The Patrol Squadron (VP) 8 “Fighting Tigers,” homeported at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, began conducting missions in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, Nov. 21. The Fighting Tigers assumed duties from the “War Eagles” of VP-16 as Commander, Task Group 57.2. VP-8 operates the P-8A Poseidon multi-mission maritime aircraft in support of maritime patrol and reconnaissance missions. Patrol Squadron Eight (VP-8) is a U.S. Navy land-based patrol squadron stationed at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida (USA).
“We have arrived fully trained and well prepared to sustain and advance our relationships with coalition partners and our intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. I could not be more proud of the Fighting Tiger team. I look forward to leading these great Sailors through this dynamic deployment.” said Cmdr. Jeremy N. Lyon, commanding officer of VP-8.
VP-8 is tasked to undertake maritime patrol, anti-submarine warfare (ASW), and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. The Squadron is equipped with the Boeing P-8A Poseidon. The squadron was originally established as Patrol Squadron 201 (VP-201) on 1 September 1942, redesignated Patrol Bombing Squadron 201 (VPB-201) on 1 October 1944, redesignated Patrol Squadron 201 (VP-201) on 15 May 1946, redesignated Patrol Squadron, redesignated Patrol Squadron, Medium Landplane 8 (VP-ML-8) on 5 June 1947 and redesignated Patrol Squadron 8 (VP-8) on 1 September 1948.
The Fifth Fleet is a numbered fleet of the United States Navy. It has been responsible for naval forces in the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and parts of the Indian Ocean since 1995 after a 48-year hiatus. It shares a commander and headquarters with U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) in Bahrain. As of 19 August 2020, the commander of the 5th Fleet is Vice Admiral Samuel J. Paparo Jr. Fifth Fleet/NAVCENT is a component command of, and reports to, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM).