BENGALURU, India -- U.S. Navy F/A-18E Super Hornets and P-8A Poseidon aircraft are participating in Aero India 2019 at Yelahanka Air Force Station in Bengaluru, which kicked off Feb. 20.
Held biennially since 1996, Aero India is India’s premier aerospace exhibition, trade and airshow.
“Aero India offers an excellent opportunity to showcase the P-8A Poseidon to our regional partners throughout the Indo-Pacific,” said Lt. Cmdr. David Shultz, the “Golden Swordsmen” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 47 Aero India 2019 detachment officer in charge. “We are also looking forward to strengthening military-to-military relationships and showcasing the capabilities that stem from cooperative agreements with our partners in the region.”
VP-47 will join F/A-18E Super Hornets from the “Royal Maces” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 27 and 17 other U.S. military aircraft for static displays and aerial demonstrations.
"Participating in Aero India is an amazing opportunity for our squadron to be showcased alongside our Indian allies," said Cmdr. Brent Jaquith, VFA 27's commanding officer. "Our squadron routinely operates throughout the Indo-Pacific and it is always a great experience to visit a partner nation's country in person, and showcase the professional execution of the Maces and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5."
India's MPRA squadron, India Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 312, made historic achievements this past year as they traveled across the International Date Line for the first time to join the U.S. and other allies during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2018 in Hawaii. Following Aero India 2019, VP-47 and INAS 312 will conduct a bilateral Subject Matter Expert Exchange (SMEE).
“This detachment is a great opportunity to show our commitment to India and the entire Indo-Pacific region,” said Lt. Michael Doehler, VP-47 Aero India 2019 detachment assistant officer in charge. “Our participation in Aero India and (SMEE) will strengthen our partnership with India and help establish standardized procedures for continued anti-submarine warfare (ASW) cooperation in the future.”
Both Squadrons are forward-deployed to U.S. Seventh Fleet in support of regional security and stability. The "Golden Swordsmen" are currently deployed to Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa, Japan, conducting maritime patrol and reconnaissance and theater outreach operations within the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of Commander, Task Force 72.
The “Royal Maces” are forward-deployed to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, and as part of CVW 5, support Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 5 and Commander Task Force 70.