JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Having recently supported detachments in support of Hurricane Irma humanitarian operations and Joint Warrior/Formidable Shield international exercises, the Patrol Squadron (VP) 10 "Red Lancers" once again packed their bags to answer the call to serve.
VP 10 launched a single P-8A Poseidon with a full crew and support personnel, Nov. 18, to conduct search and rescue operations for the Argentinian submarine ARA San Juan that was reported missing, Nov. 15.
Shortly after leaving dock, the ARA San Juan reported malfunctions with the electrical system after water leaked through the submarine's snorkel. Forty-four crew members were aboard the submarine as it started its transit to its homeport of Mad del Plata, Argentina. The search and rescue efforts began after several failed communication attempts with the ARA San Juan. The last known position of the submarine was several hundreds of miles off the eastern coast of Argentina.
Since its disappearance, 18 countries have sent both air and sea platforms in hopes of locating the missing ARA San Juan. Two P-8As, one each from VP 10 and VP 5, have been actively searching for the ARA San Juan by using acoustic sensors on the airplane to locate the submarine's position. The Red Lancers have been crucial in the search efforts, as the P-8A is capable of investigating large areas in a timely manner in order to focus the search efforts to a more specific region.
Lt. Garrett Middleton, patrol plane commander of the VP 10 crew in Argentina, stated that, "The reason we are here is very unfortunate, but it has been extremely rewarding to work closely with the Argentinian navy and provide hope to the families of the missing crewmembers."
Over the course of approximately two weeks, the Red Lancers have flown six missions for a total of 53 hours. While the detachment of Red Lancers missed Thanksgiving with their families, they answered our nation's higher call to serve others in need.
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