Patrol Squadron TEN [VP-10]
Patrol Squadron Ten based aboard NAS Brunswick, Maine, had approximately 70 officers and 335 enlisted personnel assigned. VP-10 (nicknamed the Red Lancers) operates between six and twelve P-3C Orion Maritime Patrol Aircraft.
The squadron's primary mission is Under-Sea Warfare (USW). Named for the Greek God of the hunt, the Orion is a multi-mission aircraft capable of performing Anti-Surface Warfare (ASUW), Maritime Surveillance and Reconnaissance, Drug Interdiction, Intelligence Collection, Search and Rescue (SAR) and numerous other missions. PATRON TEN conducts 6 month deployments every 18 months to three primary locations: Sigonella, Sicily, Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico and Keflavik, Iceland. VP-10 routinely provides a maritime presence to a number of other locations including: Rota, Spain; Lajes, Azores; Thule, Greenland; Kinloss, Scotland, and numerous other countries including Ecuador, El Salvadore, Norway, Sweden, and The Netherlands.
The history of Patrol Squadron TEN, considered to be one of the original patrol squadrons in aviation history, can be divided into two distinct periods. VP-10 was originally a derivative of VS-15, which was in operation as far back as 1921. The squadron traces its official heritage, however, to July 1, 1930, with the commissioning of Patrol Bombing Squadron 10S. In the 1930's, Patrol Squadron TEN was a forerunner in the development of long-range maritime patrol aviation scouting, surveillance, and bombing tactics.
In February 1935, as VP-10F, the squadron established a world record for non-stop formation transpacific flight in a 24-hour transit from San Francisco to Hawaii. After four years in Hawaii, VP-10 was redesignated VP-25 (1939) and then, two years later, VP-23 (1941). On December 7, 1941, eight of twelve squadron aircraft were damaged or destroyed in the attack on Pearl Harbor. Six months later, on June 4, 1942, squadron PBY-5A "Catalina" aircraft flown by Lt(jg) Howard Ady and Lt William Chase were the first to locate and report the positions of four large aircraft carriers of the Japanese Navy's striking force on their way toward the Hawaiian Islands. This action helped begin the greatest victory in American naval history, the Battle of Midway. The squadron went on to serve with distinction at the Gilbert and Marshall Islands, Guadalcanal, and the Solomon Islands during World War II. The squadron was disestablished following the war, on January 25, 1946.
Patrol Squadron TEN's modern era begins with its reestablishment at NAS Jacksonville in March, 1951, flying the PB4Y "Privateer". In February, 1952 VP-10 transitioned to the P2-V "Neptune" aircraft and moved to Brunswick, Maine where it is homeported today.
Two years of transition began in 1965 when the P-3A Orion aircraft was delivered. A year later the P-3B arrived which served with the squadron until 1980 when the transition to the P-3C Update II began. These aircraft provided significant advancements in the fast developing field of anti-submarine warfare. Transition to the Update III occurred in 1996. The Update III program represents improvements in both the aircraft's anti-submarine and anti-surface capabilities.
The squadron has flown P-3 aircraft to numerous sites around the world, including Bermuda; Lajes, Azores; Keflavik, Iceland; Argentina, Newfoundland; Port Lyautey, Morroco; Souda Bay, Crete; Rota, Spain; the Panama Canal Zone; Sigonella, Sicily; Puerto Rico; Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; and others. The squadron deployed to Sigonella, Sicily, in 1991 and 1994, flying in support of Operations DESERT STORM, RESTORE HOPE, PROVIDE PROMISE, SHARP GUARD, and DENY FLIGHT. In 1996, 1997, and 1998, VP-10 completed back-to-back tri-site deployments to Puerto Rico, Iceland, and Panama. During this period the squadron was credited with interdicting the flow of over $2 billion worth of illicit narcotics bound for the United States while simultaneously maintaining a superior level of ASW readiness. The squadron was awarded the Joint Meritorious Unit Award for action while serving as part of Joint Task Force FOUR during this period.
Since reactivating in 1951, Patrol Squadron TEN has won numerous awards and accolades. The squadron has received the Navy Unit Commendation and six Meritorious Unit Commendations for continued excellence in maritime air operations, and has won the Navy Battle Efficiency "E" Award three times. VP-10 has won six Captain Arnold Jay Isbell trophies for air ASW excellence, and is the first squadron to win consecutive awards ('83, '84, '85, '97, '98) since the trophy's first presentation in 1958. Patrol Squadron TEN has won the Commander SIXTH Fleet "Hook'Em" award for ASW excellence. The Red Lancers have also been awarded the NATO Medal for operations in the former Yugoslavia, and the Southwest Asia Service Medal for service during DESERT STORM. In 1998, the squadron was awarded the CINCLANTFLT Golden Anchor Award for retention excellence. Additionally, Patrol Squadron TEN has won two Atlantic Fleet Golden Wrench awards for outstanding maintenance. The latest one was awarded in 1998, when Patrol Squadron TEN flew 5,200 hours in Atlantic, European, and Southern Command operating theaters, achieving an overall 93 percent sortie completion rate.
VP-10 has won eight CNO Aviation Safety Awards, the most recent being back-to-back wins in 1993 and 1994, and again in 1996 and 1997. Through 1998, VP-10 has accumulated over 25 years and 163,023 hours of mishap-free flying.
In February 1999, VP-10 began a six-month deployment to Sigonella, Sicily. The Red Lancers deployed with four aircraft equipped with the ASUW Improvement Program (AIP). AIP aircraft have improved satellite communications, radar, electronic surveillance, computer systems, electro-optical surveillance, the AGM-65 Maverick missile, the AGM-84E Standoff Land Attack Missile, and survivability enhancements.
The squadron's MED 99 deployment proved one of the most successful in VP history. Operations DELIBERATE FORGE, EAGLE EYE, ALLIED FORCE, and NOBLE ANVIL, saw Patrol Squadron TEN fly the first P3-C strike missions in Naval history - launching 14 AGM-84E Standoff Land Attack missiles against Serbian targets. Over 800 sorties were flown, racking up 6450 flight hours. Squadron personnel loaded and safely flew over 1.3 million pounds of live ordnance, while flying 94 consecutive days of around-the-clock armed combat operations. The campaign saw VP-10 flying all CVBG Surface Combat Air Patrol (SUCAP) - the first time this mission had ever been done exclusively by MPA, all with a 97% sortie completion rate. At the conflict's conclusion, COMSIXTHFLT lauded VP-10's aircraft as the "most responsive weapons platform in the (Kosovo) conflict.
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