By Lt. j.g. Mary Carter Jordan, VP-5 Public Affairs
From Nov. 8-11, the ‘Mad Foxes’ of Patrol Squadron (VP) 5 sent a P-8A Poseidon and Combat Air Crew (CAC) 3 to Dalaman, Turkey, to participate in the Turkish-led exercise Doğu Akdeniz 2017. This navy exercise incorporated multiple anti-submarine warfare (ASW) flights and proved to be an excellent opportunity to improve the interoperability and professional relationships between U.S. and Turkish forces.
Doğu Akdeniz kicked off on Nov. 9, 2 in the eastern Mediterranean Sea with several dynamic ASW events. This was a bi-lateral exercise and included many Turkish navy assets such as Sikorsky helicopters, the Persuader maritime patrol and transport aircraft, and a Turkish Type 209 submarine. The U.S. Navy provided the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) and VP-5’s P-8A maritime, patrol and reconnaissance aircraft to accomplish this exercise. Throughout these events, U.S. and Turkish aircrafts and ships were partnered against a Turkish submarine.
“We were able to give a few Turkish naval aviators and operators familiarization flights and show them how we operate as a crew,” said Aviation Warfare Systems Operator 2nd Class Stephane Castaneda. “They were noticeably impressed by the latest avionics and systems to the maritime patrol and [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] mission.”.
This was the first time the P-8A aircraft has participated in this exercise and CAC-3 was able to showcase the P-8A’s long-range endurance and advanced ASW tactics. The crew operated and gained invaluable training tracking the Turkish submarine alongside the Donald Cook and Sikorsky helicopters. CAC-3 welcomed and showcased the P-8A to Turkish navy passengers while flying out of Dalaman.
Doğu Akdeniz was successful in improving combined combat capability and strengthening relations among Turkey and the United States. The exercise further advanced the security, safety and stability of U.S. 6th Fleet.
“I was proud of my crew that worked seamlessly together in a foreign environment to accomplish the tasking for the bilateral exercise” said Lt. Jake Daly, officer in charge of VP-5 while in Dalaman. “We were fortunate to participate in the exercise and look forward to any opportunity to further advance NATO interoperability and fine-tune our ASW skills as a crew.”
VP-5 is on a dual deployment to Sigonella, Italy and El Salvador and is on 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.