NEWS | Dec. 10, 2019

Patrolling High Above the Sea

By VP-4 Public Affairs

A P-8A Poseidon aircraft, assigned to Patrol Squadron (VP) 4 conducted a maritime domain awareness mission in support of the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) over the Mediterranean Sea, Dec. 10, 2019.

The P-8A Poseidon is equipped with the Navy’s most advanced multi-mission systems. The aircrew aboard the P-8A use its capabilities to scan for threats that might pose a danger to the U.S. or NATO assets within the region.

“The enhanced maritime capabilities of the P-8A provide improved abilities to support our NATO allies and regional partners in maintaining a Europe that is safe, secure and prosperous,” said Capt. William Pennington, commanding officer of Commander Task Force 67.

Russia has recently increased its presence in the Mediterranean including a number of surface ships and nuclear-powered submarines.

“The Submarine threats we face today are very different from those we faced in the Cold War,” said Cmdr. Wayne Lewis, commanding officer of VP-4. “They’re more advanced than the old, diesel-powered vessels.”

Russia recently held its first joint exercise with the Syrian navy and plans on hosting another joint exercise with China, Iran, and Syria in the near future.

“We’ve seen nothing but an increased presence from the Russian navy,” said Lewis. “I’m not sure what kind of message they’re sending, but it’s not one of peace and prosperity.

The P-8A’s primary mission is anti- submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare. Capable of scanning for threats on and under the sea.

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.