MACTAN, Philippines –
The “War Eagles” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 16 completed exercise Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training 2023 (SEACAT 23) in Mactan, Philippines, Aug. 27, 2023.
SEACAT 23 is an exercise designed to train U.S. and regional partners for ‘real world, real time’ engagement and enhance their ability to communicate, coordinate and counter non-traditional maritime threats.
The War Eagles participated in three flights, providing maritime domain awareness. These flights provided situational awareness to exercise participants, and enabled the visit board search and seizure teams to execute their missions safely.
The visit strengthened the bond between the U.S. and the Philippines and enhanced the interoperability between the two navies.
“SEACAT was a memorable event that left a lasting impression on all participants involved, fostering goodwill and a sense of unity between the visiting Sailors and the gracious hosts of Mactan,” said Lt. Michael Palaski, a pilot in VP-16. “Multilateral exercises such as this one allows for the exchange of expertise and best practices to and from the U.S. and its partners in the region.”
One of the primary missions of the P-8A Poseidon is conducting maritime patrols and reconnaissance. With its extended range and endurance, the Poseidon can cover vast stretches of ocean, monitoring maritime traffic, detecting and tracking potential threats, and conducting search and rescue missions. Its advanced radar and sensor suite, combined with its ability to operate in various environmental conditions, enable it to excel in this role.
P-8A squadrons, like VP-16, conduct regular patrols, providing real-time intelligence, and aid in the surveillance of maritime activities, in order to deter illegal activities such as piracy, smuggling, and territorial violations.
“Working with partner nations and allies from all over Southeast Asia during SEACAT was an incredibly rewarding experience,” said Lt. Zach Freels of VP-16. “All entities involved operated with efficiency and determination. We anticipate that exercises like these lead to increased coordination and synchrony of information, surveillance and reconnaissance assets, further allowing these nations to police their exclusive economic zones and maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
The VP-16 “War Eagles” are based in Jacksonville, Fla., and are currently forward deployed to Kadena Air Base, Japan. The squadron conducts maritime patrol and reconnaissance as part of a rotational deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
U.S. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely engages and operates with allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.