Maritime Patrol aircraft and crews from five partner nations gathered at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam to participate in Sea Dragon 2021 Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) exercise. The exercise began on 13rd Jan and concluded on Jan 27.
For two weeks, over 190 personnel from five nations conducted over 250 hours of ground and classroom training, culminating in high-level exercises to track a real-world U.S. Navy submarine.
Commander Task Force 72, based in Misawa, Japan, detached two P-8A Poseidon Maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft from Patrol Squadron (VP) 5 and 8 to train with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF), Indian Navy (IN) and the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), in the annual Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) exercise.
Now in its third year, the goal of Sea Dragon is to demonstrate advanced ASW tactics while continuing to build on multinational participation with U.S. allies and partners, as well as commitment to the security of the Pacific region.
VP-5 pilot Lt. Reed Arce was excited to compete with, but also to learn from the other aircrews.
The final days of Sea Dragon consisted of a tracking exercise with the Los Angeles-class submarine, USS Providence (SSN-719) acting as the adversary. The nations worked in shifts to find and track the elusive submarine.
VP-8 pilot Lt. Joseph Moralesvargas found the exercise to be a unique occasion for sharing perspectives on the technically challenging process of ASW.
The nations were scored individually for the competitive portion of the exercise. The highest points were awarded to the Royal Canadian Air Force 407 Squadron, which earned them the coveted Dragon Belt.
Canada, India, Japan, Australia, and the U.S. are natural maritime partners, sharing common values and seafaring traditions. Exercises such as Sea Dragon are vital in strengthening relationships and maritime security.