US, Indian P-8A submarine hunters hone skills in Indian Ocean

US Navy file photo of Poseidon P-8As from the “Fighting Tigers” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 8.

P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft from the US and Indian navies met up in the Indian Ocean for a series of maneuvers on April 15.

US Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) also joined the drills, which focused on anti-submarine warfare training, information sharing and coordination between maritime patrol aircraft and ships.

Spruance, based in San Diego, and P-8A aircraft from Patrol Squadron (VP) 8 “Fighting Tigers,” based in Jacksonville, Florida, are conducting routine operations in 7th Fleet. The Indian Navy P-8I aircraft is with Naval Air Squadron 312 based at Indian Naval Station Rajali.

“Flying ASW (anti-submarine warfare) in the 7th Fleet AOR is a team event and we eagerly seize every opportunity to work with our allies and partners,” said Lt. James Lowe, pilot with VP-8. “Our goal is to further standardize our procedures so we can work more efficiently in future real world operations. I think, in the end, we are fortunate to be able to operate out of beautiful Diego Garcia and learn about our Indian counterparts as well!”

US Navy ships and aircraft train routinely with the Indian Navy between annual port visits and exercises like Malabar.

“We look forward to developing useful lessons through this engagement and laying the groundwork for future integration efforts between our Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Forces,” said Cmdr. Zachary Stang, VP-8 commanding officer.

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