Three VP-4 combat aircrews returned to Sigonella this past week after successfully participating in exercise Joint Warrior 2013 in Scotland, U.K. Encompassing over 13,000 military personnel from 9 different countries, Joint Warrior 13 was one of the world’s premier maritime exercises and validates partner nation capacity to fight and win wars both at sea and from the sea.
Operating out of RAF Lossiemouth the Skinny Dragons played a critical role in the exercise, conducting antisubmarine patrols and supporting surface combatants both at sea and in the littorals during amphibious operations. Flying more than forty dedicated antisubmarine warfare (ASW) hours, crews from VP-4 were also able to obtain multiple advanced qualifications and conduct critical training for upgrading aircrew. Moreover, maintenance personnel improved their capacity to operate independently from a forward detachment site as well as build relationships with partner nations which were simultaneously conducting operations from the airfield.
Detachment officer in charge, LCDR Mike Kamas, reiterated the value of the exercise and its impact on VP-4 aircrew and maintenance readiness stating “this is the premier combined war at sea exercise in the EUCOM area of responsibility. Not only did we improve our capacity to conduct antisubmarine warfare and maritime domain awareness, but we also effectively operated in a combined environment.” Most importantly, though, VP-4 completed the exercise safely, the true mark of a successful exercise.