Bt Pacific Island Times News Staff
Koror-- Patrol Squadron (VP) 5 dispatched an aircraft and crew to Palau in support of Operation Island Chief 22 (OPIC22), Aug. 15 - 19. The aircrew and maintenance team provided support to joint operations off the coast of the Palau.
OPIC22 is a multinational mission headed by the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) Regional Fisheries Surveillance Center (RFSC) to provide surveillance over the FFA partners exclusive economic zones and assist in identifying illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing activity.
“It was a fantastic opportunity to operate out of Palau in support of OPIC22,” said Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Lee, officer-in-charge of the detachment. “Combat Air Crew Eleven, and a handpicked group of maintainers, were able to conduct daily flight operations assisting the RFSC in support of the larger FFA mission.”
While supporting OPIC22, the “Mad Foxes” of VP-5 conducted three Maritime Domain Awareness flights in coordination with a U.S. Coast Guard C-130 and Palau Maritime Police surface vessels.
“Thank you to the Palauan Airfield management team; they were very professional and accommodating to our flight evolutions, ensuring a smooth flight execution that supported our mission objectives,” said Chief Naval Aircrewman (Operator) Eric Newman. “We look forward to working with them again in the future.”
The ‘Mad Foxes’ of VP-5 are based out of Jacksonville, Florida, and are currently operating from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan. The squadron conducts maritime patrol and reconnaissance, as well as theater outreach operations as part of a rotational deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. The advanced capabilities of the P-8A Poseidon enable the ‘Mad Foxes’ to perform anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, and search and rescue missions. (By Petty Officer 2nd Class Sergio Montanez/ VP-5 Public Affairs)