domain awareness operations and anti-submarine warfare training out of Keflavik.
VP-5 is on a dual deployment to Sigonella, Italy, and El Salvador. This its first deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations with the P-8A.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of Joint and Naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.