Commander Patrol And Reconnaissance Forces, Pacific
[Commander Patrol Wings, Pacific (COMPATRECONFORPAC)]
Task Force 12 (CTF-12) ASW Force, Pacific
The mission of Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Force, Pacific (COMPATRECONFORPAC) is to fully support the U.S. Pacific Fleet and unified commands by providing interoperable, combat-ready U.S. Naval Aviation Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Forces which are forward deployable, thoroughly trained, properly manned, well-maintained and fully supported.
In March 1999, Commander Patrol Wings, Atlantic and subordinate wings received the new designation: Patrol and Reconnaissance Force (PATRECONFOR). The Pacific Fleet wing commander and subordinate wings assumed the PATRECONFOR designation effective 01 June 1999. The Wing Staffs of COMPATRECONFORPAC are located at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, Whidbey Island, Washington, and Kami Seya, Japan.
Commander Patrol And Reconnaissance Forces, Pacific, based in Hawaii controls the long-range P-3 Orion patrol aircraft. The Orion's capabilities include anti-submarine warfare, air reconnaissance, aerial mine warfare, air-to-surface missile attack, and maritime shipping surveillance and patrols. Missions also include search and rescue and drug interdiction.
The COMPATRECONFORPAC Force Structure is comprised of six patrol squadrons located in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii and Whidbey Island, Washington. A VQ squadron is located in Whidbey Island as well. Each Squadron consists of 10 P-3 aircraft with approximately 350 personnel [140 aircrew and 210 maintenance & support].
The Tactical Support Centers (TSC) are a critical part of COMPATRECONFORPAC's mission and operations. TSCs plan, direct and control MPA operations. Their functions include mission planning, preflight and postflight support, crew briefing and debriefing, on-station tactical direction and control, analysis and training.
The MPA operations of Commander U. S. Third Fleet involve Multinational Exercises, Carrier Battle Group Training, Squadron Interdeployment Training, Search and Rescue, and Naval Forces Support. The U. S. Third Fleet operates from Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, Whidbey Island, Washington, and North Island, California. The MPA operations of Commander U. S. Seventh Fleet involve Bilateral Exercises, Battle Group Support, USW/SUW Support, Maritime Surveillance, Counter Narcotics, and Search and Rescue. The U.S. Seventh Fleet operates from Misawa, Japan, Kami Seya, Japan where the CTF-72 Headquarters is located, Kadena, and Diego Garcia. Fifth Fleet operations occur in Masirah and Bahrain and involve CV BG support, Surveillance, Maritime Interception Operations, and Search and Rescue.
Every 12 to 18 months, every aviation organization in the Navy is evaluated on its maintenance procedures, functions, responsibilities and organization. The maintenance department is evaluated in 40 different areas, including over 450 individual inspection items from aviation life-support systems to weight and balance of the aircraft. The VP squadron evaluation by the COMPATRECONFORPAC inspection team is designed to provide the chain of command the assurance that their aviation maintenance is being performed correctly and safely.
Although the U.S. Pacific Fleet is primarily a force provider, five numbered fleet and operational commanders report directly to CINCPACFLT. Commander, Task Force 12 (CTF-12) conducts anti-submarine warfare operations theater-wide.
As the Constellation Battle Group (CONBATGRU) left their homeport of San Diego, California, enroute to their deployment site in the East China Sea, they were scheduled to complete their final pre-deployment qualification exercises in Hawaiian waters. These exercises were conceived to test the ability of the battle group to transit an area patrolled by a hostile submarine, then conduct around the clock combined strike operations in a simulated wartime environment. Respectively, these two tests consisted of the Anti-Submarine Warfare Exercise (ASWEX) and the Joint Fleet Exercise (JTFEX). The exercises took place from 20 June to 30 June 1999, beginning with the ASWEX.
Patrol Squadron 9 (VP-9) and other Allied assets provided MPA support for the exercises. The Allied Forces were detachments from the Royal Air Force (RAF), the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), the Canadian Air Force (CAF), and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). This was the first opportunity for VP-9 and other MPA Squadrons to conduct the around the clock operations from MCBH Kaneohe Bay in over ten years. The ASWEX portion of the exercise took place approximately 580 nautical miles northeast of Kaneohe Bay and focused on utilizing the combined forces of air, surface, and subsurface assets to detect and monitor USS Topeka, simulating a hostile subsurface threat. The Topeka's mission was to target the USS Constellation Carrier Battle Group and attack it before being detected herself. This scenario presented numerous challenges to the VP-9 aircrew and Tactics Department, specifically a large open ocean search against a quiet and challenging subsurface target. The combined forces pooled their tactical talents and proposed several innovative recommendations to their operational commander, CTF-12, prior to the commencement of the exercise.
T-AGOS ships are operated by the Military Sealift Command and are under the administrative command of Commander, Undersea Surveillance. They are deployed under the Operational Control (OPCON) of the Theater ASW Commanders, CTF 84 and CTF 12. Civilian technicians who operate and maintain the mission equipment man the SURTASS Operations Center (SOC), the nerve center of the ship. When operating with tactical forces, military detachments are embarked for onboard analysis and direct reporting to fleet units.
Commander Antisubmarine Warfare Force U.S. Pacific Fleet [CTF-12] exercises overall responsibility for the conduct of Theater USW and surveillance including tasking of assigned forces for the conduct of USW and Ocean surveillance and reconnaissance operations within assigned area of operations (normally the 3rd Fleet AOR) and operate the Integrated Undersea Surveillance System (IUSS) USPACOM-wide. The mission of N1 Administration is to provide customer service for pay, personnel records, medical, dental, and associated matters. Command admin maintains receipts/transfers, processes leave papers, maintains the staff data base, updates various listings (recall, phone books, social rosters, etc.), publishes the plan of the week, and is the primary liaison between the command, CINCPACFLT and the Personnel Support Detachment. They are responsible for incoming and outgoing mail, correspondence serialization/maintenance, and maintains the central files/directives for the command. The N-2 Intelligence Officer functions as the principle intelligence advisor to the Deputy Commander. He advises on the planning, conduct and evaluation of high interest ASW, intelligence collection and surveillance operations. CTF-12 N-5 will plan, schedule, and conduct unit/group readiness exercises to prepare Pacific Fleet Naval Forces to rapidly transform from a ready force to a combatant force. We will produce a Concept of Operations, focused on the Commanders intent, that facilitates flexibility and responsive actions to achieve the desired end-state. N5N6 Plans, Policy, Communications and Information Resources Officer acts as the primary advisor to the Deputy Commander on all matters pertaining to Long range operational plans and exercises, Research and Development issues concerning future ASW systems, Environmental compliance of proposed operations, exercises, and R&D programs. Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence (C4I) issues pertaining to the maintenance and development of fusion systems being evaluated at COMASWFORPAC. N61 Command, Control and Communications acts as principle advisor to the C3 Officer on all communications matters. Coordinates communication support for all COMASWFORPAC operations and exercises, monitors the effectiveness of communications, instituting corrective measures when necessary. Prepares the communication input for all COMASWFORPAC operation orders and letters of instruction. Assume custody and ensures maintenance of all communication equipment; specifically, teletypes, technical control equipment, satellite radios and antennas. N7 ASW Analysis Officer functions as the principle advisor to the Deputy Commander on matters regarding post-mission, real world, ASW prosecutions. Performs post-mission reconstruction and analysis of selected real world prosecutions. Provides lessons learned and recommendations for improvement following post-mission reconstruction and analysis. N8 Staff Meteorologist and Oceanographer's primary duty is to provide meteorological, oceanographic, and underwater acoustic analyses, forecasts and advice to CTF-12 and staff, including managing and coordinating the acquisition, operation and maintenance of all environmental hardware and software. This includes the planning, preparation, and presentation of a formal daily briefing to CTF-12, staff, and selected CINCPACFLT division officers, as well as conducting periodic qualitative and quantitative analyses of the impact of specific environmental parameters on surveillance or tactical ASW performance. Operational environmental support for ongoing real world or exercise ASW prosecutions is provided via inputs to the WECAN and CTF-12 web sites.
WeCAN, which stands for Web-Centric Antisubmarine Warfare Net, is a web page product that allows Fleet operators to share near-real-time tactical information concerning antisubmarine warfare. The product is needed because, although battlegroups are already networked through the SIPRNet, they often get too much information, distributed through several intelligence sites, and the warfighter doesn't have time to cruise the web. WeCAN addresses this problem because it's a centralized area, where distributed entities can place information so that the ASW commander can get information in real time. It also provides chat room capabilities so commanders can interact with the agents putting data on the site. WeCAN is the only website chat room being used by the Fleet today that shares near-real-time tactical information. The Navy faces challenges with connectivity due to bandwidth limitations and occasional loss of connectivity with the satellites they use, the Navy needs tactical information to be provided in a timely and user-friendly manner. WeCAN provides this capability. A WeCAN prototype was tested by the Third Fleet during Joint Task Force Exercises in April 1998. The web server was hosted by CTF 12 in Pearl Harbor, HI and networked to the USS Coronado at sea.
CTF-12 at the Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center (FLEASWTRACEN) servces as the Fleet Antisubmarine Warfare Improvement Program (ASWIP) Secretariat. The Center provides innovative, state of the art training and interactive support to the Fleet. The Fleet Antisubmarine Warfare Improvement Program (ASWIP) in San Diego, CA serves as a forum for Fleet Operators to identify, discuss, and/or resolve ASW issues or deficiencies. The Fleet ASWIP is comprised of an Executive Steering Committee (ESC), Working Groups, and a Secretariat. CTF-12 and CTF-84 [of the Atlantic Fleet] co-chair the Executive Steering Committee, as well as the Operations Working Group.
The ASWIP provides Fleet commanders operational feedback to improve the capabilities, readiness, and proficiency of our ASW forces. Most importantly, the ASWIP membership can shape and drive Fleet solutions to fix Fleet ASW deficiencies or shortfalls. The Fleet ASWIP allows ASW experts actively engaged in ASW operations to identify and validate critical issues and to propose solutions for consideration or action at the appropriate level. The Fleet ASWIP serves to influence and provide operator perspective on Navy-wide ASW initiatives, scientific research, technological advancements, operational developments, and experimentation. ASWIP recommendations and perspective are also important to the Fleet Commanders, as they provide a valuable source for Fleet input to the CNO N84 "INTEGRATED ASW REQUIREMENTS" document, to the Navy's Integrated Warfare Architecture (IWAR) "end-to-end" capability analysis process, and to other Planning, Programming, and Budget System (PPBS) forums.
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