The “Grey Knights” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 46 along with Mobile Tactical Operations Center (MTOC) 2 and MTOC 6 arrived on-station for a regularly scheduled deployment in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet Areas of Responsibility. Patrol Squadron 46 (VP-46), also known as the “Grey Knights”, is a maritime patrol squadron of the United States Navy based at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington. Beginning in April, Combat Aircrews and support personnel assigned to VP-46 arrived in strategic locations in both 5th and 6th Fleet AORs in support of Maritime Security Operations.
“After months of preparation and planning it’s finally our time to relieve our brothers and sisters and show the CTF how the Grey Knights can take any task thrown at them,” said Lt. Cmdr. Kyle Sanders, Operations Officer for VP-46, “These next few months will be challenging but that’s what we train for and that’s what makes us the ‘Oldest and the Best”.
During their tenure in theatre, the Grey Knights will support Commander, Task Force (CTF) 57 and 67 and utilize the P-8A Poseidon aircraft to conduct various anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Recognize (ISR) missions, as well as other strategic tasking supporting our national interests. While on deployment, VP-46 will operate with U.S. allied and host nation partners, ever furthering the knowledge of professions and the relationships U.S. share.
Part of Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Ten, VP-46 is the oldest maritime patrol squadron and the second oldest aircraft squadron in the entire U.S. Navy, second only behind VFA-14. The squadron was originally established as Patrol Squadron 5-S (VP-5S) on 1 July 1931. In April 2019, VP-46 return to home from its final deployment with the P-3C and begin the transition to the P-8 A Poseidon. VP-46 is a P-8A Poseidon multi-mission maritime aircraft squadron that conducts anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and humanitarian response.