Military


Patrol & Reconnaissance Wing TEN [PATWING TEN / CPW-10]
Commander Task Group 12.1 / CTG.12.1

COMPATWING 10 trains and supports maritime patrol (VP), and reconnaissance squadrons (VQ) assigned. Currently there are three active VP squadrons, one reserve VP squadron, and one active VQ squadron. NPMOF Whidbey Island has a dedicated Tactical Oceanographic Support Team assigned to the Tactical Support Center, which is in direct support of Commander Pacific ASW Patrol Wing Ten. Support provided includes Acoustic and Non-Acoustic sensor predictions and Flight weather packets.

The history of Fleet Air Wing TEN begins in September 1939 when Patrol Squadron 101, with their Catalina Flying Boats, arrived at Cavite, Philippines Islands. It was the initial squadron of large seaplanes the United States Navy deployed to the Asiatic station.

On 1 November 1942, Patrol Wing TEN was officially renamed Fleet Air Wing TEN. Its assigned missions included shipping surveillance, ASW, photographic reconnaissance, convoy patrol, bombing, and strafing. The Catalinas continued to make a name for themselves as rescue aircraft, and over an eight-month period in 1943, rescued 161 downed airmen, and evacuated 415 wounded personnel in the Solomons.

By August 1944, Fleet Air Wing TEN had left Australia with assigned aircraft and supporting seaplane tenders and began the trip back to the Philippines with extensive operations in the Admiralty Islands Campaign and the historic Battle of Leyte Gulf. On 11 August 1945, Fleet Air Wing TEN received orders to avoid enemy fire in the conduct of reconnaissance searches and all armed strike operations were canceled. On 15 August, World War II was over. The Staff, Fleet Air Wing TEN, having compiled an exemplary war record of distinguished combat performance, remained in the Philippines until it was decommissioned on 7 June 1947.

With the introduction of Navy P-3 Orion Squadrons, Fleet Air Wing TEN was recommissioned on 29 June 1963 at NAS Moffett Field, California to provide the command and control necessary to coordinate the new organization. During that period, the jet fighter and attack aircraft based at Moffett were moved to Naval Air Station Lemoore, California.

In 1964, it became clear that the Pacific ASW patrol forces should be commanded by a flag officer as Commander, Fleet Air Wings, U.S. Pacific Fleet. An organization similar to that had been in effect in the Atlantic Fleet for many years. Moffett Field as the planned home base for all West Coast squadrons, was selected as the site for the new COMFAIRWINGSPAC Headquarters. A year later, the growing intensity of ASW and surveillance operations being conducted in the South Chins Sea in support of South Vietnam required that a wing level staff be stationed in the Southwestern Pacific to plan and direct these critical missions. To meet that goal, the staff of Commander, Fleet Air Wing TEN was restructured with almost half of the officers and men being transferred to a new wing staff under Commander, Fleet Air Wing EIGHT.

For the next seven years Wing EIGHT and Wing TEN alternately covered the Far East responsibility on a six-month rotational basis. Deployment operations were first conducted from Naval Station Sangley Point near Manila, and later from NAS Cubi Point on Subic Bay. Each staff returned to direct ASW operations at Moffett upon completion of its overseas deployment. The staff was oriented towards its flight mission responsibilities and all hands were closely involved in the command and control of current operations.

Fleet Air Wing TEN returned from its last deployment in February 1972. At the end of July, with the winding down of the Vietnam Conflict, the rotating Wing deployments were canceled and Fleet Air Wing EIGHT was deactivated. Fleet Air Wing TEN had already commenced transition to new duties as staff permanently based at Moffett Field and took on new responsibilities in training, logistics, planning and maintenance. At the same time, the Moffett Tactical Support Center, the most modern facility for computerized ASW analysis and automated command and control, became part of Fleet Air Wing TEN and its personnel became an important addition to the staff. The new facility and its highly experienced specialists gave Fleet Air Wing TEN an overall capability unmatched in the Navy.

On 30 June 1973, Fleet Air Wing TEN was disestablished. Fiscal cutbacks in the Navy budget required reductions in every aspect of the military establishment and responsibilities of Fleet Air Wing TEN were assumed by Commander, Fleet Air Wings, U.S. Pacific Fleet, now Commander, Patrol Wings, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Patrol Wing TEN was recommissioned at Naval Air Station Moffett Field, California on 1 June 1981 to provide direct command and control over the seven Moffett based operational patrol squadrons.

August 1987 marked the arrival of the first production Update III aircraft, beginning the Patrol Wing TEN transition to the most sophisticated ASW platform ever employed by Patrol Aviation. Significant system upgrades include: Advanced Sonobuoy Communications Link (ASCL), Single Advanced Signal Processor (UYS-1), modernized logic units within the CP-901 computer and Sonobuoy Reference System. A total of eighteen production Update III aircraft were delivered to Patrol Wing TEN by Lockheed. June 1987 marked another milestone in the transition process with the first Patrol Wing TEN squadron aircraft induction in Update III retrofit at NAS Jacksonville. NAVAVNDEPOT Alameda began retrofitting older "Charlie" aircraft at NAS Moffett Field in May 1989. The retrofit line was in operation until the fall of 1991, having converted all COMPATWING TEN aircraft to Update III.

With the inception of Commander ASW Forces Pacific (CTF 12) in May 1988, Patrol Wing TEN assumed duty as Commander Task Group TWELVE PT ONE. Through the last quarter of FY89, Patrol Wing TEN participated in PACEX 89, the largest and most operationally intensive exercise ever conducted in the Pacific. Over three hundred missions were flown safely and professionally by Patrol Wing TEN squadrons during a five week period, in operations ranging from Southern California, through the Aleutians, and into the Western Pacific, Japan and Korea.

In August 1990, Patrol Wing TEN assets were part of the earliest forces deployed to the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Shield. Conducting surveillance operations in support of Maritime Exclusion Zone enforcement followed by a transition to full wartime operations during Operation Desert Storm, the missions flown were crucial to Allied success. The ability of VP crews to successfully detect, target and vector attack aircraft for engagement resulted in the elimination of Iraqi Naval Forces and significantly enhanced the liberation of Kuwait. March 1991 saw the greatest tragedy in Wing TEN history with the mid-air collision of two Patrol Wing TEN aircraft off the coast of Southern California.

Following the successful liberation of Kuwait, the collapse of The Soviet Union, and nationwide military restructuring was once more initiated, Patrol Wing TEN was reduced from seven operational squadrons to two and moved to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, WA. The closure of Naval Air Station Agana, Guam led to the assignment of Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron ONE to Patrol Wing TEN. In July 1995 Patrol Squadron ONE relocated from Naval Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii to join Patrol Wing TEN. Now with four operational squadron's assigned, Patrol Wing TEN provides support to forces around the world, including detachment sites in Diego Garcia, B.I.O.T.; Bahrain; Misawa, Japan; Kadena, Japan; Masirah, Oman and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and continues daily peacetime operations from the Eastern Pacific to the Persian Gulf in America's first line of defense.

In July of 1996, Commander, Patrol Wing TEN hosted the International Maritime Patrol (MPA) Symposium. This forum was overwhelmingly successful in providing an opportunity for MPA crews from around the world to exchange ideas, learn about other nation's platforms and capabilities and discuss relevant tactical information. The nations of Chile, France, Germany, Canada and the United Kingdom were represented by their top MPA aircrews which also participated in an Under Sea Warfare competition on a Chilean diesel submarine.

In 1997, CPW-10 was at the forefront of a new era for MPA. With the introduction of Extended Echo Ranging (EER), Stand-off Land Attack Missile (SLAM), and Signal Emitter Identification capabilities, the MPA platform has become a force multiplier in a wide spectrum of Joint Mission Areas.

CPW-10 acting as CTG.12.1, orchestrated the largest ever MPA Under Ice Transfer prosecution in the late summer of 1998. Staged out of Alaska, this event involved six squadrons flying 450 hours of around the clock operations.

June 1999 brought change to the MPA community. To include capabilities represented by the EP-3 platform, the MPA community changed its name to Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance. Subsequently, CPW-10 changed to Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing TEN. In August of the same year, CPRW-10 again acting as CTG 12.1, conducted the largest out-of- area patroller prosecution. This event was a coordinated effort, involving surface, subsurface and air units to execute 116 prosecution events.




NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list