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HistoryVP-63 HistoryHistory

Circa 1989

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Roster of VP-64 as it appeared in the Change of Command Program on 16 September 1989..." Contributed by ROBIDEAU, AWCS Larry Retired larobidoo@comcast.net [29MAR2007]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY:  History ThumbnailCameraID: DNSN9005071 "...A member of Naval Air Reserve Patrol Squadron 64 (VP-64) on active duty training inserts a sonobuoy into its dispenser chute in a P-3 Orion aircraft. Location: NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (USA) - Date Shot: 10 Dec 1989..." WebSite: Defense Visual Information Center http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/ [05FEB2006]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY:  History ThumbnailCameraID: DNSN9005072 "...An officer of Naval Air Reserve Patrol Squadron 64 (VP-64) on active duty training flies a P-3 Orion aircraft. Date Shot: 10 Dec 1989..." WebSite: Defense Visual Information Center http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/ [05FEB2006]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY:  History ThumbnailCameraID: DNSN9005073 "...An officer of Naval Air Reserve Patrol Squadron 64 (VP-64) on active duty training flies a P-3 Orion aircraft. Date Shot: 10 Dec 1989..." WebSite: Defense Visual Information Center http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/ [05FEB2006]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY:  History ThumbnailCameraID: DNSN9005074 "...A merchant ship is seen through the porthole of a Naval Air Reserve Patrol Squadron 64 (VP-64) on active duty training flies a P-3 Orion aircraft during active duty training. Date Shot: 10 Dec 1989..." WebSite: Defense Visual Information Center http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/ [05FEB2006]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY:  History ThumbnailCameraID: DNSN9005075 "...A crew member of a Naval Air Reserve Patrol Squadron 64 (VP-64) on active duty training flies a P-3 Orion aircraft on active duty training consults a data sheet. Date Shot: 10 Dec 1989..." WebSite: Defense Visual Information Center http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/ [05FEB2006]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY:  History ThumbnailCameraID: DNSN9005076 "...A mechanic works on an engine of a Naval Air Reserve Patrol Squadron 64 (VP-64) P-3 Orion aircraft during active duty training. Location: NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (USA) - Date Shot: 10 Dec 1989..." WebSite: Defense Visual Information Center http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/ [05FEB2006]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY:  History ThumbnailCameraID: DNSN9005077 "...A pilot on a Naval Air Reserve Patrol Squadron 64 (VP-64) P-3 Orion aircraft eats a sandwich while his partner flies the plane during active duty training. Date Shot: 10 Dec 1989..." WebSite: Defense Visual Information Center http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/ [05FEB2006]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY:  History ThumbnailCameraID: DNSN9005078 "...Ground crew members refuel a Naval Air Reserve Patrol Squadron 64 (VP-64) P-3 Orion aircraft during active duty training. Location: NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (USA) - Date Shot: 10 Dec 1989..." WebSite: Defense Visual Information Center http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/ [05FEB2006]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY:  History ThumbnailCameraID: DNSN9005079 "...The pilot and co-pilot of a P-3 Orion aircraft of Naval Air Reserve Patrol Squadron 64 (VP-64) monitor their instrument panel during active duty training. Date Shot: 10 Dec 1989..." WebSite: Defense Visual Information Center http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/ [05FEB2006]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY:  History ThumbnailCameraID: DNSN9005080 "...Ground crew members service an engine of a Naval Air Reserve Patrol Squadron 64 (VP-64) P-3 Orion aircraft during active duty training. Date Shot: 10 Dec 1989..." WebSite: Defense Visual Information Center http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/ [05FEB2006]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY:  History ThumbnailCameraID: DNSN9005081 "...Gill Hoff, master chief aviation anti-submarine warfare operator for Naval Air Reserve Patrol Squadron 64 (VP-64)examines SSQ-77 sonobuoys for one of the squadron's P-3 Orion aircraft during active duty training. Date Shot: 10 Dec 1989..." WebSite: Defense Visual Information Center http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/ [05FEB2006]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY:  History ThumbnailCameraID: DNSN9005082 "...Members of Naval Air Reserve Patrol Squadron 64 (VP-64) load an SSQ-77 sonobuoy into a P-3 Orion aircraft during active duty training. Date Shot: 10 Dec 1989..." WebSite: Defense Visual Information Center http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/ [05FEB2006]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY:  History ThumbnailCameraID: DNSN9005083 "...Technicians and systems operators in a Naval Air Reserve Patrol Squadron 64 (VP-64) P-3 Orion aircraft record and plot during active duty training. Date Shot: 10 Dec 1989..." WebSite: Defense Visual Information Center http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/ [05FEB2006]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY:  History ThumbnailCameraID: DNSN9005084 "...Members of Naval Air Reserve Patrol Squadron 64 (VP-64) walk to their P-3 Orion aircraft on the flight line. Date Shot: 10 Dec 1989..." WebSite: Defense Visual Information Center http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/ [05FEB2006]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY:  History ThumbnailCameraID: DNSN9005085 "...A ground crewman services an engine of a Naval Air Reserve Patrol Squadron 64 (VP-64) P-3 Orion aircraft during active duty training. Date Shot: 10 Dec 1989..." WebSite: Defense Visual Information Center http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/ [05FEB2006]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY:  History ThumbnailCameraID: DNSN9005086 "...A member of the crew of a Naval Air Reserve Patrol Squadron 64 (VP-64) P-3 Orion aircraft analyzes flight data during active duty training. Date Shot: 10 Dec 1989..." WebSite: Defense Visual Information Center http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/ [05FEB2006]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY:  History ThumbnailCameraID: DNSN9005087 "...A non-commissioned officer of a Naval Air Reserve Patrol Squadron 64 (VP-64) P-3 Orion aircraft works under the aircraft during active duty training..." WebSite: Defense Visual Information Center http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/ [05FEB2006]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY:  History ThumbnailCameraID: DNSN9005088 "...A ground crewman services an engine of a Naval Air Reserve Patrol Squadron 64 (VP-64) P-3 Orion aircraft during active duty training. Date Shot: 10 Dec 1989..." WebSite: Defense Visual Information Center http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/ [05FEB2006]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation March-April 1989 "...History - Records - Page 10, 36, 27, and 38 - Naval Aviation News - March-April 1989..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1980s/1989/ma89.pdf [21OCT2004]

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Circa 1987

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation January-February 1987 "...Tracing Squadron Lineage - Page 22 to 26 - Naval Aviation News - January-February 1987..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1980s/1987/jf87.pdf [20OCT2004]

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Circa 1986

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP History ThumbnailCameraVP-64 History "...Citation received by VP-64 from The Association of Naval Aviation for its performance in 1985 and 1986 in several competitive areas. Circa. late 1986..." Contributed by ROBIDEAU, AWCS Larry Retired larobidoo@comcast.net [21MAR2007]


Circa 1985

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation March-April 1985 "...History - Change-Of-Command - Page 1, 30 and 31 - Naval Aviation News - March-April 1985..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1980s/1985/ma85.pdf [18OCT2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Squadron Awards..." Contributed by Mahlon K. Miller mkwsmiller@cox.net [23APR2001]

  • Joint Meritorious Unit Award
    01 May 97 31 Dec 97

  • Meritorious Unit Commendation
    13 Feb 77 22 May 77

  • SECNAV Letter of Commendation
    05 Nov 92 08 Oct 94

  • Coast Guard SOS Ribbon
    01 Oct 87 31 Dec 87

  • Letter of Commendation
    01 Jan 85 31 Dec 86

    VP-64 Participating Members
  • Other (Unspecified award)
    01 Nov 85 28 Feb 86

    Circa 1984

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Battle Group Tune-up - January 1984..." Contributed by ROBIDEAU, AWCS Larry Retired larobidoo@comcast.net [05DEC2005]

    Twice each year, in January and in June, U.S. Navy battle groups gather in the seas near Puerto Rico and engage in offensive and defensive exercises prior to their deployment to Northern Europe, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Middle East. The ships in the battle groups are usually newly outfitted and the majority of the ships crews are green and untested. The purpose of these exercises is to fine tune the ships and men and prepare them for any type of combat that they could expect during deployment. It was just such an operation that CAC-1 of VP-64 was chosen to participate on this deployment.

    In January, 1984, two battle groups were preparing to be deployed to Europe as part of the Sixth Fleet. One group was formed around the USS America CVA-66 and a guided missile cruiser (CG). The other battle group was formed around the USS Saratoga, CVA-60 and another guided missile cruise. The offensive exercises of the battle groups consisted of live-fire missions against targets on Vieques, PR, an island across the channel from NS Roosevelt Roads, PR. The defensive exercises involved repelling attacks that could be launched from Soviet SSGs and SSGNs and coordinated with Bear bombers that would try to destroy the major elements of the battle groups. CAC-1 was to play the role of the "Bear" bomber and facilitate the attack.

    At this time, CAC-1 consisted of the following crewmembers:

        PPC   LT  Unknown
        2P   LT  Unknown
        TC   CDR  Lou DiLullo
        NAV   LCDR  John Roscoe
        FE   ADC  Mike Hayes
        IFT   AT2  Bill Baker
        COM   AT1  Walt Eife
        SS1   AWCS  Larry Robideau
        SS2   AWCM  Bill Rimshaw
        SS3   AW1  Joe Dolan
        ORD   AO1  Larry Nolan
    The beginning of our deployment began at NS Rota, Spain where we conducted maritime patrol missions during our first week. At the start of our second week, CAC-1 transited to NS Roosevelt Roads, PR for operations with the fleet. The airfield at NS Roosevelt Roads, PR was crowded with A-6 Intruders, A-7 Corsairs, and other types of aircraft like A-6 Texacos (an E-6 fitted out for refueling other support aircraft) and an E-2 Hawkeye. Navy and Marine Corps squadrons throughout the eastern and central U.S. had sent aircraft to participate in the exercises. There were more than 100 aircraft assembled for the war games that were to encompass the next four days. The "O" club on the base must have been a zoo with all those "fast mover" chauffeurs in town.

    The exercise briefing for CAC-1 and its P-3A TACNAVMOD aircraft was as follows. The USS Saratoga and USS America battle groups were formed up in a large ocean area about 125 miles north of Puerto Rico; the area was a restricted zone for use by the U.S. Navy. A simulated attack by sea-launched cruise missiles by a Soviet SSGN would be made on the battle groups. The role of the cruise missiles would be played by the 100 or so A-6s and A-7s with the P-3A TACNAVMOD assuming the role of a Soviet "Bear" long-range bomber that would provide mid-course correction to the "missiles" (A-6s and A-7s) that were launched "over the horizon".

    The launches would be made in three "salvos" with about 40 aircraft in the first flight, and about 30 aircraft in the second and third flights. The "missiles" were "programmed" to search out the largest radar contact and aim for that target. The mission of the P-3A TACNAVMOD was to paint the fleet with radar and, using radio communications, to direct the "missiles" to the target area. An E-2 ELINT aircraft was there to control the war games and E-6 Texaco tankers were orbiting over Roosevelt Roads to refuel returning aircraft as needed.

    The object of the battle groups was to form a loose defensive formation, stop or modify any electronic radiation, and intercept and shoot down as many of the missiles as they could using the CAP interceptors before they closed the battle group. If the "missiles" reached the battle group, the battle group would use maneuver and deception to confuse the missiles, and if that failed, use their close-in defense weapons to destroy the missiles.

    History ThumbnailCameraVP-64 History Busted by an F-14 Tomcat at Angels 20.

    An intercept and shoot down of an aircraft would be signified by an F-14 closing on the target and flashing a red hand-held signal light at the A-6 or A-7 pilot; at this point, the aircraft "shot down" would have to return to NS Roosevelt Roads, PR airfield and turn around and repeat the attack. Likewise, aircraft that avoided the F-14 CAP and passed close on to fleet elements also returned to NS Roosevelt Roads, PR airfield and turned around and repeated the attack.

    On the first day of the exercise, the first of the three launch "salvos" approached the general area of the battle groups. The second "salvo" followed the first by about 30 minutes and the third followed the second by about 45 minutes. There was some disagreement between the E-2 Hawkeye controllers and the TC on the P-3A TACNAVMOD as to the authenticity of a homing beacon reportedly emitting from a US Guided Missile Cruiser (CG); Our TC, CDR Lou DiLullo, prevailed and was correct in assuming that signal was meant to disrupt the attack and give a false direction to the "missiles". The attacks were well coordinated and most of the "missiles" penetrated the defenses and would have caused a great deal of damage, if for real. But this was the first day, and the CICs on the ships in the battle groups were a quick learn and the F-14 CAP were also improving rapidly.

    History ThumbnailCameraVP-64 History Miller Time for Crew 1 After a Hard Day Fighting Off F-14s in The Harbor Lights Enlisted Club This Type of Behavior Would be Politically Incorrect in Today's Navy.

    On the second day, the three "salvos" were launched in a similar manner as the first day but most of the "missiles" were intercepted and shot down. Also, our P-3A TACNAVMOD acting as the Soviet Bear bomber providing mid-course corrections, was also "shot down". The P-3A TACNAVMOD had to return to NS Roosevelt Roads, PR airfield and returned on station to continue its role in providing mid-course corrections. However, in the absence of the P-3A TACNAVMOD, the succeeding "missile" salvos were poorly organized and very few reached the battle groups. The third day also showed an immense improvement in the ability of the battle groups to prosecute the numerous threats that approached the battle groups and by the fourth day, not one "missile" penetrated the extended defensive shield of the task group to the point where close-in defense weapons were required to engage.

    In the evenings, after operations were completed, the airmen retired to the Officer and Enlisted clubs at NS Roosevelt Roads, PR and enjoyed good food and a drink or two. The poor "black shoe" sailors on board the battle group ships were still engaged in other types of exercises, such as ASW, screen station keeping, and the numerous other nautical tasks that keep sailors afloat busy 24 hours a day.

    At the close of the fourth day, the battle groups achieved a very high state of readiness and could go on deployment knowing that they were capable and competent to defend themselves under any threat condition. But their training did not end there. On their way across the Atlantic, they would engage in flight operations, ASW exercises (sometimes against Soviet "Charlie" class submarines that would shadow them), refueling, and other routines that were necessary for a battle group to operate independently far from home.

    History ThumbnailCameraVP-64 History Evening Intercept by USS Saratoga F-14 CAP.

    This exercise ended CAC-1s' two-week deployment to NS Rota, Spain, and NS Roosevelt Roads, PR and we returned home to NAS Willow Grove well pleased with our part in "fine tuning" 1984's Sixth Fleet Replacements.

    History ThumbnailCameraVP-64 History Left to Right: Joe Dolan, Mike Hayes, Bill Baker, Larry Robideau, Larry Nolan and Bill Rimshaw. CAC-1 Cook-out at Enlisted Beach, NS Roosevelt Roads, PR - 1984.

    History ThumbnailCameraVP-64 History "O"s and "E"s Attending the Post-Mission Debrief at the Harbor Lights Enlisted Club Fleet Landing - NS Roosevelt Roads, PR.

    History ThumbnailCameraVP-64 History AWCS Larry Robideau - SS-1 At Work on His "Outer" Cruise - 1984.

    This was the last cruise for AT1 Walt Eife and me; we retired a few months later and were transferred into the Retired Reserve. For me, passing the rigorous physical was getting to be more difficult each year. The annual tests and seat checks were also a hassle for an old fart, so I decided to throw in the towel the following April. I do miss my time with the squadron, but it's a young man's work. I need my afternoon naps, and you won't get those flying missions and getting "on-top" time.

    Circa 1983

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP History ThumbnailCameraVP-64 History "...Article from Navy Times December 20, 1983 in which VP-64 was named "Squadron in the Spotlight"..." Contributed by ROBIDEAU, AWCS Larry Retired larobidoo@comcast.net [18MAR2007]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP History ThumbnailCameraVP-64 History "...VP-64 Aircrewmen at NAS Point Mugu, California prior to a visit to the Lockheed Plant in Burbank, CA in the fall of 1983. LEFT TO RIGHT: AWCS Larry Robideau, ADC "Willie" Wilson, AT2 Bill Baker, AW1 Joe Dolan, AT1 Walt Eife, Unknown LCDR, AWC Creige Renneisen (head only), AO1 Larry Nolan and AW3 Womack..." Contributed by ROBIDEAU, AWCS Larry Retired larobidoo@comcast.net [26JAN2007]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP History ThumbnailCameraVP-64 History "...Left to Right: AW1 Paul Wichterman and AWC Creige Renneisen of VP-64 reinlisted by CO CDR Lou Dilullo at angles 21 in December of 1983 on the way to NS Roosevelt Roads, PR..." Contributed by ROBIDEAU, AWCS Larry Retired larobidoo@comcast.net [07OCT2005]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation May-June 1983 "...Naval Air Tags - Page 46 to 49 - Naval Aviation News - May-June 1983..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1980s/1983/mj83.pdf [17OCT2004]

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    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation January 1983 "...History - Change-Of-Command - Page 44 and 46 - Naval Aviation News - January 1983..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1980s/1983/jan83.pdf [17OCT2004]

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    Circa 1982

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...VP-64 Deployment - April/May 1982..." Contributed by ROBIDEAU, AWCS Larry Retired larobidoo@comcast.net [24DEC2005]

    VP-64 was deployed in April and May of 1982 to NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal with a detachment in NAS Bermuda. Most of the sorties in April and May were made against the Soviet "Yankee" class SSBNs operating in their patrol box east of NAS Bermuda. At this time, a particular Yankee, designated Sierra 27, was almost equidistant between NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal and NAS Bermuda and we were launching sorties from NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal and terminating them at NAS Bermuda. The SSBNs in their patrol box slowed to a speed of approximately 3 to 5 knots SOA (speed of advance) and started a meandering southerly track; this reduced speed made them much quieter and harder to detect and track. Under normal conditions, there were always two SSBNs in the patrol box at one time; as one departed the box and headed home at transit speed, one entered the box at the northern end. One at the south end of the box started turning towards the northern end of the box in a more easterly track. This seemed to be the Soviet's normal routine.

    When the "Yankees" were in their patrol box, squadron operations from both NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal and NAS Bermuda settled into a regular routine. This routine consisted of: launch the aircraft; get a hand-off of the target from the aircraft going off station; conduct four hours of tracking and practice tactics on the target; mark the target course and speed for the aircraft relieving you; and return to base. One of the more challenging missions was one in which you had to regain a contact after it was left uncovered for a period of time. This was one of those sorties flown by Crew 2 during this deployment, with an extra interesting twist thrown in.

    One morning in the later part of April, 1982, Sierra 27 was being tracked around the clock by VP-23 in NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal and VP-56 in NAS Bermuda; VP-64 had also joined in tracking during its ACDUTRA. In Lajes, Crew 2 was placed on the flight schedule that day and was tasked with a 4-hour on-station event that would maintain an "on top" presence over Sierra 27. According to the briefing, Crew 2 would relieve an aircraft and the "hot" contact would be turned over to Crew 2 via a prearranged set of sonobouys that would be dropped on the contact. It was to be a routine mission: launch from NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal, proceed southwest for three hours, spend four hours on station tracking Sierra 27, and fly three hours to Bermuda for debriefing at the ASWOC.

    After the mission briefing, Crew 2 began preflighting their aircraft and equipment, loading the sonobouy stores needed, laying on the required fuel, and the other tasks required for the mission. During the preflight, the NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal ASWOC received word from NAS Bermuda that the aircraft that was scheduled ahead of us was down because of mechanical problems and there was no back up to fill the on-station period prior to Crew 2's assigned period. This meant that there would be no "hot" contact turnover and Sierra 27 would not be covered for a 4-hour period. The ASWOC also asked if Crew 2 could launch early and have an extended period on station to reduce the time that Sierra 27 was uncovered. Crew 2 did launch early, but would still arrive on station late.

    At this time, Crew 2 consisted of the following crewmembers:

      PPC   LCDR Ken Giacin
      2P   LT Gorish
      TC   CDR Lou DiLullo
      Nav   LCDR John Roscoe
      FE   ADC "Willie" Wilson
      FE2   AE1 Mike Davis
      COM   AT1 Walt Eife
      SS1   AWCS Larry Robideau
      SS2   AW3 Steve Gundersen
      SS3   AW1 Joe Dolan
      ORD   AO1 Pete McCaughley
      IFT   AT2 Bill Baker
    After launching, the aircraft proceeded southwesterly toward the patrol box. After the crew checked out their equipment, TC CDR Lou DiLullo composed and sent a Kilo report that said all our equipment was up and operating normally. CDR DiLullo and LCDR John Roscoe made preparations to conduct a "lost contact" search pattern when we reached the area in an attempt to regain contact on Sierra 27. They realized that it would be difficult since we would be arriving several hours late, meaning Sierra 27 could have traveled up to 20 miles in any direction (more likely in a southern direction). The "range of the day" for a slowly-moving "Yankee" was calculated to be less than 5000 yards. So, the game of cat and mouse had begun and was to last for most of the 4-hour period on station.

    After marking datum (last known location of Sierra 27), we dropped a BT bouy and confirmed the layer depth and given to us at the briefing. The TC and NAV laid out a projected target course for Sierra 27 and we flew down that line of bearing. For the first hour on station, the sonobuoy patterns were stretched to the south along the last know heading at a distance where Sierra 27 would most likely have traveled; no joy. The search then shifted to either side of the projected target course for the next hour; still no contact was found. Did Sierra 27 know it was uncovered (no P-3 artifacts picked up in the ocean for several hours) and change course to thwart the hunters? Or did Sierra 27 "clear its baffles" (a tactic used by Soviet submarines to check that no one was following them) and come out of the maneuver on a different course heading? Whatever the reason, Crew 2 was becoming concerned about their inability to regain contact..

    Finally, LCDR Roscoe suggested we drop the next pattern well to the east of the projected course, a most unlikely expected track of Sierra 27. At last, success with both the SS1 and SS2 reporting a strong contact (a harmonic of the SSTG) with the characteristics of a possible "Yankee" class submarine on the third sonobouy dropped.(A target was never actually classified unless you saw it.) Aural contact verified that it was a direct path contact. More sonobuoys were dropped to verify the course and speed of Sierra 27. Banding on one of the sonobuoys indicated a CPA had begun. The frequency changed (doppler shift) indicating the contact was now starting to open the sonobuoy.

    There were a couple of other strange lines (probably blade information) but they didn't fit the profile of Sierra 27. Our period on station was expiring so we prepared to end our tracking phase. We dropped our turnover buoys, and started off station to transit to Bermuda. On our way off station, SS1 Larry Robideau was monitoring the turnover buoys and verified that the aircraft that relieved us on station had "marked on top" (MOT) of the turnover buoys and were delivered a "hot contact". A MOT is the presence of a P-3 artifact in the water detected by the sonobouy and displayed on the recorder.

     History ThumbnailCameraVP-64 History LCDR John Roscoe (foreground) and CDR Lou Dilullo, ASW Aces at Work.

    When we landed in Bermuda and were debriefed at the ASWOC, they went over our flight and tactics and critiqued our performance. The petty officer that debriefed the acoustic sensor operators agreed with our target annotations and reviewed our tapes and logs. He would not explain or evaluate some of the curious lines we recorded but just wrapped up the paperwork and filed it away. We got a very good grade individually and as a crew and had gotten good training and "on top" time. We also brought back a good aircraft with no serious gripes; it was turned around and assigned to another VP-64 crew that flew out the next day on contact Sierra 27. Crew 2 had two days off in NAS Bermuda, during which we went snorkeling and swimming on the nice beaches on the NAS. The other aircraft that VP-64 had at NAS Bermuda was down hard with a fuel leak and it was two days before it was repaired and we could fly it back to NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal.

    Years later, I found out that all Soviet SSBNs were closely trailed by U.S. SSNs throughout their patrols. The particular lines we recorded on that mission that I couldn't decipher were probably blade rate lines from a very quiet U.S. nuclear submarine trailing Sierra 27. Signature information about U.S. submarines was held very tightly by the U.S. Navy and even sister branches of the Navy were not privy to this data. It was then that I realized that the P-3s that maintained a constant on-top presence on Soviet SSBNs were an additional defense option, just in case the U.S. SSNs suffered a casualty and couldn't continue their mission. By the same logic, the U.S. SSNs were a backup in case our P-3s were unable to remain on station and on top of a contact.

     History ThumbnailCameraVP-64 History Crew 2 Beach Party at NASA Tracking Station Beach, NAS Bermuda - April 1982.

     History ThumbnailCameraVP-64 History Crew 2's AT1Walt Eife and AO1Pete McCaughley, Under Control At Last - St. George, NAS Bermuda - 1982.

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: NAS ThumbnailCameraNAS Glenview, Illinois "...NAS Glenview, Illinois base newspaper (GLENVIEWS feature) called "HELLO AND GOODBYE" showing personnel changes from August 1982..." Contributed by FORT, HM2 FMF Michael J. "Doc" Fort (Sanchez) docsanchez@yahoo.com [19FEB2005]


    Circa 1981

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP-64 History ThumbnailCameraVP-64 History "...P-3A Orions of VP-64 on the Patron Bermuda ramp in August 1981. The Condors of VP-64 conducted a split deployment between NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal and NAS Bermuda. They participated in continuous ASW operations against Soviet "Yankee" SSBNs in their Atlantic Patrol Box..." Contributed by AWCS Larry Robideau Retired larobidoo@comcast.net [31MAR2005]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: VP-64 History ThumbnailCameraVP-64 Change of Command "...Skipper Ken Wall being piped aboard at his change of command December 1981..." Contributed by KIDDER, AMSC Mike Retired robertkidder@comcast.net [29AUG2002]


    Circa 1980

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-64 History "...10th Anniversary Safety Milestone for VP-64 in 1980..." Contributed by ROBIDEAU, AWCS Larry Retired larobidoo@comcast.net [03DEC2006]

    November, 1980 - Commemorative Photograph Distributed on the Tenth Anniversary of Accident Free Operation By Patrol Squadron Sixty Four.

    Note the Condor logo on the vertical stabilizer. It was the only squadron logo and patch that incorporated the squadron designator and number (VP-64) within its design. This insignia was approved in June 1976.

    VP-64 eventually achieved 35 years and over 100,000 hours of accident-free flight operations when it was deactivated in F.Y. 2005.

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...VP-64 Deployment - May/June 1980...(Squadrons Mentioned: VP-5, VP-11, VP-45, VP-49, VP-62 and VP-93)..." Contributed by ROBIDEAU, AWCS Larry Retired larobidoo@comcast.net [03DEC2005]

    During May and June, VP-64 conducted Active Duty for Training (ACTDUTRA). It was a complex deployment that was unparalleled in the history of Patrol Squadrons. It involved the deployment site, NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal and three detachments: NAS Bermuda; NS Roosevelt Roads, PR; and Howard AFB, Panama. In fact, a review of the deployment schedules of the squadrons that comprise Patrol Wing 5 and Patrol Wing 11 (Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons, Volume 2) reveals that none of those squadrons had more than a three-site split deployment. VP-5 (in 1997) and VP-10 (in 1998) deployed to NAS Keflavik, Iceland, NS Roosevelt Roads, PR, and Panama. In 1990, VP-49 deployed to NAS Keflavik, Iceland, NS Roosevelt Roads, PR, and NAS Bermuda.

    In May 1980, the CO of the squadron was CDR Ken Wall, a legend in the VP Navy. The initial planning called for the squadron deployment at NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal and a detachment at NAS Bermuda. The primary purpose was to conduct ASW operations. The first echelon of VP-64 (even numbered crews) was deployed on May 2 to NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal and supported the VP-11 Bandits (which itself was on a split deployment between NS Rota, Spain (CTG-84.3) and NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal (CTG-84.2)). A detachment was sent to NAS Bermuda to support Patron Bermuda which was the VP-49 Woodpeckers. Later in the deployment, a detachment was sent to NS Roosevelt Roads, PR from NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal and another detachment was sent to Panama via NS Roosevelt Roads, PR.

    At the time of the deployment, CTG-84.2 and Patron Bermuda were primarily conducting ASW operations against Soviet Union Yankee-class SSBNs in their Atlantic patrol box east of Bermuda. The ASWOCs in both NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal and NAS Bermuda coordinated the ASW operations to ensure that patrol aircraft of the various squadrons were "on top" of the Soviet Union SSBNs constantly.

    I was in Crew 6 and was in the initial NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal echelon. One of the first things we did was to go to Praia and check on George the Crook to see if he sustained any damage from the earthquake that struck the island of Terceira several months earlier. The Cafe Azores was not damaged and George the Crook was fine.

    During this deployment, Crew 6 consisted of the following:

        PPC CDR Joe Gareffa       SS1 AWCS Larry Robideau
        PPC LCDR Ken Giacin       SS2 AW1 Jim Wilkinson
        TC CDR Lou DiLullo       SS3 AW2 Joe Dolan
        NAV LCDR Jim Neve       Ord AO1 Pete McCaughley
        FE AD1 Dave Fuchs       FCO AT1 Walt Eife IFT AT2 Al Bunting
    Operating out of NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal, Crew 6 flew ASW sorties, some beginning and terminating at NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal, and one sortie beginning at NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal and terminating at NAS Bermuda; another sortie took us back to NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal after a RON in Bermuda.

    During the deployment at NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal, Crew 6 got some time off between flights that allowed us to check out island. We met an Air Force Sgt. Henry Carpenter who had a pickup truck and he took us on a tour of the island to survey the earthquake damage.

    History ThumbnailCameraVP-64 History USAF Sgt. Henry Carpenter (driving) with AD1 Dave Fuchs and AO1 Pete McCaughley and the rest of us in the back.

    History ThumbnailCameraVP-64 History Earthquake Damage Tour (1980). Left-to-Right: AW1 Jim Wilkinson, AO1 Pete McCaughley, AWCS Larry Robideau, AD1 Dave Fuchs, AW2 Joe Dolan, AW2 Delgado and AT1 Walt Eife.

    History ThumbnailCameraVP-64 History Sr. Jose Teolonis de Azlvedo and His Extended Family - We rescued the grandfather (on crutches in the back) when his power cart broke down on the road far from his home. We took him and his cart home and his family showed their appreciation by serving us wine.

    Later in May, the squadron received an additional assignment that required deployment of an aircraft and support personnel to NS Roosevelt Roads, PR. The NS Roosevelt Roads, PR detachment (with Crew 6) was given the task of providing support (sweeping operations) for the USS Nimitz task group. The task group was returning to the US after an extended deployment to the Persian Gulf after the abortive attempt to rescue the hostages the Iranians were holding after their capture of the US Embassy. Crew 6 and the VP-64 detachment flew directly to NS Roosevelt Roads, PR from NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal.

    We joined up with aircraft from VP-45, VP-62, and VP-93 to form "Patron Roosevelt Roads". Together, we provided continuous sweeping in advance of the task group as it made its way from the South Atlantic towards its home port of Norfolk, VA. With the four aircraft from the four different squadrons for the operation, we managed a lot of time off to enjoy Puerto Rico and beach and fishing/boating using equipment available at the base marina.

    The day before the detachment was to return to NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal, another VP-64 aircraft arrived from NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal stopped over at NS Roosevelt Roads, PR and picked up part of our detachment (ground support personnel) and continued on to Howard AFB, Panama where they set up another detachment for operations out of Panama.

    History ThumbnailCameraVP-64 History "Patron Roosevelt Roads" May-1980 with P-33s from VP-62, VP-45, and VP-93 Lined Up on the Tarmac - The shadow of the VP-64 aircraft is shown in the foreground.z

    History ThumbnailCameraVP-64 History Roosevelt Roads Detachment Enjoying the Ambiance of the Enlisted Beach. Note AD1 Dave Fuchs Prominently in the Foreground.

    History ThumbnailCameraVP-64 History Crew 6 Enjoyed a Day of Fishing and Swimming at Green Beach, Vieques.

    After the USS Nimitz had finished transiting our area, we disbanded our detachment and returned to NAF Lajes, Azores, Portugal where we continued ASW operations until the end of our deployment. For Crew 6, it was one cruise, at three diverse places, and many interesting missions.

    History ThumbnailCameraVP-64 History A Flyby by Crew 3 of the USS Nimitz Returning from the Persian Gulf - May 1980. Photo by AT1 Walt Eife.

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