U.S. Navy MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft Becoming Invaluable Asset Across Indo-Pacific

Two U.S. Navy MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft are quickly becoming an invaluable asset across the Indo-Pacific three months after the arrival in the region.

In addition to supporting current operations for the various task forces across the Indo-Pacific, the Triton recently participated in advanced training evolutions with multiple warfare areas interacting simultaneously.

MQ-4C Triton at Andersen AFB
A U.S. Navy MQ-4C Triton unmanned surveillance aircraft taxis at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. USN Photo.

It also took part in an “elephant walk,” a parade of taxiing military aircraft in close formation, prior to takeoff on Anderson Air Force Base. The demonstration, which included a MQ-4C Triton, and over a dozen other aircraft showcased the breadth of military air power available in the 7th Fleet area of operation.

With an operating altitude greater than 50,000 feet and a range of over 2000 nautical miles, the Triton provides unmatched high-altitude persistent intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capability.

The two Tritons deployed to Guam are operated and maintained by Unmanned Patrol Squadron (VUP) 19, the first Triton UAS squadron. The highly-trained crews underwent multiple examinations, simulator events, and flights to become fully qualified.

VUP-19 is comprised of over 300 Sailors spanning three geographic locations. Mission operators, administrative, and executive functions are performed from NAS Jacksonville, Florida. Maintenance leadership and professionals are homeported at Point Mugu, California, and a forward-deployed presence of maintainers and aircrew support 7th Fleet operations from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.

VUP-19 is the first and only squadron to operate the MQ-4C Triton aircraft, the first unmanned Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force asset.

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