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HistoryVP-45 HistoryHistory

Circa 2009

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History "...'Pelicans' Fly Home For The Holidays By LT(jg) Chelsea Brunoehler - VP-45 Public Affairs Officer - Thursday, December 17, 2009..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://adserver1.harvestadsdepot.com/jaxairnews/ss/jaxairnews/ [28DEC2009]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...VP-45 NAF Kadena, Okinawa, Japan 2009 Deployment..." WebSite: VP-45 Official WebSite http://www.vp45.navy.mil/ [13OCT2009]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCamera090806-N-2725D-010 RIMBA AIR BASE, Brunei (Aug. 6, 2009) "...LT Clay Waddill, assigned to VP-45, explains the flight plan for his P-3 Orion Aircraft to visiting Royal Brunei Air Force officers during a search and rescue exercise as part of exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Brunei 2009. CARAT is a series of bilateral exercises held annually in Southeast Asia to strengthen relationships and enhance the operational readiness of the participating forces. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nancy C. diBenedetto/Released)..." WebSite: NavyNews http://www.navy.mil/ [16AUG2009]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...CSL Comalapa Personnel Support Habitat for Humanity in El Salvador - From Cooperative Security Location Comalapa Public Affairs - Story Number: NNS090715-30 - Release Date: 7/15/2009 10:02:00 PM..." WebSite: NavyNews http://www.navy.mil/ [22JUL2009]

SAN LUIS TALPA, El Salvador (NNS) -- Cooperative Security Location (CSL) Comalapa, VP-45, Sea Operational Detachment personnel along with PAE employees volunteered for a Habitat for Humanity community relations project in San Luis Talpa June 27.

"This is the first time I've worked like this, but it was a good experience helping other people," said Emerson Hernandez, one of the six PAE employees who participated in the event. "We can also get to know each other better, the PAE and Navy employees."

Navy volunteers mixed and moved concrete for the home's foundation.

"We are very grateful for the help that the CSL has provided," said David Paniagua, CSL's liaison for Habitat for Humanity within the Department of La Paz. "But more important is the sharing that is promoted by working with people that are not from here. This relationship demonstrates their altruism."

CSL Comalapa's primary mission is to provide logistical support to aerial counter-drug aircraft and their crews from U.S. military and government law enforcement organizations and to promote theater security cooperation (TSC) like community relations projects in the El Salvador area. TSC also includes military-to-military interaction and bilateral training opportunities.

CSL is under operational control of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (NAVSO)/U.S. 4th Fleet. As the Navy component commander for U.S. Southern Command, NAVSO/4th Fleet oversees maritime operations throughout Latin America, including exercises and deployments, counter illicit trafficking support, and theater security cooperation events.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCamera090630-N-9818V-068 OKINAWA, Japan (June 30, 2009) "...Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Rick West takes questions during an all-hands call from Seabees and Sailors assigned to VP-45 during his visit to Camp Shields in Okinawa. Okinawa is the second stop of West's first visit to Japan since taking the position as MCPON. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jennifer A. Villalovos/Released) ..." WebSite: NavyNews http://www.navy.mil/ [03JUL2009]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Smith Takes Helm at VP-45 By LT(jg) Nate Driessen, VP-45 Public Affairs Officer - Thursday, May 21, 2009..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://adserver1.harvestadsdepot.com/jaxairnews/ss/jaxairnews/ [22MAY2009]

The "Pelicans" of VP-45 gathered aboard NAS Jacksonville May 8 with families, friends and special guests for the change of command ceremony where Cmdr. Gordon Wilson was relieved by his former executive officer, Cmdr. Andrew Smith.

Capt. Tim Brewer, chief of staff, Naval Research Laboratories, honored the outgoing and incoming commanding officers with words about the unique set of leadership attributes that they all possess. He assured all in attendance that Wilson's leadership had prepared the squadron well for its upcoming deployment.

"The new Pelican front office is populated with impressive experience and capabilities that will no doubt facilitate a very successful deployment, beginning in June," said Brewer.

In his farewell address, Wilson expressed how honored he was to serve as Skipper of the greatest squadron in naval aviation. "I attribute all of our accomplishments in a very challenging deployment readiness cycle to our Pelican pride, hard work and leadership at every level of VP-45," said Wilson.

Under his command, the Pelicans surpassed 39 years and 242,000 mishap-free flight hours during a challenging inter-deployment readiness cycle in preparation for the upcoming PACOM and SOUTHCOM deployment. Wilson also led the squadron through the transition from the Consolidated Maintenance Organization concept to organic, squadron-level maintenance. His guidance resulted in a smooth and expeditious addition of a new maintenance department and reintegration of 220 maintainers.

Wilson said, "This is a truly bittersweet day for me. When I reflect on the hard work and dedication of our Pelican family, I'm proud that we successfully completed one of the most difficult deployment readiness cycles in squadron history."

He stressed that while doing so, the squadron remained a model of how to get things done the right way and with integrity.

In keeping with ceremonial tradition, Cmdr. Smith kept his first remarks as commanding officer brief. The new Skipper thanked Wilson for his leadership during his executive officer tour. He also expressed gratitude to his wife and three sons for their dedicated support of his career. Smith extended a warm Pelican welcome to his new executive officer, Cmdr. Michael Doherty, his wife, and their four children.

Doherty graduated with merit from the U.S. Naval Academy with an economics degree in 1992. He received his Wings of Gold in 1995. His was previously executive officer of the Fleet Replacement Squadron, VP-30, onboard NAS Jacksonville, Florida. Doherty said he looks forward to working with Smith and the proud Pelicans of VP-45 to build upon the squadron's reputation for excellence and operational mission accomplishment.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History "...VP-45: Smith Take Helm From Wilson - Thursday, May 7, 2009..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://adserver1.harvestadsdepot.com/jaxairnews/ss/jaxairnews/ [08MAY2009]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...First Quarter 2009 - Thursday, February 23rd, 2009 (Squadrons Mentioned: VP-30, VP-45 and VP-62)..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://adserver1.harvestadsdepot.com/jaxairnews/ss/jaxairnews/ [24APR2009]

VP-45 Blue Jacket of the Quarter AZAN Jonathan Kilgore Junior Sailor of the Quarter AD2 (AW) Thomas Bacon Sailor of the Quarter AM1 (AW) James Agner

VP-30 Blue Jacket of the Quarter ATAN Blake Gerlikowski Junior Sailor of the Quarter YN3 Joann Gonzalez Sailor of the Quarter PS2 Tabitha Longfellow Senior Sailor of the Quarter AD1 Richard Poland

VP-62 Junior Sailor of the Quarter AWF2(AW) Commodore Perry Sailor of the Quarter AWF1(AW) Shawn Turnvall

VP-62 Selected Reservist Junior Sailor of the Quarter AT2(AW) Ginger Whitehead Sailor of the Quarter AWO1(AW) Desmond Valdes

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCamera090220-N-9818V-321 JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Feb. 20, 2009) "...Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Rick West speaks with Sailors assigned to the "Pelicans" of VP-45 during his visit to Naval Air Station Jacksonville. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jennifer A. Villalovos/Released)..." WebSite: Navy NewsStand http://www.navy.mil/ [01MAR2009]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History "...VP-45 Names Sailors Of The Year from VP-45 Public Affairs - Thursday, February 12th, 2009..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://adserver1.harvestadsdepot.com/jaxairnews/ss/jaxairnews/ [13FEB2009]


Circa 2008

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Fourth Quarter 2008 Sailors of the Quarter - Thursday, February 23rd, 2009 (Squadrons Mentioned: VP-30, VP-45 and VP-62)..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://adserver1.harvestadsdepot.com/jaxairnews/ss/jaxairnews/ [24APR2009]

VP-62 Junior Sailor of the Quarter PS2 Laura Rollins Sailor of the Quarter AWF1(AW/NAC) Cecil Honeycutt Selected Reservist Junior Sailor of the Quarter SK2 Eric Medina Sailor of the Quarter AM1(AW) Jeffrey Schwartz

VP-45 Blue Jacket of the Quarter PSSN Jeromy Greeson Junior Sailor of the Quarter AWO2(AW/NAC) Jevin Delgado Senior Sailor of the Quarter AWF1(AW/NAC) Charles Nannenga

VP-30 Blue Jacket of the Quarter ATAN Chris Reynolds Junior Sailor of the Quarter AME3 Lachelle Kilbarger Sailor of the Quarter AWV2 Samuel Houston

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History "...Fleet Forces Command Master Chief Listens To Local Sailors By Clark Pierce Editor - Thursday, September 18, 2008..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://adserver1.harvestadsdepot.com/jaxairnews/ss/jaxairnews/ [19SEP2008]

Photograph Caption: Prior to the E6 call at the base theater, FLTCM(SS/SW) Rick West got acquainted with PS1 Keleen Lynch of VP-45, HM1 Mark Mosier of HS-7 and AW1 Mike Iwicki of HS-7.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History "...VP-45 Teaches At Junior Achievement Day - Thursday, July 24, 2008..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://adserver1.harvestadsdepot.com/jaxairnews/ss/jaxairnews/ [25JUL2008]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History "...Mission Accomplished - VP-45 Combat Air Crew 12 Returns - Thursday June 19th, 2008 - JaxAirNews..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://adserver1.harvestadsdepot.com/jaxairnews/ss/jaxairnews/ [21JUN2008]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCamera080605-N-8102J-044 JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (June 5, 2008) "...Yeoman 2nd Class Travis Butler, left, assigned to the "Mad Foxes" of VP-5, performs a fast break during the 2008 Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Command Sports 3-on-3 Challenge basketball tournament while Intel Specialist 2nd Class Allen Tavarez, assigned to the "Pelicans" of VP-45, tries to guard him. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Toiete Jackson (Released)..." WebSite: NavyNews http://www.navy.mil/ [15JUN2008]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History "...Wilson relieves Thompson as VP-45 CO By Lt. William Webb - Thursday, May 29, 2008..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://adserver1.harvestadsdepot.com/jaxairnews/ss/jaxairnews/ [31MAY2008]

Photograph Caption: (From left) Cmdr. Thomas Thompson, Captain Kyle Cozad and Cmdr. Gordon Wilson. Photo by VP-45

Cmdr. Gordon Wilson recently relieved Cmdr. Thomas Thompson as commanding officer of the VP-45 "Pelicans." Capt. Kyle Cozad, Commander, Patrol And Reconnaissance Wing 11, was the guest speaker.

Wilson, a native of Plandome, N.Y., graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science in Oceanography. He entered pilot flight training and earned his pilot wings in 1993.

Following initial P-3 training at VP-30, Wilson joined VP-26 NAS Brunswick, Maine in 1994. He deployed to Italy, Panama, Iceland and Puerto Rico, earning designations as patrol plane commander, mission commander and instructor pilot while serving as first lieutenant division officer, armament branch officer, assistant administrative officer and pilot NATOPS officer.

In 1998, Wilson reported to VP-30 NAS Jacksonville, Florida as a Fleet Replacement Squadron instructor pilot where he performed duties in pilot training as the instrument standardization officer.

In 2000, he attended the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS ) in Patuxent River, Md., where he was selected as a distinguished graduate of class 117. He then reported to Naval Force Aircraft Test Squadron and served as a test pilot and project officer. In 2001, Wilson returned to USNTPS and served as a fixed wing test pilot instructor. He managed numerous flight test programs and flew more than 35 aircraft, including instructor qualifications in the A-37, P-3, T-2 and T-38 aircraft.

Following refresher training at VP-30, Wilson reported to VP-8 in 2002, serving as safety/NATOPS officer and maintenance officer. In 2003, he deployed to NAS Sigonella, Sicily and NAS Souda Bay, Crete, Greece highlighted by combat missions in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

In 2004, Wilson reported to Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet on board USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) homeported in Yokosuka, Japan where he served on staff as future operations undersea warfare officer, fleet training officer and battle watch captain.

In 2006, Wilson served as executive officer of VP-30 at NAS Jacksonville, Florida. He reported as executive officer of VP-45 in 2007.

During Cmdr. Thompson's tenure at VP-45, he commanded a demanding tri-site deployment to: Djibouti, Africa; Comolapa, El Salvador; Sigonella, Italy; and multiple surge sites and detachments that performed a myriad of missions.

Thompson's next assignment is with Joint Fires Coordination Command at Eglin AFB, Fla.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Wings of Gold Thumbnail "...Spotlight on NAS Sigonella, Sicily. Wings of Gold - Spring 2008 - Page 20. Squadron Mentioned: VP-45..." WebSite: Association of Naval Aviation http://www.anahq.org/index.htm [23APR2008]
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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Wings of Gold Thumbnail "...Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Group - RADM Brian C. Prindle, USN. Wings of Gold - Spring 2008 - Page 6-8. (Squadrons/Wings Referenced: VP-62, VP-69, VQ-1, VQ-2, VPU-1, VPU-2, VP-1, VP-4, VP-5, VP-8, VP-9, VP-10, VP-16, VP-26, VP-30, VP-40, VP-45, VP-46, VP-47, CPRW-2, CPRW-5, CPRW-10 and CPRW-11..." WebSite: Association of Naval Aviation http://www.anahq.org/index.htm [23APR2008]
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Open VP History Adobe FileMaritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Group Article 166KB

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-30 and VP-45 History "...MWR Liberty Cover Center Entertains The Single Sailor - Thursday, January 14th, 2008..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://adserver1.harvestadsdepot.com/jaxairnews/ss/jaxairnews/ [15FEB2008]

Photograph Caption: YN3(AW) Joann Gonzalez from VP-30 and SK2(AW/SW) Patrick Harbin from VP-45 wait for the David Copperfield show to start Jan. 29. Gonzalez and Harbin are single Sailors who took advantage of the trip sponsored by the NAS Jacksonville, Florida Moral, Welfare and Recreation Department's Liberty Cover Recreation Center.


Circa 2007

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...2007 El Sigonella Deployment Photograph's..." VP-45 Official WebSite http://www.vp45.navy.mil/ [17APR2008]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...2007 El Salvador Deployment Photograph's..." VP-45 Official WebSite http://www.vp45.navy.mil/ [17APR2008]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...2007 Djibouti, Africa Deployment Photograph's..." VP-45 Official WebSite http://www.vp45.navy.mil/ [17APR2008]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History "...ubmitted by Navy Lt. William L. Webb. Combat Aircrew 12 of the "Pelicans" of VP-45 conduct preflight for a combat reconnaissance mission in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The crew was surged to Ali Air Base, Iraq. Picture was taken on top of a fire bottle on the flight line to help steady the camera..." WebSite: Stars and Stripes http://www.stripes.com/ [17JAN2008]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...VP-45 Returns Home By Lt. Edward Fong, VP-45 PAO - Thursday, December 13th, 2007. (VP-45 and CMO-11)..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://adserver1.harvestadsdepot.com/jaxairnews/ss/jaxairnews/ [13DEC2007]

History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History IS3 Charles Coddington hugs his wife, Shawna, after returning home from a six-month deployment. VP-45 deployed to Sigonella, Italy, Comalapa, El Salvador and Djibouti, Africa. Photos by MC2 (AW/NAC) Kaitlyn Patterson.

The final group of Sailors from VP-45 and CMO-11, returned home to NAS Jacksonville last week, bringing to an end an exciting and historic deployment.

The VP-45 "Pelicans" began their tri-site deployment in May. Throughout the deployment, the squadron maintained six crews and approximately 100 personnel in Sigonella, Italy, four crews and 100 personnel in Comalapa, El Salvador and two crews and 50 personnel at Camp Lemonier, Djibouti. Operations from these sites supported counter-drug operations as well as the global war on terrorism. From hunting down and intercepting shipments of illegal narcotics to supporting coalition troops engaged in combat operations, the Pelicans carried out their tasks with extreme proficiency, accuracy, and professionalism.

During the deployment, VP-45 flew more than 4,900 mishap-free flight hours across four continents. In El Salvador, the Pelicans were directly involved in seizing over 55 metric tons of illegal narcotics with a street value of over $2 billion. Highlights of these operations included the seizure of a self-propelled semi-submersible which was featured on several national media outlets.

History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History Jonathan Baiza jumps in the inflatable bouncer that was set up for the children who awaited their family member's return Dec. 4. He was waiting for his stepdad, AW2 Jonathan Castano from VP-45 to come home.

In Africa, squadron personnel flew missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, providing valuable intelligence and direct support to coalition forces on the ground. They also performed a critical role in monitoring and deterring piracy along the African coast.

In Sigonella, VP-45 operations focused on traditional maritime patrol and reconnaissance missions. VP-45 crews constantly monitored the shipping traffic in the Mediterranean Sea in support of NATO Operation Active Endeavor and numerous overland missions were flown in the Balkans.

While on deployment, the Pelicans had the opportunity to participate in detachments to 15 countries, providing humanitarian support, establishing foreign relations and refining their joint combat capabilities. Among the most notable of these detachments was Exercise Indunduma flown from Cape Town, South Africa. While in South Africa, squadron personnel flew in support of Task Group 60.5, which is tasked with maintaining the maritime picture along the Indian Ocean coastline of Africa. These operations focused on general military training with the South African Air Force and Navy in order to improve interoperability while maintaining stability in the region and advancing multinational interests in South and East Africa.

History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History Navy family member Amanda Hartley offered face painting for the children who awaited their family member's return Dec. 4. Here, she paints the face of her little brother, Owen, as they waited for their father, AT2 Chad Hartley's plane to arrive.

The numerous missions, detachments and mishap-free hours would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of a truly exceptional maintenance team. VP-45 was the first squadron to fully deploy under the CMO structure. This concept, which was implemented in October 2006, was designed to improve maintenance services for the P-3 community. Working together, VP-45 and CMO-11 have implemented this concept flawlessly across three

VP-45 returns homedeployment sites. While on deployment with VP-45, the CMO personnel have maintained the highest level of aircraft availability for mission completion in the harshest of conditions.

History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History A VP-45 Sailor kisses his wife after returning home.

The last six months were truly an adventure for the men and women of VP-45 and CMO-11, providing them with unique opportunities to see the world and interact with different cultures. Many Sailors took advantage of the squadron's deployment to visit cities throughout Europe, while others were able to take a jungle-canopy tour in the Kakum National Rainforest during a detachment to Accra, Ghana. "This deployment has shown me first-hand, the role we perform in the defense of our country and I am honored at having the privilege to serve," remarked IT3 Miguel Bonilla Roman, reflecting on his first deployment.

History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History AZ2 Jamie Waycaster from VP-45 hugs Abigail Batson after returning home from a six month deployment.

VP-45 was relieved in Sigonella by surge crews from NAS Brunswick and NAS Jacksonville, led by VP-5. In El Salvador, they were relieved by crews from MCAS Kanehoe Bay, Hawaii and NAS Whidbey Island, Wash. led by VP-9.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCamera071204-N-0577G-005 SIGONELLA, Sicily (Dec. 4, 2007) "...Aviation Warfare Systems Operator 3rd Class Kelly Squire, assigned to VP-45, explains the different equipment operated from the radar console of the P-3 Orion and the role the non-acoustic operator plays in the mission of the aircraft to Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet Vice Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr. Naval Air Station Sigonella provides logistical support for Commander, 6th Fleet and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces throughout the Mediterranean. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian A. Goyak (RELEASED)..." WebSite: NavyNews http://www.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=53586 [11DEC2007]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 YN3 Carrera and AO3 Marin "...VP-45 Members Come Home - Thursday, November 15th, 2007..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://adserver1.harvestadsdepot.com/jaxairnews/ss/jaxairnews/ [16NOV2007]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History "...VP-45 Completes Historic Visit to South Africa By LT Matt Tigrett - VP-45 - Thursday, October 8th, 2007..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://adserver1.harvestadsdepot.com/jaxairnews/ss/jaxairnews/ [10NOV2007]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraLT Bill Schmermund "...'Pelicans' Participate in Neptune Warrior 2007 from VP-45 - Thursday, October 8th, 2007..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://adserver1.harvestadsdepot.com/jaxairnews/ss/jaxairnews/ [10NOV2007]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraPhotos by MC2 Gary "...SECDEF visits VP-45 Sailors - Thursday, October 11th, 2007..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://adserver1.harvestadsdepot.com/jaxairnews/ss/jaxairnews/ [12OCT2007]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCamera071002-N-8590G-001 COMALAPA, El Salvador (Oct. 02, 2007) "...Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates meets with Sailors of VP-45 and Forward Operating Location (FOL). Defense Secretary Gates was en route to the U.S. Embassy to meet with President of El Salvador Antonio Saca and U.S. Ambassador Charles L. Glazer on El Salvador's ongoing support with the U.S. and the war on terrorism. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Gary Granger Jr. (RELEASED)..." WebSite: NavyNews http://www.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=51526 [06OCT2007]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCamera071002-N-8590G-005 COMALAPA, El Salvador (Oct. 02, 2007) "...Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates meets with Sailors of VP-45 and Forward Operating Location (FOL). Defense Secretary Gates was en route to the U.S. Embassy to meet with President of El Salvador Antonio Saca and U.S. Ambassador Charles L. Glazer on El Salvador's ongoing support with the U.S. and the war on terrorism. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Gary Granger Jr. (RELEASED)..." WebSite: NavyNews http://www.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=51527 [06OCT2007]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCamera070906-N-8590G-003 COMALAPA AIR BASE, El Salvador (Sept. 6, 2007) "...Aviation Structural Mechanic Airman Kevin Gruters, assigned to Consolidated Maintenance Organization in support of VP-45, the "Pelicans," salutes the pilot of a P3C returning to base after completion of a mission. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Gary Granger, Jr. (RELEASED)..." WebSite: NavyNews http://www.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=50681 [17SEP2007]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCamera070103-N-3278W-001 ALI AIR BASE, Iraq (Jan. 3, 2007) "...Combat Air Crew (CAC) 12, of VP-45, prepares for a combat reconnaissance mission in support of the global war on terrorism. U.S. Navy photo by Lt. William L. Webb (RELEASED)..." WebSite: NavyNews http://www.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=50342 [17SEP2007]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History "...VP-45 Helps Orphanage While On Deployment - Thursday, September 13th, 2007..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://adserver1.harvestadsdepot.com/jaxairnews/ss/jaxairnews/ [14SEP2007]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCamera "...'Pelicans' participate in unique experience in Africa - By LT(jg) Justin Rogers - Thursday, August 16, 2007..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://adserver1.harvestadsdepot.com/jaxairnews/ss/jaxairnews/ [18AUG2007]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCamera070813-N-2491R-018 JACKSONVILLE, Florida (Aug. 13, 2007) "...Sailors assigned to Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing CPRW-11 inspect the flight line of Naval Air Station NAS Jacksonville, Florida for foreign object debris (FOD). CPRW-11 is comprised of three operational squadrons, VP-5, VP-16, and VP-45, with 38 maritime patrol aircraft deployable worldwide. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Harry J. Rucker III (RELEASED)..." WebSite: NavyNews http://www.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=49510 [15AUG2007]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraAT3 Charles Gross "...AT3 Charles Gross, assigned to Consolidated Maintenance Organization in support of the "Pelicans" of VP-45, conducts maintenance procedures to ensure proper function of the P-3C Orion turbo prop engines in Comalapa, El Salvador, July 31 - Thursday, August 9th, 2007..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://adserver1.harvestadsdepot.com/jaxairnews/ss/jaxairnews/ [10AUG2007]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCamera070730-N-8704K-125 COMALAPA, El Salvador (July 30, 2007) "...Aviation Machinist Mate Airmen Alex Alegre and Aviation Structural Mechanic 3rd Class Travis Sloan assists with the detachment of a propeller from a P-3C Orion attached to the Pelicans of VP-45. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Karsten (RELEASED)..." WebSite: Navy NewsStand http://www.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=48894 [03AUG2007]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History "...VP-45's Recruit Division Graduates - From VP-45 - JaxAirNews Vol.65 - No. 20 - Thursday, May 17, 2007..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://adserver1.harvestadsdepot.com/jaxairnews/ss/jaxairnews/ [19MAY2007]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraLCDR Rosen "...'Princesses' luck into magical time - Being at the right place at Disney World nets a stay in Cinderella suite. By KONRAD MARSHALL, The Times-Union - Last modified 5/15/2007 - 6:42 am..." WebSite: Jacksonville.Com http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/051507/met_169953662.shtml [16MAY2007]

Waiting for permission to post entire article.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraSailor Of The Quarter "...Sailor Of The Quarter - Menitoned: VP-4, VP-16, VP-30, VP-45 and CPRW-11 - Thursday, May 3rd, 2007 Vol. 65 - No. 18..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/ [04MAY2007]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP-8 Patch ThumbnailCameraOperation Enduring Freedom "...VP-5, VP-8, VP-10, VP-26, VP-40 and VP-45 - Deployment PATRON Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar Dec 2006 - Jun 2007..." Contributed by LT Donald W. Hartsell donald.hartsell@navy.mil [03MAY2007]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...VP-45 Command Structure..." WebSite: VP-45 http://www.vp45.navy.mil/ [02MAY2007]

History ThumbnailCameraCO - CDR Mark L. Turner Commander Mark L. Turner was born in Greenwich, Connecticut. He graduated from Marquette University in May 1987 with a B.A. in Political Science. He received his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps and was designated a Naval Flight Officer in February 1989.

In September 1989, he reported to the "Golden Pelicans" of VP-44 at NAS Brunswick, Maine. Flying the P-3C Update II Orions, he deployed to Keflavik, Iceland. Upon the disestablishment of VP-44 he reported to the "Proud Pegasus" of VP-11 where he made a deployment to Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. During these tours he was designated an Instructor Tacco and Mission Commander and served as Conventional Weapons Officer, Communications Officer, and Readiness Officer.

Commander Turner then reported to the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Washington D.C. in May 1992. He served as Assistant Patrol Aviation Placement Officer and Flight Student Placement Officer. During this time he earned is Masters Degree in Business Administration from Averett College, Danville, Virginia.

In May 1995, Commander Turner was assigned as Operations Administration Officer on the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73). He qualified as Officer of the Deck, and earned his Surface Warfare Officer designation. He completed a deployment to the Mediterranean Sea and Arabian Gulf in support of operations JOINT ENDEAVOR and SOUTHERN WATCH.

Following his disassociated sea tour, Commander Turner reported to the P-3 Replacement Squadron, VP-30 for instructor duty where he served as Training Director.

In March 1998, Commander Turner reported to the "Golden Swordsmen" of VP-47 at NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii. During this tour he served as Administration Officer, Training Officer, and Operations Officer and completed deployments to Diego Garcia and Misawa, Japan.

Commander Turner then reported to the Chief of Naval Operations as the Assistant P-3 and Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA) Requirements Officer in November 1999. Upon completion of the MMA Analysis of Alternatives (AOA), he was assigned to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Requirements, initiating development of a Broad Area Maritime Surveillance UAV program.

In July 2002, Commander Turner reported to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Command, Control, Communications and Computer (C4) Systems Directorate (J-6). He served as Informations Operations Action Officer until his transfer to the Force Structure, Resources and Assessment Directorate (J-8) where he served as the Executive Assistant to the Vice Director for the Force Structure, Resources and Assessment Directorate. In March 2005, he reported to Patrol Squadron 45 as the Executive Officer. During this tour, he completed a combat deployment to FIFTH and SEVENTH Fleets in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM.

Commander Turner's personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, four Navy-Marine Corps Commendation medals, Navy Achievement medal and various campaign, and unit awards.

History ThumbnailCameraXO - CDR Thomas L. Thompson Commander Tom Thompson entered Aviation Officer Candidate School in June 1987 under the Naval Aviation Cadet (NAVCAD) program. Upon completion of initial flight training in Pensacola, FL and Corpus Christi, TX, Commander Thompson was appointed an Ensign and was designated as a Naval Aviator in 1989. Following FRS training, he reported to Patrol Squadron TWO THREE in NAS Brunswick, Maine. During his tour with the "Seahawks" he served as Line Division Officer, Schedules Officer, and NATOPS Officer, qualifying as a P-3C Patrol Plane Instructor Pilot and Mission Commander during two split site deployments to Bermuda, Puerto Rico, Sigonella, and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia while supporting Operation SOUTHERN WATCH.

In January 1993, he reported to VPU-2 where he served as Aircraft Division Officer and Legal Officer while qualifying as a Mission Aircraft Commander and Instructor Pilot. Commander Thompson participated in multiple detachments in support of FIFTH and SEVENTH Fleet operations in Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and Kenya to include Operation RESTORE HOPE in Somalia.

In May 1995, Commander Thompson entered the Degree Completion Program at the University of Florida and completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in May 1997.

In October 1997, he reported to USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV 67). While there he qualified as Tactical Action Officer and was assigned as the shipboard coordinator for the installation, evaluation and operational testing of the Automated Combat Display System (ACDS BLK 1) and Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC). While aboard the USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV 67), he deployed to the Mediterranean and Arabian Gulf.

Following FRS refresher training, Commander Thompson reported for a second tour with the "Wizards" now designated Patrol Special Projects Squadron TWO at MCAS Kaneohe Bay, HI in May 1999. During this tour with the "Wizards" he served as the Assistant Operations Officer and Maintenance Officer while participating in numerous worldwide detachments to include Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, and Key West. Commander Thompson also deployed to NSA Bahrain, Oman and Masirah, Oman in direct support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

He then served on the staff of Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Force Seventh/Fifth Fleet in Kamiseya Japan from July 2002 to October 2005 as the Maintenance and Logistics Officer. While there, he coordinated the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance maintenance and facilities logistics efforts for the Seventh and Fifth Fleets in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom-Phillipines. Additionally, he coordinated the realignment of operational deployment sites in the Pacific and Arabian Gulf and the Staff's Home Port Change to Misawa Japan.

Commander Thompson's awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device, Navy Commendation Medal with two gold stars and Combat Distinguishing Device, Navy Achievement Medal with two gold stars, and various unit citations and service awards.

History ThumbnailCameraCMDCM Lawerence Welden Master Chief Welden joined the Navy in July 1977. After completing recruit training in Orlando, FL, he reported to AD "A" school in Millington, TN. In November 1977 he received his first orders to NAS Cecil Field, FL, AIMD Power Plants.

In September 1980, he received orders to VP-24 onboard NAS Jacksonville, assigned to Power Plants. While in VP-24 he became a P-3 Flight Engineer. He completed five deployments with VP-24 and was advanced to First Class Petty Officer.

In November 1987, he reported to NATC NAS Patuxent River, Maryland where he was assigned to Force Warfare Aircraft Test Directorate, Power Plants Division. He was selected for Chief Petty Officer during this tour.

In October 1991, he received orders to VP-6 NAS Barbers Point, HI. After reporting to VP-6, he was promoted to Senior Chief Petty Officer. Upon his return from deployment with VP-6, he was instrumental with the decommissioning of the squadron.

In March 1993, he reported to Executive Transport Department, NAS Barbers Point, HI in support of CINCPACFLT. He was assigned as the Leading Chief Petty Officer and completed a successful tour.

In April 1995, he returned to NATC NAS Patuxent River, Maryland where he was assigned to Force Warfare Aircraft Test Directorate and served as the VS Division Officer in Charge. While serving this tour, he was advanced to Master Chief Petty Officer.

In November 1997, he accepted orders as Command Master Chief to VS-30, NAS Jacksonville, FL. He completed two successful cruises with the squadron.

In September 1999 he attended the Senior Enlisted Academy in Rhode Island. He was awarded a citation from the Fleet Reserve Association for "Outstanding" Physical Readiness Training.

In March 2001, he received orders to the "Pro's Nest" of VP-30, NAS Jacksonville where he completed a successful tour as the Command Master Chief .

Master Chief Welden took over Command Master Chief duties in November 2004 at VP-45.

His military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with one gold star, the Navy Commendation Medal with four gold stars, the Navy Achievement Medal, and various unit citations.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraPhoto by MC2(AW) Gary Granger Jr. "...VP-45 Sponsors Recruit Division 125 from VP-45. Thursday, April 5, 2007 Vol. 65 - No. 14..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/ [06APR2007]

Photograph Caption: (From left) AD2(AW/NAC) Miguel Madrid, AWC(AW/SW/NAC) Fernando Padilla, HM2 Carol Blue, LCDR John Rhodes all of VP-45, and GM1(SW) David Messinger, recruit commander of Recruit Division 125, proudly display Recruit Division 125's pennant. VP-45 is the proud sponsor of the division currently attending basic training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lekes, Ill.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCamera070217-N-8544C-006 Jacksonville, Fla. (Feb. 17, 2007) "...Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Mario Amaro, assigned to Patron Squadron Forty Five (VP-45), prepares a Sea Cadet for a uniform inspection during their monthly drill weekend held at Naval Air Station, Jacksonville. The Naval Sea Cadet Corps are a national, federally-chartered youth training organization that helps youth, ages 11 to 17, to explore careers in the military. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Susan Cornell (RELEASED)..." WebSite: Navy NewsStand http://www.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=43312 [04MAR2007]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraPhoto by MC2(SW/AW) Rebecca Kruck "...MWR Planner - ATAN Jason Shimel of VP-45 and AE3 Mark Lassiter of VP-30, play a round of Flick during the Super Bowl Party held at the Zone February 4, 2007. Thursday, February 15, 2007 Vol. 65 - No. 7..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/ [02FEB2007]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraPhoto by MC2(SW/AW) Rebecca Kruck "...NAS Jax Tax Center Open Now - From NLSO. Thursday, February 1, 2007 Vol. 65 - No. 5..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/ [02FEB2007]

Photograph Caption: AE3(AW) Kevin Gamble from VP-45 looks on as CS1(SW/SS) Roderick Richards goes through his W-2 information at the Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) center located in Building 13 at the NAS Jax Main Gate.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraLT Mike McDonald "...Disaster drill helps emergency crews stay prepared. Thursday, January 25th, 2007 - Vol 65 No 4..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/ [26JAN2007]

Photograph Caption: LT Paul Hillesheim of Branch Health Clinic NAS Jacksonville, Florida, (left) and LT Mike McDonald, flight surgeon with VP-45, check a victim for injuries at the triage area.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraCaptain Sean Buck, CO CPRW-11 "...Warfare Development: A New Paradigm. By Lt.j.g. Scott Greer - VP-45 PAO. Squadrons Mentioned: CPRW-11, VP-5 and VP-45. Thursday, January 4th, 2007..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/ [05JAN2007]

Photograph Caption: Captain Sean Buck, Commanding Officer of CPRW-11 and Rear Admiral Brian Prindle, Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group, cut the ribbon to the new Warfare Development Center

On Oct. 1, the P-3 squadrons of Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Eleven (CPRW-11) unified their maintenance departments into single a Consolidated Maintenance Organization (CMO). With a renewed focus on warfare primacy, professional development, and leadership excellence, the resulting squadrons were completely restructured.

Central to the new construct was the creation of a transformational Warfare Development Department (WDD) charged with positional training along with tactical standardization and innovation.

Three department heads supported by nine junior officer instructor pilots and tactical coordinators lead the new department. Tactics are developed or refined through close coordination with VP-30 and CPRW-11's Weapons Training Units, detailed postmission reconstruction/analysis, and feedback of lessons learned to aircrew.

Training is managed through the creation of positional warfare development tracks.

Enlisted aircrew remain in their respective training tracks until qualified whereas junior officers serve in either an intermediate or advanced training track. Intermediate training occurs during the first three months a junior officer is in a squadron. Advanced training is conducted after the first year culminating in a demanding oral review board and in-flight evaluation.

On Sept. 22, Rear Adm. Brian Prindle, commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group, Capt. Sean Buck, commanding officer (CO) of CPRW-11, Cmdr. Mark Turner, CO of VP-45 and Cmdr. Brent Klavon CO of VP-5 dedicated an innovative Warfare Development Center (WDC).

The WDC is a state-of-the-art facility comprised of 75 computers, cutting edge software, and the latest presentation technologies. In 2007, the WDC will also allow worldwide video teleconferencing and SIPRNET access. The new facility was created to support the WDD Inter-Deployment Readiness Cycles charter by providing a central location where aircrew undergo a rigorous syllabus of computer-based training, systems/tactics lectures, development: a new snow lectures, and professional/leadership seminars. At the end of the training, participants are expected to be a consummate war-fighter and leader.

Every detail, including the layout of the WDC, was planned in detail to reinforce the worldwide readiness of P-3 squadrons. Consisting of two classrooms, designated the Campaign and warrior rooms, aircrew can view the flags and campaign streamers for the locations and operations that patrol squadron have operated in since World War II. More poignantly, all of the Navy personnel lost on Sept. 11, 2001 and the global war on terrorism are memorialized.

Prindle heralded the warfare development model as "the way of the future" and how the P-3 community will "make the step from the P-3 to multi-mission maritime aircraft without missing a step."

A quote from Sir Winston Churchill is on the wall of the warrior room that reads, "History will be kind to me for I intend to write it." The officers and Sailors of CPRW-11, VP-45 and VP-5 are doing just that for the entire P-3 community.


Circa 2006

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraCDR Drew Kenney (VP-30), AWAN Anthony Balver (VP-30) and LCDR Susan Miller (VR-58) "...Annual Turkey Trot brings out runners. Squadrons Mentioned: VP-30, VP-45 and VR-58. Thursday, November 23, 2006..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/ [25NOV2006]

It was the perfect day for the annual Turkey Trot Nov. 17 as 97 runners turned out to participate in the 5K run. The event is sponsored each year by the NAS Jacksonville, Florida Morale, Welfare and Recreation Department (MWR).

Placing first overall and first in the men's military category was Drew Kenny from VP-30 with a time of 17:36. Taking second in the military men's category was Hank Bruncuik of the Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation Center, coming in at 18:23 followed by Barry Buss of Commander Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic, Detachment Jax, who placed third with a time of 18:38.

In the military women's category, Susan Miller of VR-58 took first with a time of 20:43, followed by Chun Qin Mai of Fleet Readiness Center Southeast, coming in at 23:59 and Virginia Hernandez of VP-45, at 24:05.

Taking first in the male open division was Brett Beisker with a time of 20:40, followed by Mark Seidl coming in at 22:00 and Timothy Wimberely with a time of 25:58.

Christine Bell placed first in the female open division with a time of 21:53, followed by Candace McElroy coming in at 27:59 and Elisa Jacque in third with a time of 30:29.

After the run, an awards ceremony was held to present medals to the winners and six people were lucky enough to take home a turkey for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The next MWR-sponsored run will be the annual Jingle Bell Run Dec. 14 at 11:30 a.m. For more information, call 542-3239/3518.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCamera060710-N-7512V-001 Jacksonville, Fla. (July 10, 2006) "...Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class Anthony Gilpin loads a sonobouy into a P-3C Orion attached to the "Fighting Pelicans" of Patrol Squadron Four Five (VP-45). VP-45 recently returned from a six-month deployment to 5th and 7th fleet areas of operations. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kaitlyn Rae Vargo (RELEASED)..." WebSite: Navy News Stand http://www.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=36647 [05NOV2006]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraPhotos by Kaylee LaRocque "...Domestic Violence: Walk, rally brings attention of scourge of society - by Kaylee LaRocque - Editor - Thursday, October 12, 2006 - (Squadron/NAS Mentioned: VP-45 and NAS Jacksonville, Florida..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://adserver1.harvestadsdepot.com/jaxairnews/ss/jaxairnews/ [14OCT2006]

Top Photograph Caption: CMDCM(AW)NAC0 Tom Welden, VP-45 Command Master Chief, looks at the Domestic Violence Series created by artist MeloD to promote awareness about abusive relations.

Bottom Photograph Caption: NAS Jacksonville, Florida Commanding Officer Capt. Chip Dobson signs the Domestic Violence Prevention Proclamation, designating October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month after the rally.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraPhoto courtesy of VP-30 "...VP-30 Flight Officers Get Wings By Lt Steve Bradfield - VP-30 PAO - Thursday, September 21, 2006. (Squadrons Mentioned: VP-30, VP-45, VT-4 and VT-10)..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://adserver1.harvestadsdepot.com/jaxairnews/ss/jaxairnews/ [22SEP2006]

Photograph Caption: Ensign Jessee Cleland receives his naval flight officer wings from his fiancee, Catherine Dziok, during the ceremony.

VP-30 began a new era in naval flight officer (NFO) training recently by conducting their first NFO winging ceremony. This ceremony was the result of the Chief of Naval Air Training's (CNATRA) trial initiative known as the Undergraduate Maritime Flight Officer (UMFO) Program. Through this initiative, CNATRA hopes to streamline the P-3 NFO training pipeline while providing the maritime patrol community a better product.

During the ceremony, VP-30's Commanding Officer Capt. Tim Brewer awarded NFO wings to: Ensigns Jon Baccus, Jesse Cleland, Drew Mickleth wait and Justin Rogers. The event and reception drew family members and friends from around the country.

For Rogers, a Jacksonville native and former aviation warfare systems operator at VP-45, this designation brings extra significance as he has exchanged his service in a support capacity, for a top leadership position within a P-3 tactical crew.

The recipients have completed the undergraduate maritime flight officer syllabus, earning their wings. The four will now enroll in the CAT 1 fleet replacement squadron (FRS) syllabus. Their anticipated graduation date is scheduled for Feb. 9. Upon their graduation at VP-30, they will report to various operational patrol squadrons to begin their initial sea tour.

The NFO training pipeline begins with aviation preflight introduction (API) instruction in Pensacola, Fla. After completing API, all student NFOs report for primary training at VT-10 or VT-4, also at NAS Pensacola, Florida. In the traditional training track, multi-engine designated NFOs attend advanced navigation training at Randolph AFB in San Antonio, Texas.

Upon completion of this course, they are awarded their wings of gold prior to transferring to VP-30 where they receive P-3 FRS training. The four UMFOs reported directly to VP-30 following completion at VT-10 or VT-4.

With the continued success of this experimental initiative, CNATRA may begin sending all maritime NFO's directly from primary flight training to VP-30, bypassing advanced training at Randolph AFB. The primary and VP-30 courses would add additional events to accommodate the loss of advanced training.

As a result, the process would reduce current redundancies in training, reduce the number of PCS moves, create a focus on P-3 specific NFO training, all while reducing the overall training time by 10 weeks.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 LT Brian Williams "...Sport Challenge: Rain Can't Dampen Spirits Of Participants In First MWR-Sponsored Event - LT Brian Williams of VP-45 blows past defenders to score an easy basket during the Sports Day Challenge 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/ [01SEP2006]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History "...ASTC: Incident Survivor Appreciates Training - Thursday, August 24, 2006 (Squadrons Mentioned: VP-5 and VP-30)..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/ [25AUG2006]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...P-8A mobile demo trailer visits NAS Jacksonville, Florida By Lt. Steve Bradfield, VP-30 PAO - Thursday, August 24, 2006 (Squadrons Mentioned: VP-30, VP-45 and CPRW-11)..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/ [25AUG2006]

History ThumbnailCameraPhoto by Clark Pierce Lt. Cmdr. Dan Parilla of , evaluates the P-8A flight controls during his simulated sortie Aug. 11.

The Boeing Corporation's P-8A Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA) demonstration trailer made a stop at NAS Jacksonville Aug. 11 as part of their nine-week cross-country tour.

The P-8A is a military derivative of the next generation 737-800 commercial aircraft and is the Navy's replacement platform for the P-3C. The state-of-the-art demonstration trailer provided a first-hand look into the latest technology being incorporated into the new weapon system. The demonstration trailer included a high fidelity cockpit flight simulation linked with three mission operator consoles and simulated sensors.

More than 300 aircrew and Sailors had the opportunity to participate in guided demonstrations of the 21st century workstations and operational mission software, and participated in simulated test flights experiencing some of the mission qualities the P-8A aircraft will bring to the fleet. The demonstration trailer also included high bandwidth satellite connectivity enabling distributed simulations and network-centric demonstrations between the trailer and other Boeing Integration Centers across the country.

History ThumbnailCameraPhoto by Clark Pierce Boeing's P-8A Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA) mobile demonstration trailer is on a nine-week, cross-country tour to give P-3 pilots and workstation operators a hands-on experience with the new aircraft.

The day prior to the tours, a combined team from Boeing and Naval Air Systems Command, provided Sailors from and squadrons assigned to Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Eleven a thorough brief on the MMA program and detailed information about the open architecture mission system. ''It's is great to get out and see the fleet, our customer in this development effort, and see them walk away excited about the product we plan on delivering to them in the coming years,'' said Egan Greenstein of the Boeing Corporation. ''The trailer enables us to provide a more exciting, more realistic, demonstration of the P-8A's capabilities.''

Capt. Tim Brewer, commanding officer of , after receiving a tour said, ''I wish I was 15 years younger so I could get the chance to fly this aircraft. The Boeing-NAVAIR team, combined with input from the fleet, is obviously on track to deliver a weapon system that will bring with it a huge leap forward in anti-submarine warfare technology.''

History ThumbnailCameraPhoto by Clark Pierce Boeing's Carrie Ann Hrastich stands by as AWAN Marvelous Salters of VP-45, evaluates the workstation software capabilities.

The Boeing-led P-8A team, which includes CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Smiths Aerospace will produce five test aircraft during the program's system development and demonstration phase. The Navy plans to purchase up to 108 aircraft to replace its aging fleet of P-3 aircraft. The first aircraft will be delivered for flight test in 2009 and initial operational capability is slated for 2013.

History ThumbnailCameraPhoto courtesy of VP-30 Commanding Officer Capt. Tim Brewer operates a P-8A Mission System console on board the P-8A demonstration trailer.

History ThumbnailCameraPhoto courtesy of VP-30 Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Eleven Capt. Sean Buck (center) and his Chief Staff Officer Cmdr. Jim Debold (right) discuss P-8A capabilities with Egan Greenstein of the Boeing Corporation.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History "...St. Mar's Episcopal Day School Visits VP-45 - By Lt. j.g. Scott Greer - Thursday, August 10th, 2006 - NAS Jacksonville, Florida..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/ [04AUG2006]

The Pelicans of VP-45 received some youthful enthusiasm on June 26 when 25 children from the ages of six to 10 from St. Mark's Episcopal Day School's summer camp visited the squadron. The kids visited VP-45 during their day trip to Naval Air Station Jacksonville.

Upon arrival, the children and their chaperones were issued ear plugs and given a quick safety brief about their impending walk on the flight line to board a P-3C Orion. The group of 25 was split into two smaller groups in order to provide a more quality tour. The first group was given a brief on aircrew survival equipment, such as the Aircrew Integrated Recovery Survival Armor Vest & Equipment (AIRSAVE), SV-2 survival vests, and flight helmets. The children seemed to enjoy the chance to don the same equipment worn by naval aircrew men and women.

Meanwhile, the other group was led out on to the flight line to board the aircraft. Once on board the children were able to see the on board camera's video images at the non-acoustic radar operator's station.

The highlight of the tour, however, was getting to sit in the pilots' seats in the flight station, where they could operate the airplane's yoke and talk on the internal communication system over an intercom speaker.

This is where seven year-old Alan Perry determined, "I want to do this when I grow up." After each student had a chance to "fly," it was time for the group in the hangar to see the plane. They were equally excited by this experience.

Afterwards eight-year-old Preston Hartung said, "The best part of the field trip was pretending to fly the airplane."

The tour was a great success for everyone. Susan Wood, Summer Camp Director, said, "The trip to NAS [Jacksonville] was the best field trip we have ever been on and we look forward to coming back again!"

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History "...Pelicans Host Moose And Manatee - By Lt. j.g Toby Hall - VP-45 Public Affairs Officer - Thursday, August 3rd, 2006 - NAS Jacksonville, Florida..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/ [04AUG2006]

Two groups of teens from 4-H, the nation's oldest youth development program, were part of an exchange program involving students from Jacksonville, Florida and Billings, Montana. When the Montana students arrived on the First Coast in June, they were hyped about visiting the VP-45 "Pelicans" at Naval Air Station Jacksonville.

The trip completed the final year of a two-year exchange club contract between Montana and Florida called "Moose to Manatee." The Jacksonville youth spent the last 12 months putting together an exciting itinerary to showcase northeast Florida. With the help of Lt. Cmdr. Herlena Washington, a mother of one of the Jacksonville 4-H students, the teens arranged a visit to the VP-45.

For many, their flight to Jacksonville was a firsttime experience for traveling by airplane. Prior to their squadron tour, the 14- to 19-year-olds viewed a short presentation detailing the capabilities and mission of the P-3C Orion.

The teens were then given an extensive tour of a P-3C Orion, which included a chance for each youth to sit at the different crew stations. The teens were very especially excited to sit at the controls in the flight station (cockpit) and operate the camera turretaein addition to talking with naval pilots and flight officers.

Katrina Britton, an 18- year-old rabbit breeder from Montana said, "The tour of the P-3 (which she noted was manufactured the same year she was born) was my highlight of the week."

The youths also got to try on several pieces of survival gear including vests, helmets and parachutes that aircrew wear when flying.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-30 and VP-45 "...USO Volunteers Stuff Back-To-School Packs - By Clark Pierce - Staff Writer - Thursday, August 3rd, 2006 - NAS Jacksonville, Florida..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/ [04AUG2006]

"It's important that kids arrive at school ready to learnæand that means carrying a back pack with all the needed classroom supplies," said Sonja Kutsch, USO program director at NAS Jacksonville, Florida.

One dozen volunteers gathered at the USO on July 28 to fill more than 60 packs for the children of active duty personnel who were nominated by their commands.

"We're packing for Pre-K, kindergarten, and the first through fifth grades," explained Kutsch. "Thanks to the concern and generosity of our Navy Exchange and numerous commands, the support for this project was outstanding. In addition to back packs, notebooks, composition books and loose leaf paper, we have an ample supply of pens, pencils, glue, crayons, folders, scissors and pencil cases."

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History "...VP-45 'Pelicans' Host VP-3 Reunion - By LTjg Scott Greer - VP-45 PAO - Thursday, July 27, 2006 - NAS Jacksonville, Florida..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/ [30JUL2006]

The "Pelicans" of VP-45 hosted the fifth annual Reunion of the decommissioned VP-3 "Huskies" May 19. The attending VP-3 members received a tour of VP-45's squadron spaces, a briefing about the P-3C Orion capabilities and current operations, followed by a P-3C static display.

VP-3 was initially commissioned March 1, 1943 as VPB-136 at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. The squadron was later redesignated as VP-136, VP-ML-3, and finally to VP-3 in September 1948. From its inception during World War II, VPB-136 began its operational status flying successful photographic, bombing, antisubmarine warfare and search missions in the Aleutian Islands for more than 16 months during 1943-44. After World War II, VPB-136 was re-assigned to its new homeport of NAS Coco Solo, Panama, Canal Zone, and then to its final homeport at NAS Jacksonville, Florida. It was here that VP-3 acquired its new P2V-2 Neptune, and later the P2V-3W aircraft, which it flew until its decommissioning in December 1955.

Cmdr. Mark Turner, VP-45 commanding officer, gave the "Huskies" a brief highlighting the current capabilities and missions of the P-3C Orion and compared them to the missions they flew nearly 60 years ago.

"We are able to do what we do today because of the work you did back then," Turner told the attendees. Following the brief, the Huskies were able to view a static display of one of VP-45's aircraft in the hangar bay. They were quite impressed by the aircraft as well as the technology that allows today's patrol squadrons to be successful in their missions.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraAO3 Anthony Gilpin "...Loading Sonobouy - AO3 Anthony Gilpin loads a sonobouy into a P-3C Orion attached to the "Fighting Pelicans" of VP-45 July 10. VP-45 recently returned from a six-month deployment to Fifth and Seventh fleet areas of operations - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - NAS Jacksonville, Florida..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/ [22JUL2006]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 Commanding Officer "...VP-45 'Pelicans' Host VIP - By LT(jg) Toby Hall - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - NAS Jacksonville, Florida..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/ [22JUL2006]

Photograph Caption: VP-45 Commanding Officer Mark Turner presents Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition Dr. Delores Etter with a flag that was flown over Irag after her orientation flight with the squadron.

The "Pelicans" of VP-45 recently conducted a two-hour P-3 orientation flight for Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition Dr. Delores Etter.

Distinguished visitors included Etter, Capt. David Norris (executive assistant to Etter), Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Ship Programs Allison Stiller and Capt. Brian Antonio (executive assistant to Stiller).

The flight gave them an opportunity to experience a typical day in the maritime patrol and reconnaissance community.

Several topics were discussed during the flight including antisubmarine warfare, maritime surveillance, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, crew training, Consolidated Maintenance program and a short discussion on the "bridge" to multi-mission maritime aircraft (MMA).

The orientation began with an introduction of the acoustic operator station by AW1(NAC) Erika Carbone that included a short discussion on the acoustic suite, highlighting the P-3's core competency.

Etter was captivated with Carbone's description about the community's Onboard Training Program that gives real world contact experience to the upgrading operator while on the deck, reducing flight hour requirements.

The discussion migrated to MMA, where Lt. Cmdr. Jiancarlo Villa described MMAs plans to take advantage of upgraded simulators to enhance warfighter capabilities. Villa expressed how this investment would ensure efficient use of flight hours and potentially reduce the overall number of airborne training events and ‘wear and tear' on the new aircraft.

The Pelicans then walked the distinguished visitors through the fusion of Antisurface Improvement Program systems and the capability it brings to the combatant and fleet commanders.

Systems discussed included AIMS, infrared (IR), APS 137 radar, ICE, OASIS and satellite communications. Examples of this capability were highlighted when AW2(NAC) Francis Enriquez gave Etter first hand experience by demonstrating the P-3's Improved SSBN Recorder Outline System, search and rescue and IR capability with real time imaging of local places of interest.

An overview of the new consolidated maintenance organization (CMO) was a hot topic highlighting how the community is already taking risk reduction steps towards MMA.

The discussion was focused on how CMO will lead to efficiencies in maintenance and enable MPR squadrons to focus on enhancing war-fighting skills of the aircrew.

Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Eleven (CPRW-11) is the first wing to implement the program.

The flight concluded with a 15-minute overview about VP-45's recent deployment. "This deployment was the most exciting and rewarding time that I have experienced in my 14 year career," stated AW1(NAC) Thomas George.

All four distinguished visitors enjoyed hearing the deployment overview directly from the squadron member's perspective.

The event concluded when VP-45's Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Mark Turner, presented Etter and Stiller with flags flown over Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, thanking them for their efforts on behalf of CPRW-11 and the entire P-3 community.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraLt. j.g. Cale Johnson of VP-45 (center) "...Former POW Honors 'Pelican' - By Toby Hall - VP-45 PAO - Thursday, June 22, 2006 - NAS Jacksonville, Florida..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/ [24JUN2006]

Photograph Caption: Lt. j.g. Cale Johnson of VP-45 (center), happily accepts the Rear Adm. Thurston H. James Award from retired Navy Capt. Dick Stratton (right) and retired Navy Capt. Greg Streeter of the First Coast Commandery, a local chapter of the Naval Order of the United States. Photo courtesy of VP-45

Lt. j.g. Cale Johnson of VP-45 was presented the Rear Adm. Thurs-ton H. James Award by Retired Navy Capt. Greg Streeter, commander of the First Coast Commandery, a local chapter of the Naval Order of the United States and Retired Navy Capt. Dick Stratton, a former prisoner of war (POW), during their recent visit to the squadron.

The order presents this award each year to the Chief of Naval Education and Training student who is recognized for his or her outstanding performance as a naval flight officer.

The award was established in 1965 by the General Commandery of the Naval Order and the Chief of Naval Air Training in memory of James who was designated a naval aviator in 1928 and following his retirement, served as Commander General of the Naval Order.

Stratton, a member of the First Coast Commandery, is a retired naval aviator who spent more than five years as a POW in North Vietnam, mostly at the ''Hanoi Hilton.''

He is known for his forced ''confession'' and bowing to the Vietnamese in March 1967, where he undermined the Vietnam-ese by pretending to be delirious and confused. It was a perfect example of resistance and defiance against his captors.

After the award ceremony, Stratton took time to share his experiences as a POW with the members of VP-45. Stratton's POW experiences left the ''Peli-can'' Sailors amazed by the ''honor, courage and commitment'' that the POW's demonstrated during their time of captivity.

Streeter talked briefly about the history and mission of the Naval Order and its importance to our nation's history. ''Its main purpose is to promote and celebrate the history and heritage of our sea services,'' Streeter said.

''The Naval Order is currently involved in a fundraising campaign for a monument in Normandy, France to commemorate the Navy's critical role in the invasion of Europe. The U.S. Navy is currently the only branch of the Armed Forces that does not have a monument located in Normandy.''

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History "...'Pelicans' Visit Local School - By LT(jg) Mike Trumbull - VP-45 - Thursday, May 15, 2006 - NAS Jacksonville, Florida..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/ [17JUN2006]

The "Pelicans" of VP-45 were once again influencing the young minds of the local community recently when the second- grade class of Sacred Heart Catholic School, their families and Assistant Principal Guy Connell visited the squadron for what was a memorable day.

During their visit, the group participated in a question and answer period, a demonstration of aviation survival equipment, toured a P-3C Orion and enjoyed lunch.

Volunteers from the command hosted the event, providing a positive and informative interaction between the active duty Sailors and the children. From nose to tail, the mighty Orion was full of dedicated pilots, naval flight officers, aircrewmen and maintenance personnel who were eager to answer a variety of questions involving all facets of naval aviation and the Navy way of life.

The second-graders were not the only ones learning something new during the visit. Parents and the family members who accompanied the children asked numerous questions about how the squadron operates and what their mission is.

The afternoon gave both the children and their families a chance to see what P-3C naval aviation life is like and gave squadron members a fun and exciting afternoon entertaining the young minds of tomorrow.

VP-45 is committed to serving the surrounding community, whether at homeport or on deployment.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraCDR Mark Turner and CDR Wukkuan Zurziw UV "...Turner takes helm of VP-45 - By LT(jg) Toby Hall VP-45 PAO - Thursday, May 11, 2006 - NAS Jacksonville, Florida..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/ [13MAY2006]

VP-45 held its change of command ceremony in Hangar 116 May 5 as Cmdr. Mark Turner took command from Cmdr. William Zirzow IV.

Turner will lead the Turner will lead the "Pelicans" during preparation for their upcoming deployment in June 2007.

Turner was born in Greenwich, Ct. He graduated from Marquette University with bachelor of arts degree in political science and received his commission in 1987 through the Reserve Officer Training Corps.

He was designated a naval flight officer in February 1989 and reported to the "Golden Pelicans" of VP-44 in September 1989.

He made subsequent tours to VP-11 and the Bureau of Naval Personnel where he received his masters degree in business administration from Averett College. In May of 1995 he reported to USS George Washington (CVN 73) as the operations administration officer.

Upon completion of that tour he reported for instructor duty at VP-30, followed by his department head tour at VP-47 in Barbers Point, Hawaii.

After a successful department head tour, he reported to Washington, D.C. as the Chief of Naval Operations P-3 assistant and Multimission Maritime Aircraft requirements officer followed by a tour with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Force Structure, Resources and Assessment Directorate (J- 8). In March 2005, Turner reported to VP-45 as the executive officer.

The ceremony recognized an extremely successful year for VP-45. Under Zirzow's guidance VP-45 effectively transitioned from pre-deployment workups to a challenging multi-site deployment operating in the Central Command and Pacific Command Fleet areas of responsibility (AOR) in support of the global war on terrorism, and back to a demanding interdeployment training cycle in preparation for their next deployment in 2007.

Zirzow's outstanding leadership and keen operational foresight resulted in an unparalleled level of achievement. During his tour, the Pelicans accomplished a milestone in the maritime patrol and reconnaissance community becoming the first East Coast P-3 squadron to deploy to the Central Command's AOR since the Vietnam era.

The squadron flew missions in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom providing real time intelligence to troops on the ground. The Pelicans of VP-45 were awarded the 2005 CNAF Battle Efficiency award in recognition for their outstanding performance.

In his remarks, Zirzow spoke of the many successes of the Pelican family and praised the menand women of the Squadron for their dedication, loyalty and professionalism.

He spoke of his pride in being part of the finest P-3 squadron in the fleet and how honored he was to have the opportunity to have the opportunity to serve as their commanding officer. He discussed how VP-45's successes were a direct result of the dedication of the wardroom, chief 's mess and the hardworking Sailors. He also thanked the spouses of VP-45 and recognized the many sacrifices they made which enabled the Pelicans to accomplish their job.

VP-45 also welcomed its new executive officer, Cmdr. Thomas Thompson who arrives here after a tour with Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Force Seventh/Fifth Fleet.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...'Pelicans' win Battle "E" - By LT(jg) James - Hall VP-45 PAO - Thursday, April 6, 2006 - NAS Jacksonville, Florida..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/ [11APR2006]

The VP-45 "Pelicans" are the Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic Fleet Patrol Squadron Battle Efficiency Award winner for 2005. Behind every VP-45 operational flight hour, completed sortie and squadron milestone, stands an exceptional Pelican, who is committed to ensuring the success of the command.

The squadron's ability to represent the maritime patrol and reconnaissance community cannot be accomplished without the dedication, perseverance, and ingenuity of each and every Sailor.

Commanding Officer Capt. Bill Zirzow commented after the official notification of the award. "I cannot be more proud of the men and women of VP-45. The have excelled in every endeavor and risen to every challenge over the past year," he said.

The Fleet Patrol Squadron Battle Efficiency Award is given annually to the maritime patrol squadron that displays the highest level of efficiency and readiness in the fleet patrol squadron community. VP-45 met all mission tasking head on in 2005, culminating in a challenging multi-site deployment to Fifth and Seventh Fleet areas of responsibility (AOR) covering 16 countries including Iraq, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Djibouti, Qatar, Oman, Japan, Diego Garcia, Thailand, Philippines, Australia, Singapore, Indonesia, Guam, and South Korea. For their efforts, VP-45 achieved an outstanding 94 percent combat mission completion rate.

VP-45 was the first East Coast P-3 squadron to deploy to the central command AOR since the Vietnam era and supported Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. VP-45 carried out a historical first by standing up a forward operating base at Ali Air Base, Iraq. On a daily basis, VP-45 provided critical real time intelligence to the Marines and Soldiers fighting on the ground. In addition, VP-45 conducted an unprecedented re-deployment as they moved all operations from the maritime patrol and reconnaissance central command hub located at NSA Bahrain to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar without missing a single operational mission. VP-45 was also nominated for the 2005 Arleigh Burke Award, an award given to the most improved squadron.

VP-45 would like to congratulate the following squadron members for their individual accomplishments: Lt. Frank Loethen was selected as the Association of Naval Aviation Rear Adm. A.C. Read Navigator of the Year, ADCS(AW) Toby Hutchens was awarded the Association of Naval Aviation Outstanding Achievement Award for Outstanding Chief Petty Officer, Lt. Cmdr. Ronald White Jr. was nominated for the Capt. Virgil Lemmon Award, Lt. Magdiel Rosario was nominated for the Association of Naval Aviation U.S. Atlantic Fleet Pilot of the year and AME1(AW/NAC) Jeffrey Adkins was nominated for the Association of Naval Aviation U.S. Atlantic Fleet Aircrewman of the Year.

VP-45's selection as the 2005 Battle Efficiency Award winner reflects an impressive level of excellence in every measurable category of operations.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...VP-45 Hosts Future Sailors - By LT(jg) James - Hall VP-45 PAO - Thursday, March 30, 2006 - NAS Jacksonville, Florida..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/ [01APR2006]

The "Pelicans" of VP-45 hosted Navy Recruiting District, Jacksonville and members of their Delayed Entry Program (DEP) March 11. Future Sailors and their family members visited from the local area and from as far as Georgia. During their visit, the group toured a P-3C Orion and had the opportunity to interact with active duty Sailors.

Volunteer officers and enlisted personnel from the squadron including pilots, naval flight officers, aircrew, maintainers and Sailors from various other rates provided answers to a variety of questions including: enlistment, daily life, VP-45 hosts physical fitness, officer programs, deployments, port calls and many more items related to military life.

The future Sailors were not the only ones benefiting from the Pelican's open house, parents and immediate family members who accompanied them also enjoy the tour.

The event gave both the DEP individuals and their families a chance to see what their daily life would include as an active duty servicemember.

VP-45 is committed to serving the surrounding community, whether at home in Jacksonville or on deployment. Lt. j.g. Brian Carruth said, "It was hard to tell who had more fun, the DEP Sailors or their parents."

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 Sailors Of The Year "...VP-45 Announces Sailors Of The Year - LT(jg) James Hall, VP-45 PAO..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://adserver1.harvestadsdepot.com/jaxairnews/ss/jaxairnews/ [27FEB2006]

The commanding officer of VP-45 takes great pleasure in announcing the Senior and Junior Sailors of the Year for 2006.

The Senior Sailor of the Year is AME1(AW) Ethan Walz and the Junior Sailor of the Year is AZAN(AW) Mark Villa. Both Sailors were selected for their outstanding personal and professional performance in 2005. Their dedication to the Navy and their "Pelican" squadron mates is evident during every evolution.

"I cannot think of anyone better qualified or more deserving, than these two outstanding Sailors for this honor. VP-45 is a better squadron having these Sailors as part of the Pelican team," remarked VP-45 Commanding Officer Cmdr. William Zirzow.

Walz was born in California and enlisted in the Navy in 1992 under the Delayed Entry Program. He attended boot camp at Recruit Training Center Orlando, Fla.

After graduation, he attended "A" school in Millington, Tenn. and was assigned to NAS Union Passenger Terminal Meridian, Miss.

In 1996, Walz reported to VP-45 for the first of what would be two tours. In 1998, after a full tour with VP-45, where he was promoted to petty officer second class, Walz was assigned to VP-30 for shore duty. While stationed at VP-30, he was promoted to first class petty officer.

He returned for his second tour at VP-45 in 2003. Walz currently serves as the leading petty officer for the quality assurance division.

Villa was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He enlisted in the Navy in 2004 and attended boot camp at Recruit Training Center Great Lakes, Ill. where his recruit division commanders meritoriously advanced him to the rank of airman.

Villa attended "A" school in Meridian, Miss. and reported to VP-45 in April 2005. During this deployment, he qualified as an enlisted aviation warfare specialist and was selected to lead maintenance administration for a multi-squadron detachment in the Philippines.

Villa is currently assigned to VP-45's Maintenance Control Division and is working towards a college degree during his offduty time.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraSports and Standings "...Sports and Standings - JaxAirNews Thursday February 2, 2006. Squadrons Mentioned: VP-5, VP-16, VP-30, VP-45, VP-62, VS-22, and CPRW-11..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://adserver1.harvestadsdepot.com/jaxairnews/ss/jaxairnews/ [09FEB2006]

There will be several softball meetings Feb. 15 in the Building 850 conference room. The season will begin in March. The following are the times of the meetings:

Greybeard – 11:30 a.m. – Open to active duty, selective reservists and command Department of Defense personnel age 30 and up.

Intramural – noon - Open to active duty, selective reservists and command Department of Defense personnel.

Women's league - 12:30 p.m. - Open to active duty, selective reservists, military dependents over 18 and Department of Defense employees.

Commands having their athletic officer or designated representative attend the meeting will receive five captain's cup points. All interested personnel should attend the meeting to discuss rules and to get the required paperwork to join the league.

Open softball meeting planned

An open softball meeting will be held Feb. 16 at 3 p.m. at Mulligans. This league is open to NAVAIR and Department of Defense employees, active duty, military dependents over 18 and selective reservists. Rules as well as days of the week and times for the games will be discussed at the meeting.

Racquetball tourney

An open racquetball tournament will be held Feb. 28 through March 3 each night at 5 p.m. at the NAS Jax Gymnasium. The tournament is free and is open to all NAS Jax authorized men and women. There is a competitive division and a recreational division. Awards will be given to the winners of each division. Call 542-3239 to sign up by Feb. 22.

Sports officials and scorekeepers needed

The North Florida Military Officials Association is looking for individuals to officiate soccer, softball, football and volleyball at NAS Jax. Scorekeepers are also needed for basketball. Experience is not required. If interested, contact Jesse Beach at 771-1333.

Navy Southeast Regional Running and Triathlon Team

Attention competition runners. Represent U.S. Navy in 5K, 10K, marathons and/or triathlons? The U.S. Navy will showcase elite active duty men and women in regional races. Uniforms are provided as well as transportation, entry fees, and lodging costs. Interested runners must compete in a sanctioned (USA Track and Field, USA Triathlon Association, or Roadrunners Clubs of America) race and your time must be one of top 10 regional qualifying times.

If you have run in a sanctioned race and your time meets the regional qualifying time, contact your base athletic director.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History "...'Pelicans' home for Christmas - LT(jg) Kelly Chufo, VP-45 PAO - Last modified Wed., January 04, 2006 - 04:22 PM..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/stories/010506/mil_pelicans001.shtml [06JAN2006]

Photograph Description: Cmdr. William Zirzow, commanding officer of VP-45, stands with his family just after returning from a six-month deployment. During their mission, members of VP-45 visited 16 countries in the Middle East and Western Pacific. Photos by JO2(SW) Bill Larned

The best holiday gift of all arrived Dec. 12 for the families of the VP-45 ''Pelicans.'' It didn't come by sleigh or wrapped with a fancy bow but rather by P-3C Orion aircraft, wrapped in camouflage flight suits and fresh from the fight in the global war on terrorism.

All aircrew and support personnel arrived safely at NAS Jacksonville, Florida just in time to catch Santa sliding down their chimney after a successful six-month deployment to both Fifth and Seventh Fleets.

This historic P-3C deployment flown in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom included many ''firsts'' for the Pelicans. Most notably among the many accomplishment was being the first East Coast VP squadron in recent years to deploy to the 5th and 7th Fleets, the first to deploy to Al Udeid Air Force Base, Qatar, and the first to operate from a forward deployed operating base located in Iraq.

History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History At last! Nathan Welden walks over for a warm embrace from his grandfather, VP-45 Command Master Chief CMDCM Lawrence Welden, who just stepped off his plane.

When further faced with the task of redeploying all personnel and assets from Bahrain to Qatar, they immediately recognized the redeployment as an opportunity to spearhead the development of operating procedures for future Navy maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft deployments.

Furthermore, the standards of excellence held by all VP-45 Sailors ensured sustained informational superiority for the ground forces the squadron supported throughout the deployment.

History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History AO2 Cassandra Parker and ATAN William Jones guide a VP-45 P-3 into its parking spot upon the completion of another mission during the deployment. Photo courtesy of VP-45

When the first crew left NAS Jacksonville, Florida in late May of last year, little did they know that they would be playing such a major part in the global war on terrorism by providing critical, real-time support to coalition troops both at sea and on land.

During the deployment, the Pelicans were dispersed to six bases and were separated by 12 time zones, while bringing the fight to remote locations in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. In all, the Pelicans completed more than 600 missions and amassed more than 3,500 flight hours during their deployment.

History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History Night or day, the VP-45 "Pelicans" are always ready to respond to the call for support in the global war on terrorism. Photo courtesy of VP-45

Despite the long hours and hard work, VP-45 Sailors still found the time to study for advancement exams and warfare qualification boards. There were nine Sailors promoted to E4, 17 to E5 and three to E6 as well as 62 newly qualified enlisted air warfare specialists. Reinforcing their dedication to service and country, 58 Sailors reenlisted on deployment for a grand total of $137,000 tax free reenlistment bonuses.

History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History VP-45 Lt. Cmdr. Charles Walton and YN2 Alyson Cruciger are hard at work during the first phase of the redeployment. Photo courtesy of VP-45

The level of devotion displayed by every VP-45 Sailor has made a difference throughout the globe. ''I could not be prouder of the men and women of VP-45,'' said VP-45 Commanding Officer Cmdr. William Zirzow. ''They met every challenge placed before them head-on. They can take great pride in their contributions to Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and the global war on terrorism.''


Circa 2005

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-40 Photo "...Fighting Marlins prepare to return home - By Lt.j.g. Blake Whetstone - Fighting Marlins' reporter - Friday, December 9, 2005 - (VP-40, VP-45 and VP-69 mentioned)..." WebSite: Northwest Navigator http://www.northwestnavigator.com/index.php/navigator/whidbey/fighting_marlins_prepare_to_return_home/ [09DEC2005]

Photograph Description: The Fighting Marlins of VP-40 are preparing to return home from a six-month deployment in Japan.

It has been an extremely challenging yet rewarding deployment for the Fighting Marlins of VP-40. Early airlift personnel departed on May 24 to prepare for bulk of the squadron to deploy in early June.

Completing the last month of the Fleet Response Plan surge window, VP-40 deployed after finishing its first 18-month Inter-Deployment Readiness Cycle. This time was put to good use, as the Fighting Marlins were the first squadron to deploy with 12 fully qualified combat aircrews.

Additionally, the Maintenance department's efforts, aided by the newly formed Professional Development department, enabled VP-40 to train unprecedented numbers of maintainers to support numerous detachments and exercises in the 7th Fleet theater.

On June 6, Cmdr. Kenneth Bowen, VP-40 commanding officer, assumed operational command as Commander, Task Group 72.2 and 72.4. VP-40 personnel hit the ground running as many went straight from the airlift to turning wrenches, or for the aircrew, attending operational indoctrination briefs.

Once these briefs and indoctrination flights were complete, VP-40 aircrews immediately assumed the ready and began to fly operationally out of Misawa and Kadena. Furthermore, they significantly contributed to the global war on terror in Southeast Asia while flying in Operation Enduring Freedom. VP-40 provided a consistent Forward Airborne Presence throughout the PACOM theater.

The Pelicans of VP-45 augmented the Task Group with a contingent of aircrew and maintainers in Kadena and Misawa the entire deployment. Additionally, the Marlins team in Misawa was responsible for conducting schedule maintenance and inspection on all P-3 aircraft in both the 5th and 7th Fleet. The Marlins and Pelicans worked together in every aspect to provide a well tuned, fighting, and cooperative task group deployment.

Throughout the 2005 deployment, the Fighting Marlins and Pelicans represented the Navy in five major exercises and 42 total exercises in 15 different countries. The Task Group's area of responsibility extends from the Northern Pacific Ocean, down to Australia and west to the middle of the Indian Ocean.

The grand list of countries or sites that VP-40 has visited is as follows: Australia (Townsville and Pearce), Cocos Islands, Brunei (Rimba), Diego Garcia, Fiji, Guam, India (Goa), Indonesia (Juanda), Maldives, Malaysia (Kuantan), Philippine Islands (Subic Bay), Singapore (Paya Lebar), South Korea (Pohang, Chinhae, Seoul and Osan), Kingdom of Tonga and Thailand (Utapao). The total number of hours flown on deployment by VP-40 totals over 5,100 hours, by far greater than anyone expected.

In October, the Totems of VP-69 joined the Marlins in their 7th Fleet reserve augmentation. Led by their OIC, Lt. Cmdr. Bob Collins, the VP-69 aircrew and maintainers seamlessly integrated with the deployed squadron.

After all the work on deployment, VP-40 is ready for a long awaited return to their home in NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. Many members have been counting the days until the last plane leaves Japan and now they are counting the hours. Time has flown, almost as much as the planes, but it does not seem that it flies as fast as most want it to do so.

The crew is looking forward to spending lots of time with our friends and loved ones.

© 2005 Sound Publishing, Inc.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraPhoto courtesy of VP-45 "...VIPs visit VP-45 'Pelicans' in Qatar - By Lt. j. g. Kelly Chufo, VP-45 PAO - Originally created Thursday, December 1, 2005..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/stories/120105/mil_vp45001.shtml [02DEC2005]

Photograph Description: MCPON(SS/AW) Terry Scott talks with a group of Sailors from VP-45 during his recent visit to Qatar.

MCPON(SS/AW) Terry Scott and Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps John Estrada visited VP-45 Sailors forward deployed to Al Udeid Airbase, Qatar, in support of the global war on terrorism Oct. 11 to let them know how much their hard work and dedication are appreciated.

Scott and Estrada are the senior enlisted personnel in the Navy and Marine Corps and serve as advisors to the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) and Commandant of the Marine Corps in matters dealing with enlisted personnel and their families.

Scott spoke about various issues that Sailors need to overcome in order for the mission to continue successfully as well as the importance of the Navy-Marine Corps team. ''We need to be flexible and adaptable,'' said Scott. ''We are going to be assigned missions we may never have predicted. [The Navy] needs to be ready whenever our nation calls on us so we can be prepared for the next typhoon, hurricane, or 9/11.''

Enlisted members don't often see the direct impact of their contributions, but with a visit from their senior enlisted leaders, Sailors now know how important their jobs are and how people around the world depend on their hard work and determination.

''You are protecting our way of life,'' said Estrada. ''We will be successful in our mission and it's because of the support you give us. We couldn't do it with out you.''

In light of VP-45's impending return home, Scott also touched on how important it is for Sailors to take care of any personal problems they may have at home.

''I always hear the CNO, say that even the Sailor of the Year or the best Sailor in a command can be brought to their knees with problems at home,'' Scott stated. ''Your jobs are important and need your focus and attention. Any distraction can be devastating to our mission.''

''This is a defining time in our world history,'' Estrada said. ''You have stepped up to the plate and said, 'our nation needs me right now.' Because of your training, preparation and determination, we dominate the seas with the world's best Navy. We dominate the airspace with the world's best naval aviators and the world's best aircraft,'' he continued.

Scott told the Pelicans that their concerns and issues are important to him. He and Estrada have brought up issues to elected officials on Capitol Hill all the time and they cannot do it without hearing from the driving force of the Navy, its Sailors.

Lastly, the MCPON and the sergeant major challenged those in leadership positions to take care of their subordinates and each other. They also emphasized the need to make sure that our Sailors are well trained, equipped and prepared to go into combat.

The VP-45 ''Pelicans'' have been deployed for five months conducting operations in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom from multiple detachment sites throughout the Fifth and Seventh Fleets.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraAn unidentified South Korean soldier "...Marlins represent U.S. Navy at Seoul Air Show - By Lt.j.g. Joe Parsons - VP-40 - Friday, November 4, 2005..." WebSite: Northwest Navigator http://www.northwestnavigator.com/index.php/navigator/whidbey/marlins_represent_us_navy_at_seoul_air_show/ [11NOV2005]

Photograph Description: An unidentified South Korean soldier stands guard at the head of a negotiating table in the Joint Security Area in Panmunjon. The microphones in the center of the table form a line on the border between North and South Korea that divides the table in half."

Last week Combat Air Crew Twelve (CAC-12) of the VP-40 Fighting Marlins left Misawa AB, Japan with a P-3 full of VP-40 and VP-45 aircrew, maintenance and administrative personnel for an eight-day trip to South Korea to participate in the 2005 Seoul Air Show.

The P-3 Orion was the only naval aircraft of the 83 platforms on display from the various air forces of 22 countries who participated in the air show. The first four days of the air show were limited access admission, mostly defense contractors and military officials who were invited to view the daily flight demonstrations.

The final two days of the air show were open to the general public and accommodated over 150,000 visitors each day.

While the Marlins maintained a team of aircrew and support personnel at the aircraft throughout the air show to answer questions and give tours, everyone was able to take advantage of some time off to explore Seoul and some nearby attractions.

The commercial district of Itaewon in Seoul offered unique things like the Electronics Market, a six-block area with nothing but cameras, computers and cell phones as far as the eye can see, as well as a wide selection of local and international cuisine and a lively nightlife.

Several of the aircrew took a trip to visit the demilitarized zone (DMZ), which acts as a buffer between North and South Korea. The trip included a visit to an observatory that overlooks the DMZ and into North Korea, a hike 240 feet underground into a tunnel dug by the North Koreans for use in infiltrating South Korea unchallenged and finally a visit to the United Nations controlled Joint Security Area in the border village of Panmunjom which straddles the military demarcation line (the official border between North and South Korea).

The highlight of the DMZ visit was walking around in a room where negotiations are held between North and South Korea; the negotiating table is literally divided in half by the Military Demarcation Line.

One of the visitors, Lt.j.g. Matt Swartzwelder of VP-45, said of the experience "It was almost surreal, standing on the border of one of the world's most bitter divisions as a visitor, seeing what I'd only read about in history books before."

When it was time to leave, it became apparent that almost everyone had also gotten a chance to take the short bus ride south to Osan for some shopping; the 21 people on the trip had amassed so much extra baggage in the one week that there almost wasn't enough room on the plane to bring everything back to Japan.

© 2005 Sound Publishing, Inc.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP History ThumbnailCameraAMID Jax VP-0PDET-3 "...AIMD Jax VP-OPDET-3 deployed in support of VP-45's deployment to NSA Bahrain..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://pub.jaxairnews.com/Sections.aspx?sec=15690 [25OCT2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCamera051011-N-0962S-040 Al Udeid, Qatar (Oct. 11, 2005) "...Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Terry Scott speaks to Sailors assigned to "Fighting Pelicans" of Patrol Squadron Four Five (VP-45) during an all hands call in Al Udeid, Qatar. MCPON Scott spoke to the Sailors about the importance of joint interoperability and the Navy-Marine Corps team and emphasized personal readiness in relation to physical, mental, ethical, financial, and family readiness. U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 1st Class Brandan W. Schulze (RELEASED)..." WebSite: Navy News https://navcms.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=28853 [05DEC2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP History ThumbnailCamera051011-N-8590G-001 South West Asia (Oct. 11, 2005) "...051011-N-8590G-001 South West Asia (Oct. 11, 2005) – U.S. Navy Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class Cassandra Parker, left, assigned to the "Pelicans" of Patrol Squadron Four Five (VP-45), gives a safety signal to the air crew aboard an P-3C Orion. VP-45 is currently forward deployed in support of the Global War on Terrorism. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Gary Granger (RELEASED)..." WebSite: Navy NewsStand http://www.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=28840 [14OCT2005]

Photo Caption: U.S. Navy Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class Cassandra Parker, left, assigned to the Pelicans of Patrol Squadron Four Five (VP-45).

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History "...Thursday, September 22, 2005 - The "Pelicans" of VP-45 had the opportunity to fly missions over Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom after they arrived in theater May 26 By Lt.j.g. Dennis Smith - VP-45 PAO..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://pub.jaxairnews.com/Sections.aspx?sec=15118 [22SEP2005]

Photo Caption: A P-3 from VP-30 conducts training at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. The squadron evacuated there in preparation of Hurricane Ophelia which enabled them to continue their training mission -- Photo by Lt. Kimo Silcox

In anticipation of Hurricane Ophelia's landfall on the First Coast, VP-30 staged a preemptive evacuation of three aircraft to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington Sept. 8. Loaded with instructors, students, and maintenance personnel, the detachment made the seven-hour transit not only to escape the impending weather, but to also take advantage of training opportunities.

Even with the hurricane off the coast, VP-30 would have lost valuable training opportunities as most of the Southeastern United States was obscured by low clouds, rain and blustery conditions. Washington State greeted the squadron members with light winds, sunny skies, and cool temperatures. Ideal weather for pilot training gave VP-30 the opportunity to complete 22 events that would have otherwise been cancelled.

''The detachment was a great success,'' said Lt. Cmdr. Scott Wathen, VP-30 operations officer. ''We couldn't have done it without the hard work and dedication of our maintenance team. Their tireless effort was a direct contributor to the squadron's training achievements. In addition to the great maintenance support, VP-1 was a great host.''

In addition to flight training, several of VP-30's students, who have orders to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington, capitalized on the opportunity to search for a house and explore the area. Lt. j.g. Bjorn Anderson stated, ''I now have a much clearer picture of what the housing market is like.'' Another student, Lt. Mike Turner, took the opportunity to take pictures of his new house to share with family members and friends.

With Hurricane Ophelia no longer posing a threat to the region, VP-30 can look back on the hurricane evacuation as not only a great opportunity to train, but also a dress rehearsal for the next storm on the horizon.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...VP-45 Sailors Provide Aerial Support To The Fleet - Story Number: NNS050801-03 - Release Date: 8/1/2005 10:03:00 AM - By Lt. Ruth Rayburn, Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs..." WebSite: Navy NewsStand http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=19432 [31AUG2005]

MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- The VP-45 ‘Pelicans' deployed to Bahrain in July to provide land- and sea-based commanders with intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support as part of its mission to support maritime security operations (MSO).

Pelican Sailors deployed to the 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) with an additional mission - to provide a recognized maritime picture of the Persian Gulf to the Combined Forces Maritime Component Commander.

"With our long range capabilities, we are accomplishing in the air what ships are accomplishing at sea," said Lt. Christopher Ellison, VP-45's plans and exercise officer.

These four-engine turboprop maritime surveillance aircraft were originally designed as a land-based, long-range, anti-submarine warfare patrol aircraft. However, their mission has evolved over the years to include supporting U.S. and coalition forces' ability to conduct MSO.

"Our mission is to provide valuable intelligence for fusion into a master tracking database," said Lt. Cmdr. Richard Prest, VP-45's operations officer.

"We do reconnaissance to identify threats to coalition forces," said Lt. Dan Chuckle, Combat Air Crew 6 tactical coordinator.

Flights are conducted during the day and night. In constant communication with the ships they are tracking or the troops on the ground, this combat air crew has been throughout the North, Central and South Persian Gulf.

Based in NAS Jacksonville, Florida, and NAS Brunswick, Maine, the squadron rotates its air crew, maintenance and support personnel through all of its sites in the AOR during scheduled six-month cycles. With more than 400 members total, 200 in U.S. 5th Fleet and 100 in U.S. 7th Fleet, there is still a strong detachment at home, ready at a moment's notice.

"Our training is constant. We see it as a job. This is what we do wherever we go," said Aviation Warfare Systems Operator 2nd Class, Nick Jenson, acoustic operator, Combat Air Crew 6. "I enjoy my job and the crew. This is what I want to be doing every day."

"The men and women of VP-45 are honored to be serving in the 5th Fleet area of responsibility," said commanding officer Cmdr. William Zirzow IV. "Our missions are making a difference, and family, friends and fellow Americans at home can be proud of the Pelicans' effort."

MSO set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment as well as complement the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations. MSO deny international terrorists use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...'Pelican' maintenance taking care of business in the Middle East - By Lt. j.g. Dennis Smith, VP-45 PAO - Originally created Thursday, July 28, 2005..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/stories/072805/mil_vp45001.shtml [28JUL2005]

Photograph Caption: VP-45 crewmembers gather in front of the last P-3 to depart NAS Jacksonville, Florida June 6 for a six-month worldwide deployment. Photo courtesy of VP-45

Since leaving NAS Jacksonville, Florida for their worldwide deployment on May 26, the ''Pelicans'' of VP-45 have been doing some amazing things. Seven combat aircrews have been keeping P-3's in the air around the clock in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, as well as accomplishing various surface sea control missions in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman.

Operating out of the blistering heat of Bahrain, Africa and Afghanistan, these missions are done in support of the global war on terrorism and are very important for providing safety to the troops fighting on the ground and preventing blue water terrorist operations. As important as these aircrews are in making these missions a success, not a single one of these missions could be done without the outstanding daily support provided by the Pelican maintenance team.

VP History ThumbnailCameraPhotos courtesy of VP-45 AD3 Darium Woodard buttons up an access panel after working on a P-3 engine.

The Fifth Fleet ''Pelican'' maintenance team, led by Aviation Maintenance Officer Lt. Cmdr. Ron White and AVCM Mark Mavity, has continued to keep the bar set high for patrol squadrons everywhere. Having left Jacksonville with a second consecutive nomination for the CPRW-11 Golden Wrench Award for Maintenance Excellence, they have kept the ''Pelicans'' flying high with a 100 percent mission completion rate in the Central Command Area of Responsibility (CENTCOM AOR). ''My hat is off to the hardworking maintainers of this squadron who have kept our aircraft flying. It is because of their dedication that we have had such a high level of operational success on this deployment. Our mission accomplishment is a direct result of what they do on a daily basis, so we are very fortunate to have such an outstanding maintenance department,'' commented Com-manding Officer Cmdr. Bill Zirzow.

VP History ThumbnailCameraPhotos courtesy of VP-45 AM2 Jeremy Harver makes a repair on the left wing.

With no hangar in which they can work on the aircraft, the maintainers perform the maintenance in the open air on the parking ramps, where the temperatures can rise to 120 degrees and the desert winds can bring stinging sandstorms. Taking every mea-sure to protect themselves from the elements, these hard-charging Sailors forge ahead in typical Pelican fashion everyday under these extreme conditions to keep the aircrews flying. At times being a ''groundpounder'' can be a thankless job, but each aircrewman is thankful for the dedication and skills of the true professionals on the ground turning wrenches.

VP History ThumbnailCameraPhotos courtesy of VP-45 AD2 Jessica Brown removes a hatch underneath the number 3 engine.

Maintenance personnel who have spent their first month and a half of deployment in Africa and Afghanistan have started the process of rotating through Bahrain where they will continue the maintenance of the P-3C aircraft. As they pick up where the others have left off, there is no doubt that they will carry on the Pelicans tradition of maintenance excellence.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History "...VP-45 leaves Jax for world deployment - By Lt. j.g. Dennis Smith, VP-45 PAO - Thursday, July 14, 2005..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/stories/071405/mil_vp45001.shtml [15JUL2005]

Photograph Caption: VP-45 crewmembers gather in front of the last P-3 to depart NAS Jacksonville, Florida June 6 for a six-month worldwide deployment. Photo courtesy of VP-45

After a busy 18-month homecycle, the ''Pelicans'' of VP-45 have packed their bags and deployed operationally.

On May 26, squadron members began departing NAS Jacksonville, Florida for a scheduled six-month deployment to multiple sites in support of the global war on terrorism.

The Pelicans primary deployment location is the Fifth Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) in Bahrain, a small island emirate off the coast of Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf. VP-45 also maintains a substantial presence in the Seventh Fleet AOR, at Misawa and Kadena Air Bases in Japan.

As loved ones waved good-bye with tears in their eyes, one might assume this deployment was no different than previous ones. In fact, this deployment is different in many ways than any other in the squadron's rich history.

Unlike their 2003-2004 deployment where personnel were located at a central hub in Sigonella, Italy, the squadron is now dispersed across seven time zones, including sites in Africa and Afghanistan.

It will not be uncommon for squadron members to go the entire six months without seeing many of their shipmates.

VP-45 is the first NAS Jacksonville, Florida based P-3 squadron to deploy to the Fifth Fleet AOR in the post-Vietnam era. Traditionally, only west coast squadrons deployed to this operational area, but due to the increased demand for the P-3's capabilities, deployment structuring has changed and VP squadrons on both coasts are now required to be available for deployment anywhere in the world.

This change in direction has given the ''Pelicans'' an opportunity to directly support the Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom as well as the global war on terrorism in the Fifth Fleet AOR.

The squadron's 12 combat aircrews will be performing a vast array of missions, ranging from intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) to the more traditional anti-submarine warfare.

The squadron, led by Commanding Officer Cmdr. Bill Zirzow, didn't miss a beat upon arrival into the deployment theaters, and immediately stepped into a heavy schedule of real world and multi-national exercise events. Using the P-3's significant ISR capability, VP-45's primary mission in Fifth Fleet is to support Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.

Aircrews have flown multiple counter-insurgency missions paving the way for a more stable Iraq. Other crews are aggressively engaged in monitoring known smuggling lanes and surface vessel activity in the Indian Ocean and Horn of Africa region.

Many time zones away, another ''Pelican'' aircrew participates in Australia's Talisman Saber multi-national exercise. Zirzow stated, ''This is a critical time in our nation's history and in the global war on terrorism. I couldn't be more proud of the way the Pelicans prepared for this deployment and quickly stepped up and answered the call.''

With a dynamic and demanding schedule for the next six months, this deployment will likely go by quickly.

As family, friends and loved ones eagerly await their return in December, the Pelicans will take advantage of available technology such as email, Web cams and instant messaging to keep in touch.

In the meantime, squadron personnel will continue doing their part to support national objectives and make the world a safer place.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...'Pelicans' soar through 2004 - By Lt. John Duarte, VP-45 PAO - Originally created Thursday, January 6, 2005..." JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/stories/010605/mil_vp45001.shtml [04APR2005]

History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History Lt. Sam White of VP-45 arrives in Iraq. White recently returned home after serving as an Arabic translator.

With the dawn of a new year upon us, the ''Pelicans'' of VP-45 remember the great enterprises and achievements of 2004. Last year was a prosperous year, highlighted by the outstanding performances of individual Sailors in addition to the Pelican team as a whole.

It is evident that these accomplishments were truly remarkable, as VP-45 received many honors during the year, while fulfilling their role in maritime patrol and reconnaissance aviation at home and abroad.

Last February, VP-45 returned home to NAS Jacksonville, Florida after completing more than 650 operational missions, with 5,600 mishap-free flight hours, during a very successful six-month deployment to Sigonella, Italy. Constant participation in operations Joint Guardian, Deliberate Forge, Enduring Freedom and Active Endeavor were some of the mainstays of deployment operations.

History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History VP-45 soccer team members proudly pose in front of their trophy after winning the Intramural Soccer Championship against VP-30.

Immediately upon their return, squadron Sailors and aircrew enjoyed some deserved rest. However, they did not delay in getting down to business upon the completion of their post deployment leave. Squadron personnel hit the ground running as they assumed the responsibilities associated with preparing for their scheduled deployment this summer.

The squadron was presented with the 2003 Golden Wrench Award for aircraft maintenance excellence March 31. This award recognized the squadron's superlative efforts and achievements in maintaining the highest degree of aircraft readiness and safety. While deployed, the squadron's maintenance department achieved an incredible 65 percent aircraft mission capability rate.

History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History AE3 Todd Petersen is the VP-45 Junior Sailor of the Year.

This level of readiness led to an 87 percent sortie completion rate covering over 5,500 flight hours and was unmistakably due to the dedicated Pelican Maintenance Team, whose efforts kept the Pelican aircrews flying over their targets the previous year. Furthermore, the squadron was awarded the Chief of Naval Operation's annual Aviation Safety Award for the second consecutive year. VP-45 received this honor for ''their commitment to professionalism, solid leadership and competent risk management that lead to safe and effective operations'' during the 2003 calendar year.

Both of these achievements demonstrate that the squadron has made a lasting impression and is recognized throughout the Navy. There are many reasons for this unparalleled success, however they all begin with the dedication of every member of the command to doing the job right. While the Sailors and airmen of VP-45 are the squadron's most valuable asset, Pelicans are achieving an astounding record of mission accomplishment that continues to raise the standard for safe and effective operations in naval aviation.

History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History AD1(AW/NAC/PJ) Robert Gonzales is VP-45's Senior sailor of the Year.

Among the members of the Pelican team are Sailors such as AD1(AW/NAC/PJ) Robert Gonzales and AE3 Todd Petersen. Gonzales and Petersen were recently selected as the VP-45 Senior and Junior Sailor's of the Year in recognition for their unwavering commitment and exceptional initiative.

Gonzales was not only selected to be the VP-45 Senior Sailor of the Year, but he was selected by Maritime Patrol Reconnaissance Wing Eleven to be the Wing Senior Sailor of the Year.

''The Pelican team makes me proud,'' proclaimed Commanding Officer Capt. Richard Fite. ''In their normal 'Pelican fashion', the squadron has achieved mission success overseas in service to our country, and here at home as we reach out in service to the community.''

As the new year begins and world events unfold, VP-45 is ready and bound to succeed in the unknown challenges that face them down the road ahead.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Change-Of-Command CDR Richard Fite turned over command of VP-45 to his XO CDR William Zirzow, IV March 4 at NAS Jacksonville, Florida - March 10, 2005..." JaxAirNews http://pub.jaxairnews.com/Sections.aspx?sec=12015 [23MAR2005]

History - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailHistory - Tap To Enlarge Thumbnail

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Mission of VP-45..." http://www.nol.navy.mil/homepages/vp-45/home/pages/mission.htm [19MAR2005]

Command Philosophy


The mission of Patrol Squadron FORTY-FIVE is to provide combat ready personnel and aircraft to support and defend our freedom and to fight and win our Nation's wars. To this end, the challenge is not to merely publish these principles, but to live by them.

Committed to Mission Accomplishment


Mission Accomplishment and Combat Readiness are our top priorities. Everything we do should enhance these priorities. We will train like we will fight. We also realize that the men and women of VP-45 are our Combat Readiness. Be good stewards of our warfighting equipment and promote pride of ownership by involving all hands.

Live the Core Values of Honor, Courage and Commitment


Our core values form the foundation on which we will build success. Adhering to our core values gives us the strength to do the right thing, always. Aspire to reach your fullest potential, uphold your Shipmates to do the same. The men and women of VP-45 are the source of our strength, success and reputation.

One Team, One Fight


Our missions are many and varied. We operate in an inherently dangerous environment, in the air and on the ground, on a daily basis. To fight and win in this environment, we work as a team to accomplish a common goal. Build a bond of trust and loyalty that unite us as a team to confidently face and conquer the unknown. Support one another and the chain of command will support you.

Uphold High Standards


Our missions are many and varied. We operate in an inherently dangerous environment, in the air and on the ground, on a daily basis. To fight and win in this environment, we work as a team to accomplish a common goal. Build a bond of trust and loyalty that unite us as a team to confidently face and conquer the unknown. Support one another and the chain of command will support you.

We know and follow the rules that govern our profession. Upholding standards is the responsibility of every member of the team. Our standards and procedures come from over sixty years of Maritime and Reconnaissance Patrol Aviation and have been written in blood. The great legacy and unmatched reputation of VP-45 dates back to 1942. There is no room for shortcuts, your or your Shipmates life will depend on it.

These principles are central to the NAVY and to VP-45. They commit us to excellence and the fair treatment of all. Making these principles part of our daily lives gives us the pride that only comes with ownership and the right to say:

I am a VP-45 Pelican!

Skipper's Vision


My goal is to accomplish our mission effectively, efficiently and professionally. I will give the best I have each and every day. I ask each of you to give the best you have each day.

What you can expect from me...
  • Leadership. Where we go one, we go all. I will strive to accommodate the individual, but will base my final decisions on what is best for the command and mission accomplishment. Leadership is not a popularity contest.
  • Communication. My door is open. It's ok to share problems with me; I believe it's a sign of mutual trust. I will ensure two-way communication throughout the command and provide clear guidance.
  • Trust. I inherently trust you to do what is best for VP-45, just keep me informed. I will delegate decision making to the lowest qualified level.
  • Consistency. I believe in Navy core values and standards of conduct will be enforced for all. Discipline will be fair, swift, and commensurate with the offense.
  • Mission Accomplishment. I will do everything possible to make sure you have the right resources and training to accomplish the mission.


What I expect from you...
  • Leadership. Take care of your people. Know when and where to get them help. Counseling and mentoring are critical elements of good leadership.
  • Professionalism. Exercise proper military bearing. Continue to learn and grow professionally. Good order and discipline is professionalism. Stay physically fit.
  • Teamwork. Focus on team objectives. Work together and cooperate in our daily routine. Participate in squadron activities.
  • Accountability. Every action has a consequence, think before you act. We are members of the military 24/7, accountable for our personal behavior, on and off duty.


Above all else…
  • Integrity. This means not only being honest and true in your dealings with others, but also refusing to cut corners for convenience or the perceived "good" of the command. Integrity is doing the right thing when nobody is looking. I do not believe in a zero defect environment. Always insist on the proper course of action, despite how unpopular it may be.
  • Be competent. Commit to excellence in everything we do from paperwork, to maintenance, or to flying the airplanes. Knowledge is key-be the subject matter expert. Train hard. Continue to be the best you can be.
  • Mission accomplishment is Safety, Safety is mission accomplishment. You cannot have one without the other. Safety is a natural consequence of proper maintenance and flight procedures. Measure risk adversity on and off duty.
  • Take care of your families. The support families provide is crucial to your well being. Make them a part of your career decision-making process. Keep them informed of your schedule and squadron activities.
  • Loyalty. We each owe our loyalty to the squadron as a whole first, then our Shipmates.
  • Have fun. I will.


Mission First, People Always

Circa 2004

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY:  History ThumbnailCameraWelcomes back Lt. Samuel White from Operation Iraqi Freedom "...'Pelican' returns home from Iraq - By Lt. John Duarte - VP-45 PAO - Thursday, September 9, 2004..." JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/stories/090904/mil_pelican001.shtml [06APR2005]

Photo: Cmdr. Richard Fite (left), commmanding officer of VP-45, welcomes back Lt. Samuel White from Operation Iraqi Freedom. White was serving as a translator for the troops in Iraq immediately following a six month deployment with the squadron in February. Photo by PH1(AW) Toiete Jackson

Last Thursday, Lt. Sam White's trip to work was not quite the same as his usual routine after six months of waking up in his desert tent.

He enjoyed a quiet morning drive to the hangar in his desert camouflage uniform reflecting back on the past six months free from the personal safety concerns that haunted him just days ago. White emerged from his car to a warm greeting by his skipper, Cmdr. Richard Fite and a gathering of fellow officers from VP-45. The ''Pelicans'' welcomed White home with open arms and thankful hearts.

Shortly after White returned from a Mediterranean deployment with VP-45, his nation called upon him for yet another great act of service. White received temporary active duty orders to go to Iraq in March, to carry out a variety of duties in which his ability to speak the Arabic language was in dire need. Now, after six months in Iraq, White's much anticipated return home has come.

There is no doubt in their minds that he has made a tremendous sacrifice to serve his country as he has spent 16 of the last 18 months deployed overseas, partaking in numerous operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. ''I've never been so happy to see Hangar 1000,'' said White. ''The support I received from the squadron was incredible; I never felt forgotten.''

''White is a great American and true hero. He endured six months of daily combat operations and made significant contributions to the freedom of the Iraqi people,'' said Fite. ''The entire squadron is extremely proud of his accomplishments and I'm so thankful he is back home safely.''

Every Pelican has looked forward to this long awaited reunion and can be justifiably proud of the dedication shown by one of their own. White will resume his duties as a naval flight officer and is looking forward to his future in the Pelican's Nest.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY:  History ThumbnailCameraLoving memory of AA Christopher Frattin "...'Pelicans' remember a fallen friend - By Lt. John Duarte, VP-45 PAO - Originally created Thursday, December 16, 2004..." JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/stories/121604/mil_memorial001.shtml [05APR2005]

Photo: Members of the Pelican Line Division assembled this memorial in loving memory of AA Christopher Frattin. Photo courtesy of VP-45

On Dec. 8, members of VP-45 gathered to show their support to the family of AA Christopher Frattin who was killed tragically in a roadside incident the previous weekend.

On Dec. 4, Frattin and his girlfriend were returning to Jacksonville after visiting with Frattin's family in Ormond Beach. They had stopped to assist another motorist that had been in an accident when a passing motorist swerved to avoid slowing traffic, lost control of her car, and struck Frattin and his girlfriend, killing them both.

While there was a tremendous sorrow over the loss of Frattin, family and friends gathered to celebrate his life, his accomplishments and his selfless acts of service to his countrymen.''Chris had an energy about him that could not be described in words'', stated AOAN Melinda Sorbera, a co-worker and friend.''You felt it every time you were around him.Anyone who knew him knew the indescribable feeling I'm talking about.He was truly a unique individual whom I am honored to have known.''

Frattin's selfless devotion was manifest to so many that worked with him.''He cared a great deal for the people around him and he was always willing to lend a hand,'' declared ATCS Mark Haskins.''He was an amazing kid, and I feel privileged to have had the chance to make a positive impact on his life. I sure know he made one on mine. I am deeply hurt and saddened by his loss as is the entire command. He made our world a better place, especially the people who's lives he touched.His mom and dad can take great pride in knowing that they raised a fine young man; one of the finest I've ever met.''

''AA Frattin was a brave man and true American hero'', proclaimed VP-45 Commanding Officer Cmdr. Richard Fite.''His loss is tragic and the Pelican family will not forget his tremendous contributions to VP-45 and that friendly smile.Our thoughts and prayers will remain with AA Frattin's family during this difficult time.''

During the memorial service, Fite retired Frattin's float coat and cranial, which will hang in the VP-45 Memorial Hall as a remembrance of his devotion to his country and shipmates.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Thursday, February 12, 2004 - VP-45 returns home - Back from six-month Sigonella deployment - By Lt. j.g. Jon Tasch - VP-45 PAO..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/stories/021204/mil_vp45homecoming001.shtml [19MAR2005]

Thursday, February 12, 2004



 AE1 Josh Haley reunites with wife Beverly, four-year-old Morgan and 20-month-old Maura last Thursday after returning from a six-month deployment. Beverly, who is six-months pregnant, says she very excited to see her husband
Photo By JO2 Mike England

VP-45 returns home
Back from six-month Sigonella deployment

By Lt. j.g. Jon Tasch
VP-45 PAO

After more than 650 operational missions, with 5,600 mishap-free flight hours, and a very successful six-month deployment to Sigonella, Sicily, Italy the ''Pelicans'' of VP-45 returned home to NAS Jacksonville, Florida. VP-45 aircrews began arriving in Jacksonville Feb. 2 to a hero's welcome from their families and friends.

The remaining P-3C Orion aircraft arrived over the course of the next six days with the final plane arriving on Feb. 8. At the controls of the final P-3C was the Pelicans' Commanding Officer Cmdr. William Fitzgerald.

The dedicated men and women of VP-45 hit the deck running upon their August 2003 arrival in Sigonella. Two aircraft and three aircrews were immediately detached to Dakar, Senegal, along with 20 maintenance personnel to support Joint Task Force-Liberia. The crews arrived in Africa within 24 hours of landing in the Mediterranean theater. Maintaining airborne coverage of a hu-manitarian crisis developing on the ground, aircrews re-mained on-station until former Liberian Pres-ident Charles Taylor stepped down from power.

In just over two months, the Pelicans flew 87 sorties totaling nearly 800 flight hours. The Pelicans, who remained in Sigonella were just as busy as their counterparts in Africa. VP-45 aircrews flew Operation Active Endeavor missions to ensure



 VP-45's Executive Officer, Cdmr. Rich Fite, greets his wife Kathleen and their children 13-year-old Ben and nine-year-old Bret after returning from a six-month-deployment Feb 2.
Photo By JO2 Mike England

the safe transit of allied commercial shipping through the Strait of Gibraltar and performed a critical role in Operation Enduring Freedom during the opening months of the deployment.

Supporting NATO forces, the squadron enhanced security within the Balkans region as a participant in Operations Joint Guardian and Deliberate Forge. VP-45 directly contributed to contingency operations in support of national objectives in the global war on terrorism.

While operational events constituted the majority of the squadron's flights, VP-45 was also called upon to perform other missions in the Mediterranean theater due to its versatile array of onboard mission systems.

One instance that proved especially rewarding, was a search and rescue mission led by Combat Aircrew 12. The aircrew recovered of a local fisherman lost at sea for three days off the southern coast of Malta. After a difficult search, the crew located the adrift fisherman and aided in rescue efforts.

The successful deployment demonstrated once again that the Maritime Patrol Reconnaissance community has strong bonds with our trans-Atlantic and Mediterranean allies.

The squadron, along with more than 15 nations participated in two exercises and other NATO operations. Pelican aircrews took part in Keftacex '03 out of Iceland, and Basilic '03 in France.

These multi-national exercises promoted cooperation in the anti-submarine warfare arena between NATO maritime patrol aircrews, submarines and surface ships.

Additionally, VP-45 aircrews made detachments to Turkey, Crete, Germany and Spain for similar exercises during the course of the six-month deployment.

As the deployment came to an end, every Pelican continued to push hard for mission accomplishment. Maintainers kept the aircraft flying at peak operational conditions, which led to a phenomenal 97 percent mission completion rate and an 89 percent sortie completion rate.

The Pelicans leave behind a number of accomplishments achieved on-station and within the Sicilian community. Their presence will no doubt be missed in the Mediterranean theater.

None of this, however, would have been possible without the love and support of families and friends back home. Letters, care packages, emails and phone calls were just a few of the things that kept the Sailors going throughout their six months on the island of Sicily.

During the course of the next few weeks, the men and women of VP-45 will enjoy some well-deserved rest and relaxation with their friends and loved ones.

They look forward to the upcoming Inter-Deploy-ment Readiness Cycle with the same enthusiasm and determination they displayed throughout their challenging deployment in the Mediterranean.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Thursday, April 29, 2004 - VP-45 participates in Cedar Hills' flag ceremony - By Lt. j.g. Jon Tasch - VP-45 PAO..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/stories/042904/mil_vp45school001.shtml [19MAR2005]



 Lt. Frank Loethan of VP-45, gives Dontavious Wilson his enlisted subsurface warfare pin as appreciation for the letter he received from him during a visit to Cedar Hills Elementary as Anissa McClendon and Andre Nero stand by.
Photo by PH1 Toiete Jackson

VP-45 participates in Cedar Hills' flag ceremony

By Lt. j.g. Jon Tasch
VP-45 PAO

In a recent display of their commitment to the local community, VP-45 renewed their partnership with the students of Cedar Hills Elementary School in a flag raising ceremony on April 16. The event marked the sixth consecutive year VP-45 has been a partner in education with Cedar Hills.

Several squadron volunteers were on hand to interact with the students and participate in a variety of activities comprising the event.

The day kicked off with a breakfast attended by the volunteers, the students, and the faculty followed by a flag raising ceremony, led by the Cedar Hills Fifth Grade Honor Guard. Students, faculty, and the VP-45 volunteers sang the National Anthem and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Kerwyn Neal, Cedar Hills principal, welcomed VP-45 home from their recent Mediterranean deployment and thanked them for their on-going partnership. A group of children welcomed squadron members in their own way, with a sign that read ''Welcome Home VP-45.'' VP-45 Maintenance Officer Lt.Cmdr. Scott Sherman made a few brief remarks as well. He said, ''We are pleased to be here and look forward to a continuing relationship with Cedar Hills Elementary.''



 AW2 Mario Gomez reads to students at Cedar Hills Elementary School as part of the mentoring partnership VP-45 has with the school.
Photos by PH1Toiete Jackson

Following the opening ceremony, the students and faculty returned to their classrooms. This gave the VP-45 volunteers an opportunity to spend some one-on-one time with the children. The squadron participated in a variety of activities. AW3

Carlos Gomez assisted in giving a spelling test to Mrs. Mary-Jane Perkins' second grade class as well as reading to the children. He said, ''The children were very smart and proactive. I had a great time and would love to make another visit,'' remarked Gomez, who also spent time reading with a group of third graders.

Lt.j.g. Frank Loethen conducted a question and answer session with Mrs. Leah King's second grade class. This gave the children an opportunity to learn about the basics of aviation, life on deployment, and serving one's country. Three of the children took it upon themselves to write him a thank you note so Loethen presented them with a ''thank-you token'' of his own. He gave one of them his naval flight officer wings, one of them his enlisted submarine service insignia (i.e. dolphins), and one of them his Navy Achievement ribbon. He said, ''I ran out of warfare pins so I gave away the medal that means the most to me.'' Needless to say, each of them were elated to have received such a prize.

All in all, the visit was a great success. Volunteers included Sherman, Lt.j.g. Debbie Jimenez, Loethen, PH1 Toiete Jackson, Gomez, and AW3 Carlos Davis.

VP-45 is proud to be able to give a little something back to the community and make a positive impact on the children of Cedar Hills Elementary School as well as on the future of our nation.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY:  History ThumbnailCamera040413-N-8102J-006 Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla. (Apr. 13, 2004) "...Airman Jessie Nelson and Aviation Structural Mechanic's Mate 3rd Class Jimmy Stiles perform a plane wash on a P-3C Orion patrol aircraft assigned to the "Pelicans" of Patrol Squadron Forty Five (VP-45) on board Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 1st Class Toiete Jackson. (RELEASED)..." Navy News Stand http://newshome.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=13318 [04MAR2005]


Circa 2003

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...A P-3C Flap Delivers a Knockout Punch - by AM2 Greg Tucker - Mech Fall 2003..." WebSite: Navy Safety Center http://www.safetycenter.navy.mil/media/mech/issues/fall03/knockoutpunch.htm [27JUN2006]

It was just another cold, windy night on deployment. Three other airframers and I were working our normal night-check routine when maintenance control issued a daily on a P-3C aircraft. My co-workers checked out the tools, and I grabbed the maintenance ladder. We cautiously walked out of the hangar and down the icy flight line to the aircraft.

As I walked around the port wing of the Orion, I positioned the ladder behind the port flap-well area, so I could use the ladder to clean and to check servicing of the hydraulic-servicing center. As a normal part of every P-3C daily check, we would turn up the auxiliary-power unit and lower the flaps for inspection.

Our CDI shift supervisor positioned himself in the flight station to serve as the flap operator. Another observer posted himself forward of the aircraft, and I moved under the starboard wing to serve as the aft observer. After a quick inspection of the flap-extension danger area, I thought the area was clear of all obstructions. Unfortunately, I failed to notice the maintenance ladder in this area.

Believing my inspection complete, I gave the forward observer the OK signal to lower the flaps. As the flaps were extending, I did not notice one hit the maintenance ladder. After both flaps were completely extended, I walked under the aircraft and saw two of the ladder's legs were off the ground. I looked up and noticed the inboard trailing edge of the port flap had extended down onto the ladder, creating a 3-inch by 3-inch rip in the trailing edge. At first, I had hoped this was just a terrible nightmare; however, reality quickly set in, and I knew the aircraft had been damaged.

I immediately gave the "hands off" signal to the forward observer, who, in turn, signaled the same to the flight-station observer. Hydraulic power was secured, and we quickly notified maintenance control.

After a thorough inspection and investigation, it turned out the damage was minimal, requiring only 12 maintenance hours to repair the tear. The flap strike had missed a flap rib by a mere 7 inches! Had the ladder hit this rib, a Class C mishap would have resulted.

Our squadron had been on deployment for three months-just long enough to feel comfortable in our new environment. This sensitive time is when a mishap most likely will occur. Sailors start to let down their guard and to allow a lax mindset to take hold, clouding their decision-making.

Our squadron's SOPs are clear regarding wing-flap extension. Three people are required during the evolution, and my job was to make sure the flap-extension danger area was clear of any gear. I failed to spot the ladder, and this incident served as a valuable reminder to my squadron and shipmates that complacency can strike in any operating environment, no matter how mundane or routine a task might seem.

Petty Officer Tucker works in the airframes shop at VP-45.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Was That Oil or Electrical Fumes? - by Lt. Molly Boron - Approach, September 2003..." WebSite: Navy Safety Center http://www.safetycenter.navy.mil/media/approach/issues/sep03/WasThatOil.htm [27JUN2006]

Newly qualified as a PPC, I took my crew to the AUTEC range near Nassau for a TorpEx event. We headed down the Florida coast and eastward to the range.

As we descended to on-station, our No. 2 engine-driven compressor (EDC) dropped to less than five inches differential-without giving us a press-low annunciator light. A complete loss of differential could have indicated a sheared quill shaft, but the compressor still provided air for our AC-pressurization system.

The EDC problem wasn't a huge issue at the time, and we pressed on, focused on our mission. After a successful TorpEx, we departed the range. The flight engineers (FE) and I monitored the cabin pressure as we climbed toward FL200. In the P-3, cabin pressure is set with a formula, and, normally, the pressurization rate is an automatic function. As fate would have it, our No. 3 EDC proved also to be weak. Unable to hold cabin altitude-which initially rose to 6,700 feet, then fluctuated between 4,300 and 5,700 feet-we requested a descent. We tried manually to control our pressurization, but we couldn't.

Nearing Vero Beach, Fla., my 2P asked if anyone smelled something like burning oil; no one on the crew did. My TACCO and I decided to go ahead and run the fire-of-unknown-origin (FOUO) checklist anyway. The crew jumped into action and carried out their assigned duties of opening equipment-bay doors and pulling away soft panels, searching for a source of smoke and/or fumes. It wasn't long before they confirmed both smoke and fumes, with an apparently electrical source.

The flight engineer left the flight station to check the malfunctioning outflow valve in the back of the aircraft, and the off-duty FE took his place. Upon returning, the senior FE said the outflow valve was hot, and the No. 3 engine nacelle was covered in oil. Could we have smoke and fumes coming from two different sources?

Normal procedure for a P-3 aircrew, when looking for the source of smoke and/or fumes, is to make two complete sweeps of their area before the flight-station crew secures electrical buses. I already had directed flight-station personnel to don their smoke masks, and the TACCO made sure the rest of the crew also had on their masks. The source was estimated to be somewhere between the flight station and the radar-operator station, and we secured our main AC bus A. The TACCO did a great job of informing me of the crew's progress and status. Unfortunately, the crew still could not pinpoint the source.

The TACCO asked for the smoke-and-fume elimination checklist to reduce the build up of smoke throughout the tube. While running the checklist, I tried to identify what could be on fire. The TACCO then told me he didn't feel good about the situation, which I misinterpreted as his feeling sick.

With ram air clearing the smoke and fumes, I declared an emergency with Daytona approach. We received vectors to Patrick AFB, which was 10 miles behind us, and prepared the cabin for landing. We landed with our smoke masks on. Once clear of the runway, we executed our procedures for ground evacuation.

Little did I realize at the time, but our pressurization-problem troubleshooting actually had helped us: We were in a position to depressurize immediately and to make an expeditious approach. After three hours of troubleshooting on deck, we discovered the HF No. 1 radio-coupler fan was the source of our FOUO. It hadn't malfunctioned in flight, but the fan was hot enough to scorch a flight glove. We did have an oil leak on the No. 3 engine, but small it was enough not to register a loss in quantity. It turned out the oil leak, outflow valve, and EDC problems all were unrelated to the smoke and fumes.

This time was the first I had come across such a compound malfunction, and it certainly challenged our crew. This scenario reinforced several important lessons. It's better to be on deck wishing you were flying, than flying and wishing you were on deck. Also, the importance of CRM can't be stressed enough. There certainly were barriers to our communication and understanding: Conflicting information as to an oil versus electrical FOUO, misunderstanding the TACCO's statement about how he felt, trying to communicate while wearing smoke masks, and limiting initial mental troubleshooting to the EDCs, outflow valve, and No. 3 engine.

I defer to the very first thing I learned in flight school: Aviate, navigate and communicate. Knowing our divert fields through every phase of our flight, getting out all our checklists, and telling ATC of our intentions, kept us safe and quickly got us on deck. Overall, I was pleased with the way our crew performed, and every one of us learned valuable lessons on the complexity and dynamics of multi-crew aircraft malfunctions.

Lt. Boron flies with VP-45.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraIEER System "...March 6, 2003 - Fleet supports NAVAIR flight test - by Derrill Thompson - SPECIAL TO THE TESTER. Mentioned (CPRW-11, VP-45 and VX-20)..." WebSite: DC Military - Tester http://www.dcmilitary.com/navy/tester/8_09/features/21891-1.html [16DEC2005]

Photograph Caption: Lt. Jim Bolin, right, VX-20 AIP project officer, points out the capabilities of the IEER system to Lt. Jeff Hartsell of VP-45 during preflight.

Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 11 and the "Fighting Pelicans" of VP-45 hosted a combined military, civil service, and contractor team from NAVAIR Jacksonville in support of continued developmental test of the Improved Extended Echo Ranging system. The NAVAIR team, led by Lt. Jim Bolin, Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 20 IEER project officer, consisted of active-duty military from VX-20, civil service engineers and contractor employees from Veridian and Titan.

The IEER system is an improved multi-static active sensor which employs a new sonobuoy coupled with improved processing algorithms to extend the EER deep-water search capability into the shallow waters of the littoral. The IEER is currently undergoing software qualification testing leading up to a transition to the Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 1, for an operational assessment. Fleet release of IEER is scheduled next year following a successful operational evaluation.

The IEER system was developed by the PEO(A) for Antisubmarine Warfare, Air Assault, and Special Missions, PMA-264, in response to the fleet need for a large-area search capability against small submarines operating in littoral waters. The system combines a new sensor, the AN/SSQ-101 Air Deployed Active Receiver sonobuoy with improved software in the P-3C UIII Anti-surface Warfare Improvement aircraft.

The ADAR sonobuoy employs a multi-element planar hydrophone array to improve detection in shallow littoral waters. This improved sensor, when coupled with AIP's powerful acoustic post-processor, the USQ-78A, will provide Maritime ASW aircrews with the tools necessary to effectively prosecute the difficult task of ASW search in littoral waters.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Gear Down? - by Lt. Joshua Crouse/P-3 - Lt. Crouse is a Patrol Plane Commander with VP-45, and was serving as second pilot on this flight..." Naval Safety Center WebSite: http://www.safetycenter.navy.mil/media/approach/vault/articles/2003/0502.htm [04JUN2005]

After a successful Eastern Mediterranean surface search, we returned to Sigonella, Italy. Since we had extra fuel, I was going to shoot a couple of approaches to complete my pilot training requirements for the month. On final, I called for gear down and the landing checklist. We waited for indications of gear down in the flight station before replying "down and detent" as required by the checklist. The normal three gear down indication never happened as the port main mount remained as a barber pole. We executed a missed approach and prepared to walk thru the "Unsafe Landing Gear Down Indications" in NATOPS.

In the back of our minds was the fact that the port strut had just been changed out. Could the port strut be bad or was it a possible down lock switch malfunction? Because of the redundancy of P-3 systems, we are often reminded to sit on our hands during an emergency and read thru the procedures. Gear malfunctions are no different and are one of the emergency procedures that P-3 pilots aren't required to memorize.

As our Flight Engineer broke open NATOPS, we talked to Tower and requested coordination with Approach to get an altitude block for troubleshooting. The language barrier with Italians took a few minutes and we were sitting at approximately 10,500 pounds of fuel when approval came. At that point we had roughly 30 minutes to troubleshoot the gear before landing with minimum fuel. After finally getting a radial/DME block to work with, we started to read thru the NATOPS procedures. The key phrase read that we should "consider that the gear is unsafe for landing unless definitely proven otherwise." After walking thru all the gear malfunction procedures, we ended up where we started - with an unsafe gear indication. Luckily, another squadron plane was in the area, and they agreed to loosely join up below us to see if they could visually inspect our gear. A qualified camera operator was on board, and they used their AIMS camera to get eyes on the gear and verified that it appeared down and locked.

We then switched to Tower and declared an emergency. We ran thru the "Unlocked Gear Indication Landing" procedures and even reviewed the procedures for "Landing without All Gear Extended." We had taken approximately 30 minutes to troubleshoot the malfunction and were dropping below 8,000 pounds of fuel, so time was limited.

Did we feel that the gear was indeed down at this point? The visual inspection helped rule out the possibility of a strut malfunction. If we hadn't been confident the gear was down, we would have been faced with a wheels up landing, not a pleasant thought for any pilot. From the combined flight station experience and the other aircraft's positive report, the Plane Commander made the final decision that all our troubleshooting had proven that the gear was safely down for landing. Even after that decision was made, the tension was surprisingly high until after touchdown and everything worked as advertised.

Although P-3 gear malfunctions may differ from other platforms, basic lessons learned still apply:

    1. Declare an emergency immediately. We thought it would be an easy fix and we ended up going through the entire procedure. The language barriers and coordination delayed our troubleshooting and caused us to use up valuable gas. Declaring an emergency will also clear up the runway and avoid the possibility of an emergency in front of you.

    2. Gear malfunctions probably will happen at the end of a flight, with little excess gas. So be familiar with the procedures and complete them ASAP.

    3. Having fellow squadron personnel perform the visual inspection is very reassuring as they are familiar with the aircraft systems. We based our decision to land on their expertise.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...What Else Can Go Wrong? - by Lt. Drew Glorioso/P-3 - Lt. Glorioso is a Patrol Plane Commander with VP-45..." Naval Safety Center WebSite: http://www.safetycenter.navy.mil/media/approach/vault/articles/2003/0521.htm [04JUN2005]

Finally it was the day that every new Patrol Plane Commander (PPC) dreams of, my first time signing for the P-3 as PPC. After 18 months of upgrading, I was both excited and nervous for the flight. There is a tremendous amount of responsibility that comes with being in charge of a 135,000 lb. aircraft and the lives of 10 other human beings.

Ideally, I would have wanted my first flight to be a simple hop, something like taking 2 other pilots and heading up to Savannah, Georgia to bounce. As fate would have it though, my first flight would be during my squadron's Sigonella deployment and came during an overland surveillance mission. To top it all off, the mission commander of the flight would be my XO. No matter how much I tried not to think about the pressure, I couldn't help but think, "Don't do anything stupid with half the front office on board." This was just bit of added stress for my first ride.

About 30 minutes into the flight my second pilot (2P) commented that he thought he smelled something burning. I stared at him, hoping he was kidding, but he wasn't. After alerting the crew, activating the fire bill and turning the cabin exhaust fan off, I had my smoke mask on and instantly thought of where I could land my plane if this situation got any worse. We were approaching the boot of Italy and Brindisi was only 100 miles off my nose. During this entire evolution, I couldn't help but wonder, "Why me?" Every upgrading P-3 pilot is trained to handle these situations but you never really expect it to happen to you.

Fate was on my side on this mission. The crew quickly found the source of the fumes and isolated it. A non-mission essential piece of electronic equipment had started to overheat and was immediately secured. With that situation behind us we pressed on with our mission.

30 minutes later we were transiting overland on our way to on-station. Near the end of our corridor we noticed some cloud buildups that didn't look too bad from far away. As we got closer, I thought we would be able to punch right through the thin layer. Of course, this was the time our radar failed. The P-3's radar system isn't designed as a weather avoidance system but it can be used to get through storms by avoiding heavier buildups. This small buildup turned out to be a pretty nice thunderstorm and after 10 minutes of failing to find a way out, we made the decision to abort the mission because we could not maintain VMC in the area. It is difficult to be an airborne surveillance unit when you are IMC.

I wish that was the end of my story but unfortunately it is not. I was flying back very happy that this ordeal was about to be behind me when I realized that we were going to be above our NATOPS maximum recommended landing weight. My flight engineers had fueled the plane for an 8 hour mission, but we were coming home after only 2 hours. The logical choice would have been to dump fuel and fly home as inefficiently as possible. We positioned our plane away from commercial air traffic and advised the Italian ATC of our intentions. After breaking out NATOPS and following the fuel dumping procedure, my FE reached up and turned the fuel dump pump on, but fuel did not start to jettison. After exhausting our means of troubleshooting, we came to the conclusion that we weren't going to be able to dump fuel. Not a big deal, but it meant that we would have to fly an extra 1.5 hours. It was just another problem on a flight I was already hoping to forget. We still had to find a way to burn off enough fuel prior to landing. All aviators are taught to fly efficiently but now we were forced to go against that training. We descended to FL100, dropped the landing gear and turned on the engine anti-icing system in an effort to increase the plane's fuel flow. We were safely on deck 2.5 hours later.

As problematic as this flight turned out to be, I took away some valuable lessons. In naval aviation and especially in a 30-year-old P-3, you have to be ready for anything. The P-3 didn't know to go easy on me since it was my first flight as PPC. We train the way we fight and fight the way we train for a reason. Trusting your training and your crew are vital elements in successfully accomplishing missions and bringing your crew home to fight another day.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...November 7th, 2003 - Pelican recognized as nationally ranked wrestler..." Signature Newspaper http://www.sicily.navy.mil/cgi-bin/thesig_list.cgi?gothere=%2Fsignature%2Fissues%2F2044-110703.pdf&go=Read+it%21 [19MAR2005]

MS3 William Lasalle of VP-45 has only been wrestling for few years. Having been deployed with Patrol Squadron 45 since August, he has been limited to training in preparation for his return to the States and wrestling tournaments at home. Even so, he is the third ranked wrestler in the country at 163 pounds, and is eager to return to the wrestling mat and continue to represent the Navy with pride and victory.

A former three time state champion in Florida, Lasalle won the prestigious state title from 1998-2000 in the 152, 160 and 171 pound weight classes respectively while attending Ridgeview High School Miami. He is also a two time freestyle national champion, with tournament victories in 1999 and 2000.

Lasalle has faired well in almost every tournament he has taken part in this year. In February, he came within two points of winning the Louisiana Invitational Wrestling Tournament in New Orleans. As an unseeded participant, he narrowly lost to the top seed in the finals, 8-6. In the California state championships he took gold medals in both freestyle and Greco-Roman competition, and at the Amateur Athletic Union grand nationals he won a pair of bronze medals. In the U.S. nationals he was a single match away from placing in the top eight.

Although Lasalle has been unable to wrestle since leaving for deployment, he continues his training and prepares for his return to competition. With his sights next set on the 2004 Olympic nationals, Lasalle says he "plans on representing the Navy in wrestling for quite a while." With his constant training and dedication, Lasalle has already won the gold in VP-45.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...October 25th, 2003 - VP-45 Visits Local Orphanage - By Lt. j.g. Jon Tasch..." Signature Newspaper http://www.sicily.navy.mil/cgi-bin/thesig_list.cgi?gothere=%2Fsignature%2Fissues%2F2048-120503.pdf&go=Read+it%21 [19MAR2005]

On Saturday, October 25th, the Pelicans of Patrol Squadron 45 visited the A&V Institute for Handicapped Children in nearby Pecarino. Their goal - make the day a little brighter for a group of children who have not been dealt the best hand in life.

The volunteers included a variety of officer and enlisted personnel from the squadron including pilots, naval flight officers, aircrew, maintainers, yeomen and Sailors from various other rates.

Lieutenant Jeremy Hankins, the visit coordinator, did a tremendous job bringing the visit together. Working with Mr. Papalardo of the institute, he gathered volunteers from within the command and brought a special day to the kids at Pecarino. It was not very difficult to fill the list with squadron volunteers; in fact, the sign up sheet was full within days of the event being announced. The men and women of VP-45 jumped at the chance to enrich the lives of the young orphans, if only for a short time on Saturday.

This was the first visit to the orphanage for the Pelicans this deployment, so the volunteers were given a tour of the facility followed by time spent with the children of Pecarino. The Sailors were happy to be there and gave out toys and candy while others played games with the children and read stories to the younger kids in the group.

The children were not the only ones to benefit from the visit. It was obvious that those who volunteered came away from the experience better for the opportunity spend time with such a remarkable group of kids. "The children were very friendly and eager to interact with us." Many of the Pelicans were glad they could put a smile on a child's face and bring a little laughter to their surroundings. "When you're on deployment, things can be very fast paced. It was nice to get off base and work with the kids." VP-45 is committed to serving the surrounding community, be it at home in Jacksonville or on deployment. The Pelicans plan to make other visits to Pecarino before they return to Florida and it is clear to see that the children are not the only ones looking forward to it.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY:  History ThumbnailCamera031022-N-8102J-011 Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella, Sicily (Oct. 22, 2003) "...Aviation Structural Mechanic Airman Daniel Lott, from Tuscaloosa, Ala., removes the access panels from a P-3C Orion as part of the aircraft's Isochronal Scheduled Inspection System (ISIS). Lott is assigned to the "Pelicans" of Patrol Squadron Forty Five (VP-45), based out of Jacksonville, Florida. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Toiete Jackson. (RELEASED)..." Navy News Stand http://newshome.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=10168 [05MAR2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...October 24th, 2003 - VP-45 flies in support of Operation Active Endeavor By Lt. j.g. Steven Seney VP-45..." Signature Newspaper http://www.sicily.navy.mil/cgi-bin/thesig_list.cgi?gothere=%2Fsignature%2Fissues%2F2042-102403.pdf&go=Read+it%21 [19MAR2005]

On March 10, NATO maritime forces began escorting allied civilian shipping through the Strait of Gibraltar. The North Atlantic Council, the Alliance's highest decision-making body, decided to extend NATO's Operation Active Endeavor to include escorting non-military ships traveling through the Straits to maintain security in the area and to secure the safe transit of designated Allied ships. The narrow Strait of Gibraltar is widely recognized as a potential site of terrorist attacks, and so the measure has been agreed upon as a precaution. Operation Active Endeavor was initiated on Oct. 26, 2001 to monitor shipping in the eastern Mediterranean Sea as part of measures aimed at assisting the U. S. after the Sept. 11 attacks. As such it is a valuable part of the worldwide campaign against terrorism, and is part of the NATO action that followed the declaration of Article 5 on Sept.12, 2001. Since the start of the operation, more than 24,000 merchant vessels have been monitored as they passed through the Strait of Gibraltar.

VP-45 aircraft began flying armed patrol missions over the Strait of Gibraltar the first week in August in support of Active Endeavor. Maritime patrol aircraft bring a valuable asset to the mission in their ability to patrol large areas of the strait quickly and being able to promptly respond to trouble calls. P-3 aircraft also have the ability, through the use of AIMS video surveillance equipment, to monitor maritime vessels unseen from miles away. The abilities to conduct unobtrusive surveillance and to cover vast tracks of ocean are the reasons that P-3's have been tasked with supporting Operation Active Endeavor on this deployment.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...September 12th, 2003 - VP-45 Pelicans arrive in Sigonella By Lt. j.g. Steven Seney VP-45..." Signature Newspaper http://www.sicily.navy.mil/cgi-bin/thesig_list.cgi?gothere=%2Fsignature%2Fissues%2F2036-091203.pdf&go=Read+it%21 [19MAR2005]

If you've been paying attention around NAS Sigonella recently, you may have noticed an abundance of new faces around. These faces belong to the Pelicans of Patrol Squadron 45, who recently arrived in Sigonella for a six-month deployment, relieving the Fighting Tigers of VP-8 as the tenant Patrol Squadron at Naval Air Station Sigonella.

The Pelicans began arriving at NASSIG from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla., during the last week in July, after completing a highly successful Inter-Deployment Training Cycle (IDTC). The Pelicans, led by Commanding Officer, Will Fitzgerald, are deploying to NASSIG from Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Eleven in Jacksonville to work with Commander Task Force Sixty Seven (CTF-67) in the Mediterranean AOR. The first of the Pelican's P-3C Orion aircraft began arriving at NASSIG on July 28. Aircraft then landed one by one, carrying most of the Pelican aircrews. The remaining Pelicans left on Aug. 4, via military airlift. The last planeload of Pelicans landed on Aug. 8, completing the squadron's move to NAS Sigonella.

Following an aggressive training cycle, including supporting VP- 8 last March during Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Pelicans are ready to face and overcome any obstacle. By taking part in two joint task force exercises – one in December and the other in May – and in a composite training unit exercise, the Pelicans have well-equipped themselves for any mission that they may have to carry out. During this deployment, the highly trained men and women of VP-45 look forward to the many opportunities that will arise to test their training. From the Balkans to West Africa, from ASW, to surveillance to search and rescue, the Pelicans are ready to assume their role as part of our nation's forward deployed defense forces.

If you ask anyone from Jacksonville, they will agree that the Pelicans of VP-45 tend to stand out even when they are away from work. Whether it is through participation in intramural sports or community outreach programs, Pelicans shine at everything they do. The Pelicans will keep up their reputation over the next six months. Between now and February, the Pelicans will be easily identifiable by their deeds and the Pelican patch.

The Pelicans look forward to becoming an integral part of the NAS Sigonella family, just as they were part of the NAS Jacksonville family. The Pelicans would like to thank NAS Sigonella for a warm reception and to say we look forward a great six months as part of your family.

PELICAN PRIDE.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY:  History ThumbnailCameraSECNAV visits VP-45 in Sigonella "...Thursday, September 4, 2003 - SECNAV visits VP-45 in Sigonella - By Lt. j.g. Jon Tasch - VP-45 Assistant Public Affairs Officer..." JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/stories/090403/mil_secnavvp45001.shtml [23MAR2005]

The men and women of VP-45 received a special visit at the start of their current Mediterranean deployment. Acting Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Hansford T. Johnson toured the hangar of VP-45 aboard NAS Sigonella, Sicily, Italy.

Accompanying Johnson was Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Installations and Environment Raymond DuBois.

NAS Sigonella was the first stop of a six-day tour for the acting SECNAV, which includes Souda Bay, Crete, NAF Naples, Italy, and Rota, Spain.

In addition to visiting the patrol squadron hangar, they visited with family members, ombudsmen, and chief selectees. They also visited the supply warehouse, HC-4, military working dogs, housing areas, commissary/NEX/food court, the new kindergarten, and the recreational facilities.

At the time of the SECNAV's visit, VP-8 was at the end of their deployment as VP-45 was just arriving into the Med. Johnson and DuBois talked with the skippers of both VP-8 and VP-45. They also had an opportunity to tour an AIP aircraft and see first hand the latest technology the ''Pelicans'' will be using in the Mediterranean.

Since the distinguished visitors arrived during a transition period for the respective squadrons, they saw firsthand how important a good pass-down of information is, including operational insights, lessons learned, and day-to-day procedures.

Additionally, both secretaries spoke to P-3 Sailors during joint quarters in the hangar deck. The Secretary of the Navy spoke about the role of NAS Sigonella in current and future operations in the region. ''In the Mediterranean there's what's called the string of pearls; from Rota, to Sigonella, to Souda Bay,'' he said.

''These allow the Navy to move and operate in this area. Almost everything transiting the Mediterra-nean is serviced by these three bases. Each of them has different capabilities, each of them is very important. At Sigonella we also have an important role, this being surveillance aircraft and heavy lift helicopters that play a role throughout the European and Central Command areas. As we speak, they're participating in Liberia and elsewhere.''

With the recent tragedy at HC-4 still on the minds of Sailors at Sigonella, Johnson spoke on the importance of safety.

''I, and I hope everybody in the Department of the Navy, think that people are our most precious asset,'' he said. ''Their safety is of great importance to me. For safety to work, you have to have a safety culture where it's important to every person.''

The personnel of VP-45 enjoyed the opportunity to display their spirit and cutting edge technology at the start of a highly anticipated Mediterranean deployment with these two special visitors.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY:  History ThumbnailCameraCalifornia congresswoman Visits Sigonella"...Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, representative of California's 47th Congressional District poses with Sailors from Patrol Squadron Four Five (VP-45), during visit to Naval Air Station Sigonella..." Signature Newspaper http://www.sicily.navy.mil/cgi-bin/thesig_list.cgi?gothere=%2Fsignature%2Fissues%2F2034-082903.pdf&go=Read+it%21 [19MAR2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...August 8th, 2003 - Local man owes CAC 12 his life in recent rescue by Lt. j.g. Rick Foster..." Signature Newspaper http://www.sicily.navy.mil/cgi-bin/thesig_list.cgi?gothere=%2Fsignature%2Fissues%2F2041-101703.pdf&go=Read+it%21 [19MAR2005]

A Ready One launch can happen at any moment. A crew on the ready was already preflighted their aircraft and personal survival gear. They will stay together or in their rooms on base for the entire twenty-four hours of their watch. No one knows if they will get the call, or if they do, what the mission will be. Some are sent out on tactical missions, but most are search and rescue (SAR) related. That's exactly what happened in the early morning hours of Wednesday, Aug. 28 for Combat Aircrew 12. They were called into the Tactical Support Center and briefed that there would be a SAR mission later that morning. The search would be difficult; the area the crew was given was relatively large, and the missing vessel was a small, personal boat.

The initial search began 80 miles southeast of Malta, with the crew searching in long northeast to southwest tracks. Calm seas and good visibility aided the crew in locating the derelict vessel. The sixteen-foot boat had lost power and had no radios to communicate its position to the search part.

After a five-hour search, CAC 12 found the boat and its owner inside their search box. Fortunately fof both the man and the search crew, the boat ws still afloat and intact. It becomes significantly more difficult to locate someone in a small life raft or worse, in a only their life-vest. The Patrol Plane Pilot, Lt. Brian Bradford, and the Tactical Coordinator, Lt. Damian Sanders, were the first personnel to find the boat. From that point on it was fairly simple: the crew orbited overhead and called Malta Rescue Control Center, which dispatched the recovery helicopter. Within 45 minutes, the man was in the hands of the rescue team and on his way to safety.

"That was probably the most rewarding search and rescue I've been a part of," said Lt. Bradford. Lt. Sanders seconded that feeling, adding, "It took quite a while to find the boat. Every window was manned the entire time. It was a great effort by the whole crew." Once the helicopter was headed home, the crew returned to NAS Sigonella for some well-deserved rest and relaxation.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY:  History ThumbnailCamera030708-N-0174W-502 Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla. (Jul. 8, 2003) "...Aviation Structural Mechanic 3rd Class Aaron S. Tuttle from Pensacola, Fla. removes a rubber sealant from the wing of a P-3 Orion. Petty Officer Tuttle is assigned to the "Mad Foxes" of Patrol Squadron Forty Five (VP-5). U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Richard W. Williams. (RELEASED)..." Navy News Stand http://newshome.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=8476 [05MAR2005]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Thursday, June 19, 2003 - Unmasking The Silent Terror - By Lt.j.g. Ligia Cohen - COMUSNAVSO Public Affairs ..." [23MAR2005]

USS O'Bannon (DD 987), VP-45, VC-6, and HSL-46 completed Silent Forces Exercise (SIFOREX) today. SIFOREX is an annual anti-submarine warfare (ASW) intensive training exercise hosted by the Peruvian Navy. This year's three-day exercise also included participation by five Peruvian warships, three submarines, fixed/rotary wing aircraft, and a French frigate.

This is the third time U.S. naval forces have joined their Peruvian counterparts in the planning and execution of SIFOREX.

The stealth and expertise of the Peruvian submariners provide a rare training opportunity for U.S. Navy forces to engage multiple diesel-electric submarines participating in the exercise.

SIFOREX provided U.S. Navy participants a unique opportunity to operate in the Southern Pacific with both coalition and NATO forces. Multinational naval exercises like SIFOREX increase readiness while developing interoperability and promoting cooperation between the U.S. Navy and its allies.

USS O'Bannon, with the embarked HSL-46 Detachment Five, is currently on a routine deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command area of responsibility. VP-45 is homeported in NAS Brunswick, Maine.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY:  History ThumbnailCameraLt. Frank Loethan  History ThumbnailCameraAW2 Mario Gomez"...Thursday, April 29, 2004 - VP-45 participates in Cedar Hills' flag ceremony - By Lt. j.g. Jon Tasch - VP-45 Assistant Public Affairs Officer..." JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/stories/042904/mil_vp45school001.shtml [23MAR2005]

In a recent display of their commitment to the local community, VP-45 renewed their partnership with the students of Cedar Hills Elementary School in a flag raising ceremony on April 16. The event marked the sixth consecutive year VP-45 has been a partner in education with Cedar Hills.

Several squadron volunteers were on hand to interact with the students and participate in a variety of activities comprising the event.

The day kicked off with a breakfast attended by the volunteers, the students, and the faculty followed by a flag raising ceremony, led by the Cedar Hills Fifth Grade Honor Guard. Students, faculty, and the VP-45 volunteers sang the National Anthem and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Kerwyn Neal, Cedar Hills principal, welcomed VP-45 home from their recent Mediterranean deployment and thanked them for their on-going partnership. A group of children welcomed squadron members in their own way, with a sign that read ''Welcome Home VP-45.'' VP-45 Maintenance Officer Lt.Cmdr. Scott Sherman made a few brief remarks as well. He said, ''We are pleased to be here and look forward to a continuing relationship with Cedar Hills Elementary.''

Following the opening ceremony, the students and faculty returned to their classrooms. This gave the VP-45 volunteers an opportunity to spend some one-on-one time with the children. The squadron participated in a variety of activities. AW3

Carlos Gomez assisted in giving a spelling test to Mrs. Mary-Jane Perkins' second grade class as well as reading to the children. He said, ''The children were very smart and proactive. I had a great time and would love to make another visit,'' remarked Gomez, who also spent time reading with a group of third graders.

Lt.j.g. Frank Loethen conducted a question and answer session with Mrs. Leah King's second grade class. This gave the children an opportunity to learn about the basics of aviation, life on deployment, and serving one's country. Three of the children took it upon themselves to write him a thank you note so Loethen presented them with a ''thank-you token'' of his own. He gave one of them his naval flight officer wings, one of them his enlisted submarine service insignia (i.e. dolphins), and one of them his Navy Achievement ribbon. He said, ''I ran out of warfare pins so I gave away the medal that means the most to me.'' Needless to say, each of them were elated to have received such a prize.

All in all, the visit was a great success. Volunteers included Sherman, Lt.j.g. Debbie Jimenez, Loethen, PH1 Toiete Jackson, Gomez, and AW3 Carlos Davis.

VP-45 is proud to be able to give a little something back to the community and make a positive impact on the children of Cedar Hills Elementary School as well as on the future of our nation.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...March 10th, 2003 - VP-45 flies in support of Operation Active Endeavor By Lt. j.g. Steven Seney VP-45..." Signature Newspaper http://www.sicily.navy.mil/cgi-bin/thesig_list.cgi?gothere=%2Fsignature%2Fissues%2F2042-102403.pdf&go=Read+it%21 [19MAR2005]

On March 10, NATO maritime forces began escorting allied civilian shipping through the Strait of Gibraltar. The North Atlantic Council, the Alliance's highest decision-making body, decided to extend NATO's Operation Active Endeavor to include escorting non-military ships traveling through the Straits to maintain security in the area and to secure the safe transit of designated Allied ships. The narrow Strait of Gibraltar is widely recognized as a potential site of terrorist attacks, and so the measure has been agreed upon as a precaution. Operation Active Endeavor was initiated on Oct. 26, 2001 to monitor shipping in the eastern Mediterranean Sea as part of measures aimed at assisting the U. S. after the Sept. 11 attacks. As such it is a valuable part of the worldwide campaign against terrorism, and is part of the NATO action that followed the declaration of Article 5 on Sept.12, 2001. Since the start of the operation, more than 24,000 merchant vessels have been monitored as they passed through the Strait of Gibraltar.

VP-45 aircraft began flying armed patrol missions over the Strait of Gibraltar the first week in August in support of Active Endeavor. Maritime patrol aircraft bring a valuable asset to the mission in their ability to patrol large areas of the strait quickly and being able to promptly respond to trouble calls. P-3 aircraft also have the ability, through the use of AIMS video surveillance equipment, to monitor maritime vessels unseen from miles away. The abilities to conduct unobtrusive surveillance and to cover vast tracks of ocean are the reasons that P-3's have been tasked with supporting Operation Active Endeavor on this deployment.


Circa 2002

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...VP-45 Sailor recognized for traffic safety efforts - By Kaylee LaRocque - Staff Writer - Thursday, May 23, 2002..." JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/stories/052302/mil_mosely001.shtml [06APR2005]

 History ThumbnailCameraVP-45 History AM1(AW) William Mosely of VP-45 (center right) and his wife, Jenny happily pose with CMDCMC Robert Carroll, command master chief of the Navy Inspector General's office (left) and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Terry Scott during the 2001 GEICO Military Service Award's Ceremony. Photo courtesy of VP-45.

AM1(AW) William Mosely of VP-45, was recently selected as the Navy recipient of the 2001 GEICO Military Service Award for his work in traffic safety and accident prevention.

Mosely was selected for the award by representatives of the military and GEICO after being nominated by his squadron. He was recently presented the award and a check for $2,500 during a week of special events in Washington, DC.

''This is really a big honor to be chosen for this award. Going to Washington and meeting the leaders of our military and government was a wonderful experience. But, I think the best part of the trip was getting to place a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It was probably one of the most emotional things I've ever done,'' said Mosely.

A native of Jacksonville, Mosely joined the Navy after graduating from Edward H. White High School. After completing boot camp in San Diego, he spent the next four and a half years as a Seabee with NMCB-1 in Gulfport, Miss. He also completed tours at NAS Key West, Florida and NAS Bermuda.

He then decided to change rates, attending Aviation Structural Mechanic ''A'' School in Millington, Tenn. From there, Mosely headed back to NAS Jacksonville, Florida to VP-16. Not traveling far, his next tour landed him with VP-30 and then to VP-45 where he has worked as a maintenance controller for the past two years.

''My job is directing maintenance tasks and releasing P-3 aircraft safe for flight,'' he said.

Mosely also spends countless hours organizing and presenting the squadron's quarterly safety presentations on traffic safety. His lectures have become so popular, he is frequently asked to give presentations to other NAS Jacksonville, Florida commands and local elementary, middle and high schools.

In his off-duty time, Mosely works as a reserve Florida Highway Patrol Officer. Since he joined the force five years ago, he has amassed more than 5,000 hours protecting the safety of millions of Florida highway travelers.

''I joined the Florida Highway Patrol because I thought it would be interesting. So, one day I just called and asked if they needed people. They said they did, so I filled out the application and went through the background checks and attended the academy, which is located in Jacksonville,'' explained Mosley.

He also admits his father, retired Master Chief Dennis Mosely, the former command master chief of CPW-11 has played a huge role in his life. ''I'm pretty much following in my dad's footsteps. He is now working in the Reserves in the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. I'll probably go there next when I retire from the Navy in about five years,'' said Mosely, enthusiastically.

When he's not working at the squadron, giving lectures or out on the highway, Mosely spends time with his wife, Jenny and their three children, Adam, Andrew and Hayley.

''I would really like to thank my wife, Jenny and my family for always being there. If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be able to do what I do, which is what earned me this award. I'd also like to thank my chain of command at the squadron for nominating me and for being so supportive and allowing me the time to go out and teach people about traffic safety,'' he said. ''And, I can never thank my dad enough for being a such a great role model.''

Mosely has dedicated his award to his cousin, Pulaski County Sheriff Sam Catron of Somerset, Ky. who was slain on April 13 by a political opponent.

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...‘Pelicans' Soar Back Home - VP-45 PAO - By LTjg Sven Sharp - August 8th, 2002 - Page 1 and 6 - Jacksonville News http://www.nasjax.navy.mil/JAX%20AIR%20NEWS/08aug02.pdf..." [01JUL2003]
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Circa 2001

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Cook Relieves Sinnet As VP-45 Skipper Tomorrow - Jax Air News Vol. 59 - No. 11 NAS Jacksonville, Florida - March 29, 2001..."http://www.nasjax.navy.mil/JAX%20AIR%20NEWS/29mar01.pdf [18JUL2003]
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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...VP-45 Receives Golden Wrench Award and Captain Arnold J. Isbell Trophy Nomination - Jax Air News Vol. 59 - No. 11 NAS Jacksonville, Florida - March 29, 2001..."http://www.nasjax.navy.mil/JAX%20AIR%20NEWS/29mar01.pdf [18JUL2003]
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