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Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic

VP-26 ‘Tridents’ return home to NAS Jacksonville

by Naval Air Station Jacksonville Public Affairs Office
06 November 2020  The first of five P-8As with aviators and Sailors from Patrol Squadron (VP) 26 are returning home to NAS Jacksonville following a seven-month deployment to Japan and El Salvador in support of U.S. 4th  and 7th Fleets.

In April 2020, in the midst of the challenges associated with COVID, VP-26 safely departed for an operational deployment to the U.S. 4th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR), spearheading the president’s initiative for an increased commitment against elicit narcotics. Shortly thereafter, the rest of the squadron reported to the U.S. 7th Fleet AOR. 

During this deployment, VP-26 flew a wide variety of airborne anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, maritime domain awareness, search and rescue, and theater security cooperation missions.  Overcoming the ongoing pandemic specter, they supported multiple exercises, including Valiant Shield, where they were the first VP squadron to complete multiple air-to-air refueling evolutions in a single flight.  VP-26 expertly conducted air-to-air refueling during ASW missions in the Pacific Command AOR supporting the theater anti-submarine warfare commander.  VP-26 also provided critical direct support to the USS Ronald Reagan and Nimitz Carrier Strike Groups in the Pacific AOR.  

“Only through the steadfast dedication and unwavering commitment of every Trident were we able to have such a successful deployment across the entire globe,” said VP-26 Commanding Officer Cmdr. Mike Steffens. “Backed by the service and sacrifice of our families and friends back home, thank you to all who made the last seven months’ accomplishments possible.”
 
 
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