November 9, 2018 (NNS) -- Patrol Squadron THIRTY (VP-30) recently played host to an Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Symposium for the First Coast’s Helicopter Maritime Strike (HSM) squadrons and Maritime Patrol (VP) squadrons based in Jacksonville and Mayport. This unique event called “JAXMAN” was the first of its kind and was designed, planned and executed by junior officers from both communities. The event provided an outstanding opportunity to work on improved ASW interoperability as well as growing relationships.
Events over the course of the week included joint mission planning and coordinated execution of combined ASW exercise flights. These events, flown off the coast of Mayport, by instructors and students from VP-30 and HSM-40, utilized an Expendable Mobile ASW Training Target (EMATT) to simulate an unfriendly submarine operating in international waters. Helicopter and patrol crews worked together to successfully search, locate, and track the simulated target.
On Thursday, the “Pro’s Nest” auditorium was standing room only as the two communities delivered briefs on topics including capabilities and limitations of each aircraft, intelligence briefings from current worldwide operations, and demonstrations of future ASW capabilities. Attendees spanned the gamut of those involved in ASW currently in Jacksonville including: HSM-40, HSM-70, HSM-72, HSM-74, Helicopter Maritime Strike Weapons School Atlantic, Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing Atlantic staff, VP-5, VP-10, VP-30, VP-45, Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Weapons School, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing ELEVEN (CPRW-11) staff, and civilian guests from the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI).
“VP and HSM have the same mission, but sometimes it can feel like we speak a different language,” remarked event coordinator Lieutenant Sara Burton of the HSM-40 Airwolves. “It’s definitely a win for both sides if we can get together and learn about each other.”
One of the main focuses of the conference was to facilitate discussions between members of both communities. Maritime patrol aircraft and maritime strike helicopters often operate alongside one another during real missions around the globe, so establishing a common vocabulary is crucial.
“This is what matters, doing things like this,” said Lieutenant Commander Timothy Bierbach, Operations Officer for VP-45. LCDR Bierbach gave a presentation on innovation in ASW prosecution to cap off the day.
“Today, the two biggest things we will walk away with are a better common understanding of how we do business and most importantly – new and stronger relationships that will enable our future success together,” said Captain Adam “Kujo” Kijek, Commanding Officer of VP-30.
Captain Kijek’s remarks were echoed by Commander Teague Laguens, Commanding Officer of HSM-40:
“What a great way to get better at what we do, and we look forward to hosting you at Mayport next year.”
After the symposium concluded, the National Helicopter Association (NHA) and the Maritime Patrol Association (MPA) co-hosted a social hour at the NAS Jacksonville Officer’s Club for all those in attendance. The great camaraderie started during the meetings definitely grew even greater as the two communities enjoyed getting to know each other a little better. Finally, MPA and NHA also co-hosted a fundraising golf tournament Friday morning on NAS Jacksonville to further inspire camaraderie among the attendees and raise scholarship funds.
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