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Unmanned Navy Aircraft Deploys for Initial Operations Testing

13 September 2023

From Courtesy, Naval Air Forces

GUAM - The Navy’s MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), as part of Unmanned Patrol Squadron (VUP) 19, arrived on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam for its second deployment in the Pacific theater.
An MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) assigned to Unmanned Patrol Squadron 19 (VUP-19), taxis after landing on Andersen Air Force Base. VUP-19, the first Triton unmanned aircraft systems squadron, will operate and maintain aircraft in Guam as part of the MQ-4C’s initial operational capability (IOC).
An MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) assigned to Unmanned Patrol Squadron 19 (VUP-19), taxis after landing on Andersen Air Force Base. VUP-19, the first Triton unmanned aircraft systems squadron, will operate and maintain aircraft in Guam as part of the MQ-4C’s initial operational capability (IOC). IOC is the first attainment of capability to employ the MQ-4C effectively by VUP-19 – achieved when the platform’s ability to enhance joint, distributed maritime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting operations is demonstrated.
An MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) assigned to Unmanned Patrol Squadron 19 (VUP-19), taxis after landing on Andersen Air Force Base. VUP-19, the first Triton unmanned aircraft systems squadron, will operate and maintain aircraft in Guam as part of the MQ-4C’s initial operational capability (IOC).
MQ-4C Triton lands on Andersen Air Force Base
An MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) assigned to Unmanned Patrol Squadron 19 (VUP-19), taxis after landing on Andersen Air Force Base. VUP-19, the first Triton unmanned aircraft systems squadron, will operate and maintain aircraft in Guam as part of the MQ-4C’s initial operational capability (IOC). IOC is the first attainment of capability to employ the MQ-4C effectively by VUP-19 – achieved when the platform’s ability to enhance joint, distributed maritime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting operations is demonstrated.
Photo By: U.S. Navy Photo by CNAF Public Affairs
VIRIN: 230804-N-N0840-1005


VUP-19 first deployed to Guam in January 2020, concluding their rotational deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility in October 2022. After assembling lessons learned from Triton’s initial deployment to Guam, the MQ-4C received significant updates including an upgraded sensor suite. These enhancements increase Triton’s ability to provide a persistent maritime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting (MISR-T) capability alongside the P-8A Poseidon as a key component of the Navy’s Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force (MPRF) Family of Systems (FoS).

“We have been successfully operating Triton in Guam for several years, and now we have expanded this platform’s capabilities far beyond those it started with,” said Capt. Josh Guerre, MQ-4C Triton program manager.

With these upgrades, the MQ-4C has the capability and capacity to extend the maritime domain awareness for the U.S. and our allies and partners in the region. These systems demonstrate an investment by the U.S. to fulfill critical missions and ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.

VUP-19, the first Triton UAS squadron, will operate and maintain aircraft in Guam as part of the MQ-4C’s initial operational capability (IOC). IOC is the first attainment of capability to employ the MQ-4C effectively by VUP-19 – achieved when the platform’s ability to enhance joint, distributed MISR-T operations is demonstrated.

An MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) assigned to Unmanned Patrol Squadron 19 (VUP-19), taxis after landing on Andersen Air Force Base. VUP-19, the first Triton unmanned aircraft systems squadron, will operate and maintain aircraft in Guam as part of the MQ-4C’s initial operational capability (IOC).
An MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) assigned to Unmanned Patrol Squadron 19 (VUP-19), taxis after landing on Andersen Air Force Base. VUP-19, the first Triton unmanned aircraft systems squadron, will operate and maintain aircraft in Guam as part of the MQ-4C’s initial operational capability (IOC). IOC is the first attainment of capability to employ the MQ-4C effectively by VUP-19 – achieved when the platform’s ability to enhance joint, distributed maritime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting operations is demonstrated.
An MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) assigned to Unmanned Patrol Squadron 19 (VUP-19), taxis after landing on Andersen Air Force Base. VUP-19, the first Triton unmanned aircraft systems squadron, will operate and maintain aircraft in Guam as part of the MQ-4C’s initial operational capability (IOC).
MQ-4C Triton lands on Andersen Air Force Base
An MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) assigned to Unmanned Patrol Squadron 19 (VUP-19), taxis after landing on Andersen Air Force Base. VUP-19, the first Triton unmanned aircraft systems squadron, will operate and maintain aircraft in Guam as part of the MQ-4C’s initial operational capability (IOC). IOC is the first attainment of capability to employ the MQ-4C effectively by VUP-19 – achieved when the platform’s ability to enhance joint, distributed maritime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting operations is demonstrated.
Photo By: U.S. Navy Photo by CNAF Public Affairs
VIRIN: 230804-N-N0840-1002


Rear Adm. Adam Kijek, Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group, looks forward to this deployment as an opportunity for continued application and refinement of MQ-4C tactics, techniques and procedures to conduct around-the-clock MISR-T operations in the Indo- Pacific region.

“Leveraging all the lessons we learned from our first deployment to Guam, Triton is poised to bring significant improvements that will increase its effectiveness in the battlespace, enabling our manned-unmanned team to maintain awareness in the maritime domain,” he said. “The Indo-Pacific theater is the ideal arena to demonstrate the advanced capabilities that Triton brings to our Fleet Commanders and the nation.”

Cmdr. Jae Kim, commanding officer of VUP-19, added, “The squadron’s return to the Pacific stands as a testament to the unwavering efforts of the outstanding Sailors within VUP-19. Through their ingenuity and hard work, they have ensured that our platform is not only prepared for deployment, but will also significantly contribute to the expansion of the FoS. The aircrew and maintenance professionals’ dedication to excellence has truly set us apart, we are excited to bring this advanced platform to the fight, knowing that it will further enhance our capabilities in fulfilling critical missions and safeguarding our nation’s interests.”

For more information on VUP-19 visit https://www.airlant.usff.navy.mil/Organization/COMPATRECONGRU/COMPATRECONWING-11/Unmanned-Patrol-Squadron-VUP-19/.
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