A BIT OF HISTORY: "...P-3C (AIP) in Allied Force - Wings of Gold, Fall 1999 by Steiner, Ron, Potterfield, Gary..." WebSite: Wings Of Gold http://www.looksmartusa.com/p/articles/mi_qa3834/is_199910/ai_n8875930 [15OCT2005]Circa 1998
Operations Noble Anvil and Allied Force marked the combat debut of the P-3C Antisurface Warfare Improvement Program (AIP) aircraft. In the littoral warfare role it played in these combat operations, the endurance and responsiveness of the P-3C capable C2 suite, mission-oriented weapon loadouts and state of the art all-weather surveillance/reconnaissance sensors provided the warfare commander with a force multiplier previously not available. The Mediterranean-based Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) force for these operations was comprised of 10 P-3Cs, five of the AIP variant. There were 14 crews from a combination of VP-10 (NAS Brunswick, Maine), VP-1 (NAS Whidbey Island, Washington), VP-4 (NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii) and VP-5 (NAS Jacksonville, Florida). Home base was NAS Sigonella, Sicily.
On March 22nd, two days before the start of hostilities, P-3C AIP Orions commenced around the clock flight operations with armed surveillance flights in the Adriatic Sea in direct support of Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) capable ships. For the next 94 days the MPA provided 100% of the Surface Combat Air Patrols (SUCAP) for the USS Theodore Roosevelt Battlegroup and other allied ships operating in the area. This was the first time, during combat, that SUCAPs were performed exclusively by non-carrier organic aircraft.
In all, Navy MPA flew 391 combat support missions, logging 3,840 flight hours during the entire Kosovo Phased Air Operation. The battlegroup commander had an armed MPA on station for 99.2% of the total conflict. Armed with a combination of torpedoes, MK20 Rockeyes, AGM-65 Mavericks and/or AGM-84E SLAM missiles, depending on the threat, the P-3C AIP was the first line of defense for Coalition ships against the entire Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's Naval Order of Battle (FRY NOB). In a first, the AlPs fired 14 Standoff land Attack Missiles at Serb targets.
On six to eight hour SUCAP missions in the Adriatic, the P-3C AIP planes used day/night imaging capability to monitor not only possible commercial contraband carriers but also the FRY NOB in the Montenegrin ports of Tivat and Bar. The Task Force 67 Orions conducted this imagery surveillance hourly from a standoff position outside surface to air missile threat envelopes. Over 3,500 surface contacts were tracked and reported.
"I can not overstate AIP's operational impact," said RADM Steve Tomaszeski, TF-67 Commander. "The mixture of mission-oriented weapons loadouts and all-weather surveillance and strike capabilities gave the battlegroup a degree of flexibility never before attained."
RADM Winston Copeland, TF-60 Commander, remarked, "Having the P-3s there - providing us with protection from hostile ships and submarines around the clock - permitted us to use our carrier aircraft in strike and patrol missions elsewhere and really allowed us to maximize the options afforded by a carrier air wing!
By virtue of AIP's quantum leap in technology, MPA maintained a continuos surface picture and hourly imaging of the primary FRY ports. The AIP Orions further strengthen the tactical prowess of the carrier battlegroup's battlespace dominance in littoral warfare.
At a recent reunion of Skyraider pilots from yesteryear in Virginia Beach, Virginia, the the featured banquet speaker was CAPT Jack Fellowes, USN (Ret.). CAPT Fellowes had flown the A-1 (a.k.a., AD, Spad) in VA-85. His squadron mates from early 1960s, many of whom hadn't seen each other in over 30 years, were happy to hear remarks from a genuine hero - one of their own. Jack had transitioned to A-6 Intruders after Skyraider duty and was subsequently shot down over North Vietnam. He was incarcerated for over seven years. With his fellow prisoners of war he endured untold torture, solitary confinement and the miseries only those who were confined with him can fully appreciate.
There was some light banter at the outset of his talk. He recalled some operational highlights and snafus that heightened the pleasure - and the laughter - that such gatherings inevitably produce. He gave a litany of milestones. For instance, Paul Engel, at 60, was the youngest member present. Stan Cobb came the farthest - from Hawaii. Joe Bingham had the most VA-85 A-1 hours; 1,800. Joe also had the most ditches in the A-1: two. Fellowes had the most night hours in VA-85 Spads: 300, and Jim Reid the most VA-85 A-1 traps: 344.
lt was also publicized that squadron pilots had collectivly gained over 1,000 pounds since way back when.
Then CAPT Fellowes got serious. He wanted to express what knowing those in the audience - the men who shared that first-squadron experience with him - had meant during those dark days in the Hanoi Hilton. During captivity he was bolstered by the knowledge he had a strong and loving wife and family pulling for him back home, an enormous plus.
"But," he said, I thought a lot about you guys. In fact, it was the memory of you, the ones I started out with, the ones who taught me what unity of purpose means, the ones who conveyed what it's like to be in a unique group of Naval Aviators, that helped me get by."
This declaration gives credence to the notion that a Naval Aviator's first squadron experience is, arguably, the most memorable, the one that has the most impact on how you do from then on, the one where friendships are solidified for the ages.
As Jack paused, a perfect silence fell over the 70 former squadron mates, wives and friends. With clenched fist and a practical cadence, he tapped his knuckles on the edge of the wooden podium for a moment.
He explained, "As you know, for much of the time we weren't allowed to talk to each other in the prison camp, So we communicated by tapping on the walls of our cells using a code we had created. Messages would be passed down the line through the tap code system. They kept us in touch with each other and lifted our spirits. At night, we had a special four-word message."
Jack tapped out a sequence again on the podium, enunciating, as he did so, the letters, "GNGB ... GNGB."
"It meant;" he went on, 'Good Night, God Bless...Good Night, God Bless ... Good Night, God Bless.' This simple phrase emblematic of a very serious unity of purpose, was a wonderful and needed inspiration. I can't tell you how much it helped get us through one more night so that we could face one more day"
He waited a moment then tapped the podium one more time, "Good night and God Bless."
Copyright Association of Naval Aviation Fall 1999
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...18-19 JUN 91 - VP-4, in combination with the Coast Guard, caried out a SAR mission and saved two men and one woman who had been forced to ditch from their Grumman Albatross seaplane, approximately 600 miles east of Oahu..." http://www.history.navy.mil/avh-1910/PART12.PDF [28MAY2003]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Naval Aviation Units Involved in the Persian Gulf War (16 January–27 February 1991)...This Squadron Mentioned...Naval Historical Center ADOBE Download File: http://www.history.navy.mil/avh-1910/APP29.PDF [27MAY2003]
Persian Gulf War 20KB
A BIT OF HISTORY: ID: DNSD0001109 - 980715N5961C001 "...A US Navy P-3 Orion aircraft from the Skinny Dragons of VP-4 lead a Japanese P-3 in flight over a bilateral force of US and Japanese ships during texercise RIMPAC '98. The ships in formation are led by the California class cruiser USS CALIFORNIA (CGN 36), flanked by Ticonderoga class cruisers USS CHANCELLORSVILLE (CG 62) and USS PORT ROYAL (CG 73), the Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate USS VANDERGRIFT (FFG 48) and accompanied by Japanese Maritime Self Defense ships JDS KIRISHIMA (DDG 174), JDS SHIRANE (DDH 143), JDS MURASAME (DD 101), JDS HARUSAME (DD 102), and JDS TOWADA (AOE 422) and bringing up the rear of this formation is the Los Angeles class attack submarine USS KEY WEST (SSN 722). Location: PEARL HARBOR, HAWAII (HI) UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (USA) - Camera Operator: PH1(NAC) SPIKE CALL Date Shot: 15 Jul 1998..." WebSite: Defense Visual Information Center http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/ [03FEB2006]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "Navy News 32/98 06AUG98 E-Mail Message: NNS3200. P-3C aircraft from five countries enhance RIMPAC `98 by Christi Erwin, RIMPAC `98 Combined Information Bureau..." [06AUG98]
NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii (NNS) -- Like an eagle hunting for fish, a P-3C Orion can loiter over a spot of ocean for hours, searching for its prey.
While the square-winged, four-engine turboprops don't have the same flash and swagger of an aircraft carrier's jet fighters, the patrol squadrons from five nations are creating a sensation of their own during the month-long RIMPAC `98 maritime exercise here.
Barbers Point is home to three P-3 patrol squadrons -- VP-4, VP-9 and VP-47 -- and host to squadrons from Australia, Canada, Japan and the Republic of Korea during RIMPAC `98. During the exercise -- which includes more than 50 ships, 200 aircraft and nearly 28,000 people -- the submarine hunters train with each other, as well as various ships and subs from six participating Pacific Rim nations.
"Because of RIMPAC, the crews are gaining valuable flight time and experience," said LCDR Tom Kollie, a VP-4 tactical coordinator. "Through RIMPAC `98 we are able to train with other countries' aircraft and watercraft," Kollie said. "This helps us insure we are productive in our training for our missions."
Since 1962, the VP-4 has been an anti-submarine warfare workhorse of the Navy, combining long range and excellent fuel economy with increasingly sophisticated avionics and technology.
The versatile aircraft are used by a number of countries worldwide for a variety of missions, including seeking and destroying submarines and ships, maritime patrol, laying mines, and search and rescue.While searching for a submarine, the aircraft can circle ominously above for hours and drop dozens of canister-shaped listening devices into the ocean. The devices, called sonobuoys, transmit information overhead to the VP-4 with its advanced submarine-detection sensors.
The crew can determine if the detected signal is from a submarine, a ship, a whale or an earthquake on the ocean floor. The P-3C is the Navy's sole land-based anti-submarine warfare aircraft. It does not operate off an aircraft carrier, but its crew checks in with the battle group to do whatever tasking is necessary.
"RIMPAC `98 enables the squadrons and submarines to search for and hide from another country's aircraft and subs," said LT Susan Papp, a VP-4 mission commander from Valley Forge, Pa. "That's a goal of the exercise -- having the different nations work together as a multi-national force. It also provides the aircraft and submarine crews with realistic scenarios.[06AUG98]
A BIT OF HISTORY: VP-4 AIP Patch Contributed by Eric Isaminger EIsam@aol.com [07AUG98] AIP: VP-4 Tactics Dept Spearheading AIP Seamless Integration Into the Fleet
by: LT Ken Graves
In recent years, the emphasis of naval doctrine has shifted from traditional "blue water" operations to the more challenging littoral arena. Today, maritime patrol assets support U.S. National Security Strategy by ensuring that the world's oceans and waterways remain open for navigation and trade. To more effectively achieve a "Forward from the Sea" presence, however, VP aviators are anxiously awaiting the leading edge technology which promises to vault the maritime patrol community into the twenty-first century. This technology, in the final stages of operational test and evaluation, will arrive for fleet use in early 1998, and is known collectively as the "Anti-Surface Warfare Improvement Program." Or "AIP."
AIP will enable the P-3 community to more effectively adapt to fundamental changes in the employment of the aircraft which have evolved over the past few years. Numerous avionics, communication upgrades and surveillance sensor improvements will allow the maritime patrol community to refine it's role as a surveillance platform while becoming a more active participant in Command and Control of Naval and joint forces. Patrol Squadron FOUR has been selected as one of the first operational patrol squadrons in the Navy to receive the new AIP aircraft. AIP is a major step for the P-3C community in upgrading it's equipment to meet the needs of the twenty-first century, and Patrol Squadron FOUR is enthusiastic about the opportunity to spearhead this initiative.
AIP was developed in response to changing requirements from Fleet Commanders to improve the surface warfare capability of the P-3C Update III aircraft. This improvement package, consisting of numerous avionics upgrades and improved search sensor equipment, promises to change the way the P-3 will be employed by enabling the use of multiple sensors in multiple mission areas simultaneously. Included in the AIP upgrade are an improved long-range, high resolution reconnaissance radar, a long-range electro optic and digital camera system and numerous improvements to the P-3 communications suite. These upgraded systems will allow crews to conduct long-range surveillance while collecting precise tactical information. Once collected, information will be correlated and transmitted to Fleet Commanders in the near "real-time" via satellite communications. Other key upgrades include an enhanced, digital crew intercommunication system (ICS), improved color displays and image processing capabilities which will allow for video distribution, tactical workload sharing and a multiple access/multiple function satellite communications system. The AIP package also includes the Maverick missile system, primarily designed for anti-surface target utilization and the SLAM missile system designed for use against land targets. Chaff and flare dispensers will provide self protection for the P-3 in hostile environments.
Patrol Squadron FOUR will receive initial fleet AIP aircraft beginning in September '98. Formal training, conducted by the FRS Fleet Introduction Team is scheduled to run from July through September for eight aircrews. One innovation which will revolutionize future training requirements is the utilization of Computer Based Training during the fleet transition to AIP. This self paced training uses Interactive Courseware which presents a specific lesson, quizzes the students and gives "hands on training" through Pentium based computer programs. From May to September, self-paced computer based training, classroom instruction with aircraft labs, and a series of training flights in the AIP aircraft will be used to prepare Skinny Dragon aircrews and maintenance personnel for it's critical deployment with AIP.
Maritime Patrol squadrons , like the two-time Battle Efficiency winner Skinny Dragons, were at the forefront of every military operation and contingency around the world in 1996 and 1997. With a continued forward deployed presence and the enhanced capabilities inherent in AIP, the P-3 community will continue to be tasked to respond to any crisis. Although the learning curve to effectively employ the new sensors will undoubtedly be steep, VP-4 anxiously awaits the challenges and the ability to capitalize on the technology which will carry the Maritime Patrol Community well into the twenty-first century. Contributed by Eric Isaminger EIsam@aol.com [07AUG98]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...I had the opportunity to visit NAS Jacksonville, Florida last weekend. I got a tour of the NAVDEP. I got to see two of the planes I used to fly. P-3B's, buno 153434 (VP-4) and buno 153438 (VP-90). They are going throught rework and they will be going to the Royal Australian Air Force (TAP-3 planes)...They are basically torn down P-3's. I will be going back when 153434 will be turned over to the RAAF..." Contributed by John Larson LCDR (RET) firstname.lastname@example.org [17DEC97]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...The Skinny Dragons have done it- once again, we are the 'Best in the West', winners of the 1997 Battle 'E' award, the second year in a row! This feat comes from an outstanding deployment May-November 1997 to Fifth/Seventh Fleet AOR's. All past and present troops associated with this Patrol Squadron should feel nothing but pride...[A Secretary of the Navy recommendation in June of 1976 established this award to replace the Battle Efficiency Award (the letter "E") which had been worn sewn to the sleeve of the uniform. It is authorized to be worn by all crew members of ships and aviation squadrons winning the fleet-wide eighteen month competitive cycle which has exercises testing all phases of battle readiness. The Battle Efficiency Award, called the Navy Battle "E", in addition to the ribbon, consists of a cloth insignia and a battle pennant to be displayed by the ship or unit winning the award]" Contributed by LCDR Eric Isaminger EIsam@aol.com [21MAR98]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Doha Qatar - Circa 1997..." Contributed by Allen Bowman email@example.com [13JUL99]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Doha Qatar - Circa 1997..." Contributed by Allen Bowman firstname.lastname@example.org [13JUL99]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Doha Qatar - Circa 1997..." Contributed by Allen Bowman email@example.com [13JUL99]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "00APR96--NAVY SQUADRONS MOVE FROM NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii TO NAS Kaneohe Bay, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii...The Navy has decided to relocate three squadrons of P-3C Orion aircraft and associated personnel from NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii, to Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH), NAS Kaneohe Bay, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, by 1999. This move follows the 1993 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) committee's decision to close NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii, which also called for moving one squadron of SH-60 Seahawk helicopters from Barbers Point to NAS Kaneohe Bay, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Patrol squadrons VP-4, VP-9 and VP-47, and Anti-Submarine Warfare Helicopter Squadron 37 are scheduled to move. Along with these squadrons, some additional commands will move from NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii to MCBH NAS Kaneohe Bay, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, including Commander, Patrol Wings Pacific. There will be a total of 32 P-3C Orion aircraft and 10 SH-60 Seahawk helicopters making the move. By keeping the squadrons and 2,200 associated military personnel and civilian employees in Hawaii, the local economy will retain an estimated $84 million in annual revenue from salaries plus goods and services purchased by the Navy. The decision to move three patrol squadrons to MCBH NAS Kaneohe Bay, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Bay allows the Navy to keep the aircraft strategically located in the mid-Pacific, where they train regularly with Hawaii-based surface ships and submarines, and make regular deployments to the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf regions. The decision also uses the capacity of MCBH NAS Kaneohe Bay, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to its best advantage. Before the 1993 BRAC decision, six patrol squadrons were based at NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii. Two squadrons have since Disestablished as part of the Navy's force reductions, and a third has moved to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. With the three remaining P-3C squadrons moving to MCBH NAS Kaneohe Bay, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the Pacific Fleet's six P-3C squadrons will be divided evenly between NAS Kaneohe Bay, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and NAS Whidbey Island, Washington when NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii closes in 1999." http://www.navy-reserve.org/9604/nra9604g.html
A BIT OF HISTORY: "21OCT96--We were happy to help the University of Hawaii/NOAA research team in this case," said CDR Bruce Latta, commanding officer of VP-4 and plane commander during the sonobuoy drop. "We routinely practice precision sonobuoy drops, and this opportunity offered a unique situation to test our skill while helping in a research program [that] is important to the scientific community in Hawaii. We (the military) are here to help society and this is one way to do it..." http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/news/navywire/nwsb96/nwsb1021.txt
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Awards, Change-Of-Command, Etc. - Naval Aviation News - September - October 1995.." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1990s/1995/so95.pdf [12NOV2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Deployments, Change-Of-Command, Awards, Records, Etc. - Naval Aviation News - July - August 1995.." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1990s/1995/ja95.pdf [12NOV2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Awards, Major Deployments, Etc. - Naval Aviation News - July - August 1994.." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1990s/1994/ja94.pdf [12NOV2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Awards, Records, Etc. - Naval Aviation News - May - June 1994.." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1990s/1994/mj94.pdf [12NOV2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...VP Deployments, Change-Of-Command, Etc. - Naval Aviation News - July - August 1993.." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1990s/1993/ja93.pdf [12NOV2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Change-Of-Command, Safe Flying, etc. - Naval Aviation News - July-August 1992.." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1990s/1992/ja92.pdf [11NOV2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Squadron Deployments, Operations Desert Shield/Storm, Disestablishment, etc. - Naval Aviation News - July-August 1992.." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1990s/1992/ja92.pdf [11NOV2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Base Closures, Change-Of-Command, Records, Etc. - Naval Aviation News - May-June 1992.." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1990s/1992/mj92.pdf [11NOV2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: VP-4 Logo Contributed by Robert F. Dugger, Jr. YRHMM161@prodigy.net [25FEB2002]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...History - Change-Of-Command - Naval Aviation News - November-December 1991..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1990s/1991/nd91.pdf [25OCT2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...History - Naval Aviation News - September-October 1991..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1990s/1991/so91.pdf [24OCT2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Desert Shield/Storm - Naval Aviation News - September-October 1991..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1990s/1991/so91.pdf [24OCT2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...History - Naval Aviation News - May-June 1991..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1990s/1991/mj91.pdf [24OCT2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Naval Air Aids Kuwait Liberation - Naval Aviation News - May-June 1991..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1990s/1991/mj91.pdf [24OCT2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: VP-4 History "...VP-4 ASW Shop - July 16, 1990 - NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii - TOP ROW - LEFT TO RIGHT: AW2 Lance, AW2 Moore, AWAN McClintock, AWAN Willson, AW1 Williams AW3 Mayberry, AWC Grogan, AW2 Lloyd, AW3 Cusher, AWAN Marty, AW2 Durrance, AW3 McManigal. BOTTOM ROW - LEFT TO RIGHT: AWAN Mullis, AW3 Barkow, AW2 Prince, AWAN Woolley, AW2 Bodnar, AW3 Mariage, AWAN Takamine and AW3 Burns..." Contributed by BARKOW, AW2 Dan firstname.lastname@example.org [25SEP2008]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...History - Change-Of-Command - Page 6, 7, 30 and 31 - Naval Aviation News - September-October 1990..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1990s/1990/so90.pdf [22OCT2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...History - Change-Of-Command - Page 8, 28 and 30 - Naval Aviation News - March-April 1990..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1990s/1990/ma90.pdf [22OCT2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "...Modernization Under Way - Page 8 to 9 - Naval Aviation News - March-April 1990..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1990s/1990/ma90.pdf [22OCT2004]
A BIT OF HISTORY: "AIRCRAFT SQUADRONS PARTICIPATING IN DESERT SHIELD/STORM: VP-4 10 NOV - 10 MAR...VP-8 05 DEC - 10 MAR...VP-23 02 OCT - 10 NOV...VP-40 06 FEB - 10 MAR...VP-46 26 JAN - 10 MAR...VP-19 28 AUG - 02 FEB...VP-91 09 FEB - 23 FEB...VPU-1 25 JAN - 10 MAR...VPU-2 12 SEP - 10 MAR...VQ-1 08 AUG - 10 MAR...VQ-2 06 DEC - 10 MAR..." http://www.history.navy.mil/wars/dstorm/appenb.htm [26DEC97]
"VP-4 History Summary Page"