by Petty Officer 1st Class Glenn Slaughter Commander Task Force 72
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam — Two U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft from Patrol Squadron (VP) 10 “Red Lancers” and VP-45 “Pelicans” joined the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), India Navy (INN), Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), and Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) in the multinational exercise Sea Dragon 23.
Sea Dragon 23, primarily centering on anti-submarine warfare (ASW) training and excellence, culminates in over 270 hours of in-flight training ranging from tracking simulated targets to the final problem of tracking a U.S. Navy submarine. During classroom training sessions, pilots and flight officers from all countries will build plans and discuss tactics incorporating the capabilities and equipment of their respective nations.
The P-8 Poseidon Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA) with VP-10 and VP-45, traveled to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam to practice with members of the RCAF, INN, JMSDF, and ROKN.
“Sea Dragon is an excellent opportunity to work with our maritime partners who share our commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said Commander, Task Force 72, Capt. Will Toraason. “I’m extraordinarily proud to work alongside our professional Allies and partners from Canada, India, Japan, and Republic of Korea in the upcoming days.”
Each event will be graded, and the nation scoring the highest total points will receive the coveted Dragon Belt award. Last year, RCAF won the belt and will bring it back to Sea Dragon 2023 to defend the title.
“I am looking forward to working and training with our Allies and partners at the Exercise Sea Dragon 2023,” said RCAF Maj. Scott MacDonald, operations flight commander, 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron. “The opportunity to further our level of interoperability with partner nations in an exercise of this nature is invaluable. The team has been working hard to get ready for this year’s Anti-Submarine Warfare competition and are ready to face the challenges presented by this year’s exercise organizers from CTF-72. As always, we hope to bring the Dragon Belt back to 19 Wing Comox once more!”
The “Red Lancers” of VP-10, part of Commander Task Force (CTF) 72, are stationed in Jacksonville, Florida, and are currently deployed to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan. The “Pelicans” of VP-45, part of CTF 72, are also stationed in Jacksonville, Florida, and are currently deployed to Misawa Air Base in Misawa, Japan. Throughout the deployment, both squadrons will conduct maritime patrol and reconnaissance and theater outreach operations within the 7th Fleet area of operations.
7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with Allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.