By Lt. j. g. Amber Morgan and Lt. j. g. Joel Davis, VP-47 Public Affairs U.S. Navy
The “Golden Swordsmen” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 47 participated in the annual NATO Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM)-led anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercise Dynamic Mongoose 2020 in the northern Atlantic Ocean, Jun 29-July 10, 2020.
The exercise included naval forces from Canada, France, Germany, Iceland, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States and provided unit level training across dissimilar platforms while enhancing ASW capabilities of the combined forces.
“I’ve been exposed to tactics, targets, and foreign equipment I’ve never seen before,” said Naval Aircrewman Operator 2nd Class Trevin Long, a P-8A sensor operator at VP-47. “Exercises like Dynamic Mongoose are vital to our training as warfighters.”
The exercise allowed VP-47’s crews, with assistance from sister squadron VP-16, to further train and utilize the P-8A Poseidon’s advanced acoustic sensor capabilities in a dynamic and intense environment.
“I had the chance to track several submarines at one time while on station in Iceland, which is training I do not get the chance to complete often,” said Aircrewman Operator 3rd Class Zion Alcarion. “This experience prepared me for real-world ASW missions.”
Dynamic Mongoose 2020 also strengthened the enduring relationship between allied forces.
“It has been very exciting to see how we can get creative with responding to certain tasking from our foreign partners,” said Lt. j. g. Tim Milch, a VP-47 P-8A pilot experiencing his first true international exercise. “Additionally, getting exposure to foreign control agencies, unfamiliar terrain, and unique weather has helped keep our flight crew continuously flexible.”
Despite the pandemic, participating nations worked together effectively to hone their warfighting skills and demonstrate further readiness and interoperability.
“This was our second international exercise conducted from our Iceland detachment and also during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lt. Cmdr. Brett Butterfield, VP-47 detachment Officer in Charge. “I could not have been more proud of how our VP-47 and VP-16 teams pulled together as a Task Group to complete this exercise. We achieved and exceeded every goal we set for ourselves and set for us by others. It was a great opportunity to lead this team and work with our closest allies.”
To account for COVID-19 concerns and the health of all naval forces involved, the exercise took place entirely at sea.
“In spite of certain limitations, I can see the importance and value in training with other militaries,” said Lt. j. g. Amber Morgan, a VP-47 naval flight officer. “We continued to hone our skills throughout the exercise as individual aircrew members and, more importantly, as a team. Picking up on newfound strategies and overall lessons learned that we can bring back to our squadron has been rewarding, to say the least.”
VP-47 is currently assigned to commander, Task Force (CTF) 67 and is forward-deployed to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations (AOO). CTF 67 is composed of land-based maritime patrol aircraft that operate over the waters of the Mediterranean in anti-submarine reconnaissance, surveillance, and mining roles.
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 maintain stability in Europe and Africa.
For more news from Commander, Patrol Squadron 47, visit www.facebook.com/goldenswordsmen47 or www.vp47.navy.mil