SINGAPORE - Sailors from the "War Eagles" of Patrol Squadron (VP) 16 conducted a training exercise with the Singapore Armed Forces in Singapore Jan. 29 – Feb. 2.
VP-16 completed several training flights during the exercise to increase maritime domain awareness in the waters near Singapore. One of the busiest ports in the world, and the strategic position of the island nation at the mouth of the Malacca Strait makes maritime security a prime concern.
"The chance to work with our partners in Singapore is a great opportunity," said VP-16 detachment officer in charge, Lt. Cmdr. Trey Walden. "Strengthening our ties and increasing security in the area is beneficial to all."
The surveillance capabilities of the P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft makes it an ideal platform to guard large areas of the ocean to help keep commercial shipping safe.
VP-16 also teamed with submariners from the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN )for a familiarization flight.
Several submarine officers from the RSN attended a capabilities brief and flew in a P-3C to get an aerial view of an anti-submarine mission. The officers said the familiarization flight was a good chance for naval professionals with different backgrounds to learn about another navy's community.
"I really enjoyed the chance to visit Singapore," said Lt. Jeff 'Honey Badger' Eller. "It was very exciting to take several Singaporean submarine officers flying with us. The perspective that both sides brought to the table was very interesting."
U.S. Navy maritime patrol aircraft have teamed with the Singapore Armed Forces before. In 2011, patrol aircraft from the Republic of Singapore Air Force completed a historic deployment to Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa, to conduct anti-piracy and maritime security operations. Singaporean crews worked closely with Navy P-3C Orions to patrol the pirate-infested waters off the coast of Somalia.
VP-16 is currently deployed to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa. The squadron conducts security, surveillance and reconnaissance missions in support of Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet and is homeported at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla.