By Lt. Michael Pierce
Patrol Squadron (VP) 5 had the honor of hosting the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV), Richard V. Spencer, for a tour of the P-8A Poseidon in October. SECNAV took the opportunity to visit the 'Mad Foxes' on the final leg of his trip to Norway and Iceland before returning to Washington D.C.
Keflavik was known previously as a hub of military activity during the 1970s and 1980s, but U.S. military presence there had been scarce for the last few decades. Recently, however, Keflavik has reemerged as an important detachment site, one of the key aspects of SECNAV's visit.
Although he had previously toured and flown a P-8A Poseidon simulator during a visit to Naval Air Station Jacksonville, this was Spencer's first opportunity to see in person what capabilities the P-8A brings to the mission on-station. The static display started with a brief tour of the flight station led by pilot Lt. j.g. Alex Cleaveland.
"It was a great opportunity to familiarize the SECNAV on how we fly and operate the P-8A tactically on station, 200 feet above the water," said Cleaveland.
As a prior Marine aviator, Spencer was particularly impressed by the heads-up-display and all glass display cockpit of the multi-mission P-8A, which is the Navy's newest maritime, patrol and reconnaissance aircraft.
As the tour continued, Combat Aircrew Ten's (CAC-10) Tactical Coordinator, Lt. Ali Hussain, gave Spencer an up-close look at the mission crew workstations and he explained how the combat crews operate as a team to execute the wide-ranging mission set of the P-8A. These missions range from anti-submarine warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions, to VP-5's recent humanitarian assistance and disaster relief flights in wake of the devastating hurricanes striking the United States and Caribbean.
Spencer was very impressed by VP-5's continued excellence on station across two areas of responsibility as they begin their second dual site deployment. The 'Mad Foxes' of CAC-10 are currently on detachment along with three other CACs and conducting missions out of Keflavik, Iceland in support of Command Task Force 67 (CTF 67). VP-5 is currently patrolling the waters of the U.S. 4th Fleet from El Salvador and the U.S. 6th Fleet from Sigonella, Italy.
VP-5 hosts SECNAV in Keflavik, Iceland
By Lt. Michael Pierce