The "Grey Knights" Participated in Valiant Shield 2016

Story Number: NNS161027-16Release Date: 10/27/2016 1:22:00 PM
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By Petty Officer 3rd Class Alexander J. Cole, Patrol Squadron (VP) 46 Public Affairs

GUAM (NNS) -- The "Grey Knights" of Patrol Squadron (VP) 46 participated in exercise Valiant Shield 2016 (VS16) Sept. 12-23.

VS16 is a 12-day biennial exercise focusing on integrated joint training among U.S. forces to produce proficiency in detecting, locating, tracking, and engaging units at sea, in the air, on land, and in cyberspace.

"It's exciting to be in an all-U.S. exercise where we try things we normally don't have the opportunity to try in other exercises," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Jordan Mayer, a VP-46 air crewman.

The squadron's aircraft is the P-3C Orion, a multi-mission capable aircraft which specializes in anti-submarine warfare (ASW), intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), and anti-surface warfare (ASUW). Having the ability to use the P-3C Orion in this exercise gave it and its crew valuable, high-tempo training in each one of those mission areas, according to Lt. Cmdr. Mathew C. Moeser, officer-in-charge of VP-46's detachment and pilot.

"We were able to conduct all of our mission sets while we were out at Valiant Shield and practice those skill sets, as well as display those skills for the rest of the joint community to see," said Moeser.

VS16 also gave the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force (MPRF) the opportunity to show other communities what MPRF brings to a real-world training scenario.

"We helped develop and increase awareness for the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force," said Moeser. "Everyone now understands what we bring to the fight."

According to Petty Officer 2nd Class Chad M. Zandi, a Sailor in VP-46's Intelligence Department, the squadron not only displayed its skills to the other branches of the U.S. military, it showed its Sailors how they affect the battlespace when it comes to ISR.

"Valiant Shield gave us another opportunity to show how important MPRF ISR is in a large-scale operation," said Zandi.

VS16 didn't come without challenges, though. VP-46's Maintenance Department kept the aircraft flying through the exercise, allowing the air crew to meet every mission.

The squadron had a chance to participate in a sinking exercise (SINKEX) which provided service members the opportunity to gain proficiency in ASUW -- which involved tactics, targeting, and live-firing against surface targets at sea.

Now that VS16 is complete, VP-46 will continue preparing for deployment during its inter-deployment readiness cycle at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.

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160915-N-EP641-184 GUAM (Sept. 15, 2016) A P-3C Orion aircraft approaches the runway at Andersen Air Force Base during Exercise Valiant Shield. Valiant Shield focuses on integrated joint training among U.S. military forces, enabling real-world proficiency in sustaining joint forces and in detecting, locating, tracking and engaging units at sea, in the air, on land and cyberspace in response to a range of mission areas. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alexander Cole/Released)
September 20, 2016
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