The “War Eagles” of Patrol Squadron 16 (VP-16) began their transition back to Naval Air Station Jacksonville in early October after a successful seven-month deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations, attached to Commander, Task Force 67.
While the squadron primarily operated out of Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily, Italy, VP-16 also supported 43 detachments across 15 countries including Denmark, France, Greece, Germany, Iceland, Lithuania, Norway, Scotland, Spain, and Ukraine.
VP-16 worked to improve interoperability with NATO allies and deter aggression across the AOO, as well as supported the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike group in its execution of strike missions from the eastern Mediterranean in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
Twelve combat aircrews conducted missions involving anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, search and rescue, and maritime intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, totaling more than 4,500 flight hours, and supported by an outstanding maintenance team which completed over 19,200 maintenance actions over the course of 47,500 man-hours.
“I’m extremely proud of the way our Sailors stepped up when the nation called on them,” said Cmdr. Amanda Hawkins, VP-16 commanding officer. “We provided an unprecedented level of maritime domain awareness to deter aggression in the European theater.”
Jacksonville will be a welcome sight for the Sailors from VP-16, of which six became new fathers during the deployment.
“Our sailors are looking forward to some well-deserved time off to reunite with their families and friends,” said Hawkins. “Their hard work and dedication are what made this deployment so successful.”
The “Mad Foxes” of VP-5 relieved the “War Eagles” in Sigonella, Oct. 10.
VP-16 and VP-5 are homeported out of Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida. VP-16 was deployed to Commander, Task Force 67 out of Naval Air Station Sigonella. This is the first deployment for VP-5 to U.S. 6th Fleet with the P-8A.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of Joint and Naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.