Chennai: The “Tridents” of Patrol Squadron (VP)-26 completed a week-long combined anti-submarine warfare (ASW) subject matter expert exchange with the “Albatross” of Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 312 at India Naval Air Station Rajali in Tamil Nadu on August 28.
A release from the U.S.Consulate General Chennai on Wednesday said the subject matter expert exchange focused on improving interoperability between the two navies’ maritime patrol and reconnaissance forces.
It included training on ASW and information sharing on specific maritime challenges in the Indian Ocean.
One VP 26 P-8A Poseidon aircraft and one INAS 312 P-8I Poseidon aircraft participated in the exchange. INAS 312 is one of two Indian Navy squadrons operating the P-8I Poseidon.
“This is a great opportunity to strengthen our partnership with India and improve our ability to work together to protect the maritime commons,” said Lt.Ryan Speir, VP-26’s detachment officer in charge.
“The P-8A is a highly capable aircraft which plays a vital role in ASW operations, and this professional exchange will ensure that we are able to effectively use this asset in a combined environment”, he said.
The two squadrons participated in flying and non-flying activities, which included discussions on operational planning, maintenance training and logistical support.
VP-26 and INAS 312 also coordinated flying events with Indian Navy surface ships.
The exchange is the latest in a series of interactions between the US and Indian navies, reflecting their shared commitment to building interoperability and collaborating in support of maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region.
The P-8A is a long-range, multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft that is capable of conducting ASW, anti-surface warfare, search and rescue and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
The P-8I, the Indian variant of the P-8A, is equipped with additional sensors and weapons that are tailored to the Indian Navy’s requirements.
The VP-26 “Tridents” are based in Jacksonville, Florida, and are currently forward deployed to Misawa Air Base, Japan. The squadron conducts maritime patrol and reconnaissance as part of a rotational deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
U.S.7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet and routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.