UTAPAO, Thailand – Sailors from the War Eagles of Patrol Squadron (VP) 16 visited Thailand to build regional cooperation and conduct training Feb 6-12.
“Training and sharing ideas with our partners in Thailand was a great experience,” said VP-16 Executive Officer Cmdr. Molly Boron. “It is opportunities like this where U.S. crews practice with our partners, garnering a new perspective and understanding that pays off in the long run with on-station performance when needed.”
War Eagles’ aircrew and maintainers conducted two symposiums with service members of the Royal Thai Navy, sharing their perspectives and experiences in operating P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft.
“We’re here to strengthen our ties and enhance our interoperability with the Thai Navy,” said Lt. Cmdr Frank Loethen, to Royal Thai Naval officers during the aircrew symposium.
VP-16 and Thai aviators also discussed capabilities and limitations that appear or happen when conducting joint operations.
Maintenance personnel met with their Thai counterparts in the 102 Squadron of the Royal Thai Navy and exchanged troubleshooting techniques, which help keep the aging airframes in an extremely high state of readiness.
“The chance to meet and work side by side with maintainers of my own background from a different country was an experience I’ll always remember,” said Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class Aaron Roberts.
War Eagles’ aircrew flew a training mission with Thai counterparts on board a P-3C Orion that focused on improving maritime domain awareness. The training exercise allowed an opportunity to display capabilities and compare operational experiences, which was beneficial to both parties.
VP-16 operates P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft designed as a land-based, long-range, anti-submarine warfare (ASW) patrol aircraft, with missions that include surveillance of the battlespace, either at sea or over land.
The VP-16 is homeported ashore at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla. and is currently deployed to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa. VP-16 flies reconnaissance and surveillance missions in support of Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet.