April 24, 2012
LTJG Jenna Rose
Public Affairs Officer
Patrol Squadron Four
VP-4 Wins 2012 Anti-Submarine Warfare Fleet Challenge
Last week during the annual Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force (MPRF) Symposium at NAS Jacksonville, FL VP-4’s Combat Aircrew One (CAC-1) was named the winner of the 2012 Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Fleet Challenge. Nine CACs participated in the event from across the fleet including crews from CPRW-2 (Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Two) at MCAS Kaneohe Bay, CPRW-10 at NAS Whidbey Island, and CPRW-11 at NAS Jacksonville. In addition, a Canadian CP-140 Aurora 405 from Squadron 14 Wing Greenwood and the P-8A Poseidon took part in the event. This was the first time the P-8A Poseidon, the replacement aircraft to the P-3C Orion, participated in the Fleet Challenge. Additionally, there were also Australian and Japanese riders that observed the flights onboard the U.S. P-3C Orions.
The ASW Fleet Challenge consisted of two evaluations. The first took place in the P-3C Orion simulator, known as the Tactical Operational Readiness Trainer (TORT). In this realistic trainer, crews executed standardized tactics in order to prosecute a diesel submarine. After completing the simulator portion, the CACs performed a flight event where they detected, localized, tracked, and conducted simulated attacks on a Los Angeles-class attack submarine off the northeast Florida coast. When asked about the weeklong challenge, AWO2 Sean Wawrzyniec, CAC-1 Acoustic Operator, stated, “It was good to go back to Jacksonville and visit with everyone. It was a great experience to be able to compete with my peers in other squadrons.”
During the competition, each aircrew position; consisting of a Plane Commander, Tactical Coordinator, two Acoustic Operators, and a Radar Operator; was evaluated on performance. “The evaluators looked very hard at our planning, prosecution, and crew resource management (CRM), which strengthens the fact that if a crew works well together, you get good results,” stated AWOCS Stanley Lenover, CAC-1 Radar Operator. “I was pleased to have a newly trained and qualified sensor one acoustic operator perform so well. It is a signature of our training plan when a brand new sensor one operator can compete with other seasoned operators. It is a privilege for us as senior operators and instructors to know how our training impacts our junior sailors, ultimately paving the way for the future.”
VP-4’s CAC-1 won the event, and Rear Admiral Michael Hewitt, Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group, awarded the championship belt to them at the MPRF Flight Suit Social on March 30, 2012. When asked about his crew’s performance, Tactical Coordinator and Mission Commander, Lieutenant Justin Jennings remarked, “We were excited for our crew to represent VP-4 and Wing Two at Fleet Challenge. The competition was tough and I’m proud of the job our crew did. It was an honor to be recognized as the Fleet Challenge Champions.”
Patrol Squadron Four (VP-4) is located at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay. The squadron flies the P-3C Orion and is better known as the Skinny Dragons. The P-3C is land-based and the Navy’s premier long-range maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, operating from locations throughout the world. The P-3C Orion missions range from submarine tracking to search and rescue, as well as overland missions, working alongside Navy, Army and Marine ground units.