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Command History

In September 1948, the Chief of Naval Operations directed the establishment of Fleet Air Wings, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, as a subordinate command of Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet.  The command was re-designated in July 1973 as Commander, Patrol Wings, U.S. Atlantic Fleet (COMPATWINGSLANT) and headquartered in Brunswick, Maine, until disestablished in October 1992.  In October 1994, COMPATWINGSLANT was reestablished in Norfolk, Virginia, where it remains today as Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group/Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group Pacific (COMPATRECONGRU/COMPATRECONGRUPAC). 

In 1998, COMPATWINGSLANT incorporated Special Projects Patrol Squadron (VPU) 1 and Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron (VQ) 2.  Due to this increased responsibility and wider mission set, the organization’s name became Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet (COMPATRECONFORLANT) transitioning to COMPATRECONGRU in October 2003.  In March 2012, COMPATRECONGRU became dual-hatted as Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group Pacific (COMPATRECONGRUPAC) with COMPATRECONGRU having administrative control (ADCON) of Atlantic Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance (MPR) forces and COMPATRECONGRUPAC having ADCON of all Pacific MPR forces.

During its inception, COMPATWINGSLANT was outfitted with lighter-than-air craft, ASW seaplanes and land-based patrol bombers.  Beginning in the mid-1950s, this equipment was phased out of the Navy’s inventory and COMPATWINGSLANT units began flying the P-2 Neptune.  In August 1962, Patrol Squadron (VP) 8 became the first COMPATWINGSLANT unit to transition from the P-2 Neptune to the P-3 Orion.  By 1969, the transition of all squadrons to the P-3 aircraft was complete.  In the ensuing years, COMPATWINGSLANT squadrons continued to transition to more advanced versions of the P-3 Orion.  The latest P-3C, the Anti-Surface Warfare Improvement Program (AIP), brings an unprecedented variety of improved sensors and communications equipment and has served as the baseline capability for the P-8A Poseidon.
In January 2013, VP-16 became the first operational squadron to transition to the P-8A Poseidon.  All twelve fleet VP squadrons are currently flying P-8A aircraft with VP-40 completing transition in May 2020.  Additionally, VUP-19, the Navy’s first fixed wing Unmanned Patrol Squadron has been established at Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville to operate the MQ-4C Triton, which began deployed operations in January 2020.  COMPATRECONGRU/COMPATRECONGRUPAC supports combatant commanders and Navy component commanders by providing combat-ready MPR forces.

Currently, Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Group / Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Group Pacific (CPRG/CPRG-PAC) provides oversight to more than 7,000 men and women on both coasts operating the U.S. Navy’s maritime patrol aircraft.  The MPRF is organized into two Patrol and Reconnaissance Wings at NAS Jacksonville, Florida, and NAS Whidbey Island, Washington, including 14 Patrol and Reconnaissance squadrons, one Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) and over 45 subordinate commands.  The MPRF is the Navy’s premiere provider for airborne anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), and maritime intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) operations.  |  |  Navy FOIA  |  DoD Accessibility/Section 508  |  No Fear Act  |  Open Government  |  Plain Writing Act  |  Veterans Crisis Line  |  VA Vet Center  |  FVAPDoD Safe Helpline  |  Navy SAPR  |  NCIS Tips  |  Site Map  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Webmaster | Information quality | Public Use notice | Useful Links
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