The U.S. Navy and its maritime partners kicked off operations for the multilateral anti-submarine warfare exercise Sea Dragon 2021 on Jan 12, the service announced.
For the exercise, two P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance aircraft (MPRA) from Patrol Squadron 5 (VP-5), the “Mad Foxes,” and Patrol Squadron 8 (VP-8), the “Fighting Tigers,” traveled to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam to hone their skills with members of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), Indian Navy (IN), and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).
Sea Dragon 2021, centers on anti-submarine warfare (ASW) training and excellence to include 125 hours of in-flight training ranging from tracking simulated targets to the final problem of finding and tracking USS Chicago (SSN 721), a U.S. Navy Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered attack submarine. During classroom training sessions, pilots and flight officers from all countries will build plans and discuss incorporating tactics, capabilities and equipment for their respective nations into the exercise.
“As OIC, I am eager for the opportunity to further develop our partnerships with Japan, India, Canada, and Australia while at Sea Dragon 2021,” said Lt. Cmdr. Kyle Hooker, officer in charge of the VP-5 detachment. “The COVID environment will be challenging for all our participants, but I know we will come together to adapt and overcome while executing our goal of Anti-Submarine Warfare interoperability,” added Hooker.
Each exercise is graded, and the nation scoring the highest total points will receive the coveted Dragon Belt award. The belt was formally introduced last year when awarded to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF).