Patrol Squadron VP-46 participates in joint air and maritime operations
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Patrol Squadron VP-46 participates in joint air and maritime operations

10 Mar 2021

The Patrol Squadron VP-46, also known as the Grey Knights, participated in the first joint air and maritime training mission in the Black Sea.

Patrol Squadron VP-46 participates in joint air and maritime operations
VP-46 was operated alongside USS Donald Cook and USS Porter, two Turkish frigates, the TCG Orucreis and TCG Turgutreis, as well as two Turkish F-16 fighters in the mission. Credit: US Navy.

The Patrol Squadron VP-46, also known as the Grey Knights, participated in the first joint air and maritime training mission in the Black Sea.

The VP-46 was operated alongside the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Donald Cook and USS Porter, the TCG Orucreis and TCG Turgutreis Turkish frigates, as well as two Turkish F-16 fighters in the air and maritime training mission.

The US Navy has executed the joint air and maritime training mission with Turkish naval forces.

These operations with naval forces of Turkey are aimed at increasing the maritime cooperation with its Nato partners.

Task Force 67 deputy commander James Imlah said: “Opportunities to operate with US and Nato forces in the Black Sea not only supports the monitoring of the international maritime domain but also improve integrations across multiple navies.

“This makes us a more prepared and effective combined fighting force.”

Since the time USS Donald Cook and the USS Porter entered the Black Sea in January, the VP-46 provided direct support to their operations.

CTG-67.1 Tactical Operations Officer and Patrol Plane Commander lieutenant commander Stokes said: “We assisted in the exercise of freedom of navigation of both international airspace and water, and provided extended range surveillance of surface and sub-surface ships in the operational area.”

The VP-46, alongside the DDG destroyers, joined Turkish Nato allies for an ‘integrated surface, air, and subsurface warfare exercise’.

This exercise strengthens US security partnership with Turkey in and around the surrounding maritime environment of the Black Sea.

The VP-46 is currently forward deployed to the Sixth Fleet area of operations in the US. It is assigned to Task Force 67 Commander and is responsible for ‘tactical control of deployed maritime patrol and reconnaissance squadrons’ across Europe and Africa.