By Lt.j.g. Mary Carter Jordan
The "Mad Foxes" of Patrol Squadron (VP) 5 departed Naval Air Station Jacksonville Sept. 21 for their second P-8A dual site deployment, including the first-ever operational P-8A deployment to the U.S. Southern Command area or responsibility.
The Mad Foxes are relieving the VP-16 "War Eagles" in Sigonella, Italy and VP-9 "Golden Eagles" in El Salvador in support of Commander, Task Force (CTF) 67 and CTF-47, respectively.
Leading up to deployment, the Mad Foxes have demonstrated their ability to overcome the challenges that a dual site deployment presents, including completion of the Advanced Readiness Program and Operational Readiness Evaluation. Additionally, VP-5 aviation ordnancemen have been hard at work completing the Conventional Weapons Technical Proficiency Inspection and achieving a perfect score.
The squadron's maintenance team led the charge of qualifying the first enlisted servicemen to turn the engines of the P-8A without the presence of a pilot on board.
VP-5 also ensured 100 percent completion of the Fleet Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization evaluations, a multitude of combat air crew (CAC) mission qualifications and overseas training courses and requirements.
The efforts of VP-5 were recognized by Commander, Naval Air Forces, as they were presented with the 2016 Battle Efficiency award last month.
While deployed, the Mad Foxes will be tasked with several different warfare missions worldwide to include anti-submarine warfare missions, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions as well as counter-drug operations. Additionally, the CACs operating out of El Salvador will be conducting missions alongside the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.
"Our mission is to destroy submarines when directed. Successful completion is dependent on the efforts of every Sailor. The Mad Foxes have been putting in phenomenal effort on every level with outstanding results over the past year in preparation for this deployment and we are ready to deliver," said VP-5 Commanding Officer Cmdr. Will Toraason. "VP-5 is fully prepared to represent this nation across the globe and excited for the challenges ahead."