ATSUGI, Japan - Aircrews assigned to Commander Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Seventh Fleet from Patrol Squadron (VP) 45 have been directed to support U.S. military assistance to ongoing Philippine-led disaster relief operations.

The “Pelicans” of VP-45 will reposition two P-3C Orion aircraft to the southern Philippines to assist the Armed Forces of the Philippines' (AFP) search and rescue (SAR) operations which are attempting to locate missing fishermen.

Approximately 300 fishermen have been reported missing at sea in the aftermath of Typhoon Pablo. The Pelicans will assist the AFP by conducting search and rescue operations. The P-3C Orion is a four engine, turboprop maritime patrol aircraft, with the endurance and ability to conduct wide-area maritime search operations and which give the aircraft an advantage for SAR missions.

Based in Jacksonville, Fla., the “Pelicans” are currently on a six-month deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.