Patrol Squadron (VP) 8 “Fighting Tigers” returned home at Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville after a seven month multi-site deployment to the 4th and 5th Fleet Areas of Responsibility (AOR) July 8.
Following a turnover with the VP-10 “Red Lancers,” the final crew of Fighting Tigers arrived on July 8, completing the squadron’s last flight in a P-3C Orion before the squadron transitions to the P-8A Poseidon.
“The Fighting Tiger Sailors, chiefs and officers performed brilliantly during a spectacular and highly successful seven month deployment,” said VP-8 Commanding Officer Cmdr. Derek Adametz. “I am extremely proud of their constant and continued focus on the operational mission and the job at hand, especially in some challenging environmental conditions.”
Throughout the deployment, squadron aircrew, maintenance and combat support personnel demonstrated operational excellence by achieving an exceptional 96 percent mission completion rate while flying almost 800 sorties encompassing more than 5,100 mishap free flight hours.
Based out of Manama, Bahrain, in the 5th Fleet AOR, the Fighting Tigers distinguished themselves as the premier fighting force and leader in the primary mission areas of Anti-Submarine Warfare and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Simultaneously in the 4th Fleet AOR, VP-8 operated out of Comalapa, El Salvador, conducting Counter-Transnational Organized Crime missions in support of Operations Martillo, Caper Focus, and Carib Shield. Their efforts directly resulted in the interdiction and seizure of 12,400 kilograms of cocaine valued at more than $220 million.
VP-8 will commemorate a successful deployment and the departure of flight engineers and in-flight technicians with a Tiger Tribute Day July 17.
Press Release, July 11, 2014; Image: US Navy