Military


Special Projects Patrol Squadron ONE [VPU-1]
"Old Buzzards"

Patrol Squadron Special Projects Unit (VPU) 1 was established on 01 July 1982, and was redesignated to Special Projects Patrol Squadron (VPU) 1 on 08 April 1998. VPU-1 has its homebase at NAS Brunswick, Maine. The squadron started in 1969 as a detachment of VP-26, becoming a permanent detachment in 1979. VPU-1, began as project Saffire assigned to Commander, Patrol Wing Five (CPW-5), and used flight crew members from VP-8 from 1969 to 1975. It transferred to VP-26 Octover of 1975. It exists with a fleet of 2 or 3 Orions, and in 1984 VPU-1 received a "Meritorious Unit Commendation". As with VPU-2 this squadron was deployed during Desert Shield/Storm.

In 1994 a VPU-1 crew conducted a highly successful detachment in support of JTF Support Hope. The short notice redeployment and consistently flawless operations contributed directly to the success of this international effort. Through these efforts, tactical commanders were provided accurate, real-time information on a rapidly changing situation. Crucial decisions affecting the lives of thousands of people were made based on VPU-1's observation.

VPU 1 aircrew and support personnel deployed in support of Operation Assured Response from 11 April through 15 May 1996. VPU 1 personnel took the initiative to locate, pick-up en route, and operate a much needed Pioneer video transmitter. When required, VPU-1 quickly generated and deployed a second crew to support sustained operations. These efforts visibly demonstrated the value of electro-optically equipped P-3's by providing real-time locating data, operational surveillance, and NEO mission support. With only one aircraft VPU-1 was able to generate 28 missions and 240 flight hours. During the deployment, detachment personnel also ably performed dual-tasking by providing support for an emergent counter-drug operation as well as direct NEO support.




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