HISTORY OF PATROL SQUADRON TEN
Patrol Squadron TEN (VP-10) is one of the original naval aviation squadrons and one of the oldest patrol squadrons in the U.S. Navy. VP-10 was originally a derivative of VS-15, which formed in 1921. The squadron traces its official heritage, however, to July 1, 1930, with the commissioning of Patrol Bombing Squadron 10S.
In January 1934, as VP-10F, the squadron established a world record for non-stop formation transpacific flight in a 24-hour transit from San Francisco to Hawaii. After four years in Hawaii, VP-10 was redesignated as VP-25 in 1939. VP-10 was again redesignated as VP-23 in 1941.
On December 7, 1941, eight of twelve squadron aircraft were damaged or destroyed in the attack on Pearl Harbor. On June 4, 1942, a squadron PBY-5A "Catalina" aircraft flown by LTJG Howard Andy and LT William Chase was the first to locate and report the positions of four large aircraft carriers of the Japanese Navy's striking force on their way toward the Island of Midway. This action helped begin the greatest victory in American naval history--the Battle of Midway.
The squadron went on to serve with distinction at the Gilbert and Marshall Islands, Guadalcanal, and the Solomon Islands during World War II. The squadron was disestablished following the war on January 25, 1946.
Two years of transition began in 1965 when the P-3A Orion aircraft was delivered. One year later, the P-3B arrived and served the squadron until 1980 when transition to the P-3C Update II began. These aircraft provided significant advancements in the rapidly developing field of anti-submarine warfare.
Transition to the P-3C Update III occurred in 1996 and delivered improvements in both the aircraft's anti-submarine and anti-surface capabilities. In 1998, VP-10 received the P-3C Update III Aircraft Improvement Program (AIP) aircraft. The AIP aircraft brought significant improvements in satellite communications, electronic surveillance, and computer systems.
Over the last five decades, the squadron has flown P-3 aircraft to numerous sites around the world. The squadron deployed to Sigonella, Sicily, in 1991 and 1994, operating in support of Operations DESERT STORM, RESTORE HOPE, PROVIDE PROMISE, SHARP GUARD, and DENY FLIGHT.
From 1996-1998, VP-10 completed back-to-back multi-site deployments to Puerto Rico, Iceland, and Panama. During this period, the squadron was credited with interdicting the flow of over $2 billion of illicit narcotics to the United States. This unprecedented success was topped in 2000 when the squadron interdicted 34 metric tons of narcotics worth over $5 billion.
In February 1999, VP-10 began a six-month deployment to Sigonella, Italy. This deployment saw the RED LANCERS become one of the first squadrons tasked with the operational employment of the AIP aircraft. VP-10 was also the first squadron to operationally employ the Stand-Off Land Attack Missile during Operation ALLIED FORCE.
From 1999-2005, the squadron participated in Operations DELIBERATE FORGE, EAGLE EYE, ALLIED FORCE, NOBLE ANVIL, IRAQI FREEDOM JOINT GUARDIAN, DELIBERATE FORGE, CAPER FOCUS, CARIB SHIELD, HILGARD, GWOT PAN SAHEL and ENDURING FREEDOM while on numerous worldwide deployments.
In December 2007, the RED LANCERS returned from the most widely distributed SEVENTH Fleet MPRA/PACOM Deployment in recent history as the RED LANCERS expertly planned and executed 30 operational detachments to 11 countries throughout PACOM traversing the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Flying 5,500 operational flight hours, VP-10 had a 96.5 mission completion rate, the highest ASW aircraft RFT rate on record. VP-10 successfully prosecuted six high-interest out-of-area submarines, while simultaneously flying overland combat missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The RED LANCERS spent 2008 conducting the Basic and Intermediate phases of the work-up cycle, building and preparing TWELVE Combat Aircrews for the upcoming CENTCOM deployment. Throughout our work-ups, the RED LANCERS simultaneously surged as CTG 67.1 in support of EUCOM and AFRICOM and as CTG 47.1 to El Salvador conducting 4 months of counter-narcotics work in support of SOUTHCOM/JIATF as part of Operations CAPER FOCUS and CARIB SHIELD and achieving the largest drug seizure EVER.
In June 2009, the RED LANCERS deployed from Brunswick for the last time as they headed downrange to assume CTG 57.2 for a CENTCOM deployment based out of Al Udeid AFB, Qatar and Camp Lemonier, Djibouti.
In December 2009, the RED LANCERS returned from their combined FIFTH and SIXTH fleet deployments. While deployed, the squadron flew missions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), maritime security operations and anti-piracy missions to protect American's maritime interests in the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. The squadron safely flew over 731 sorties amassing over 4,000 flight hours. The RED LANCERS also accomplished a near 100% mission completion rate. The Red Lancers conducted multiple joint military operations and exercises, established course rules for coalition flight safety in Djibouti, combated piracy, and built diplomatic bridges to foster international relations. The RED LANCERS multiple deployment successes were not unnoticed as the squadron received notification in February, 2010 that they were the Naval Air Forces Atlantic VP Battle “E” winner.
Throughout 2010, the RED LANCERS continued to excel on a global scale. Participating in USWEX in June of 2010, the RED LANCERS flew 230 hours off the coast of Japan participating in joint ASW missions. The RED LANCERS also flew in support of operations in Thule, Greenland alongside Canada’s Maritime Command and the Canadian Coast Guard. Both nations performed joint ASW operations in conjunction with iceberg and ice field recognition to train for disaster and sovereignty patrols in the artic. The RED LANCERS again rose to the occasion with a stellar performance in Operation VALIANT SHIELD. Operating out of Anderson, AFB Guam, the RED LANCERS focused on integrated joint training and interoperability among U. S. military forces.
In late May 2011, the RED LANCERS once again deployed for six months to the FIFTH Fleet Area of Responsibility in support of Operation NEW DAWN, OEF, and other joint exercises. They flew an astounding 6,320 flight hours in over 900 sorties with a 99% mission completion rate.
In November 2012, the RED LANCERS deployed to the FOURTH and SEVENTH Fleet Areas of Responsibility beginning their deployment in Japan and El Salvador. While deployed, the RED LANCERS flew 250 sorties and amassed over 2900 flight hours. The squadron supported US SEVENTH Fleet, JIATF-S, Operation MARTILLO, and participated in eight multinational exercises while operating out of six different countries. In March of 2013, the RED LANCERS surpassed the historic aviation benchmark of forty years and 242,000 mishap free flight hours. Over the course of 102 sorties flown in support of JIATF-S, the LANCERS interdicted 23,199 kilos of illicit narcotics worth an estimated $1.6 billion dollars, leading to the arrest of 33 smugglers.
After a busy 12 month Inter-deployment Readiness Cycle, the squadron embarked in June of 2014 for the sundown deployment of the P-3C. They deployed to the FOURTH, FIFTH, and SIXTH Fleet Areas of Responsibility that saw operations out of five different countries and four continents. Throughout the deployment the squadron conducted over 850 sorties and flying over 6,000 in support of operation INHERENT RESOLVE in FIFTH FLEET AOR. The RED LANCERS provided an integral part of the US plan to stem the advance of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. VP-10 also directly supported JIAFT-S in operations MARTILLO and LIONFISH in FOURTH FLEET and interdicting over 22,000 kilograms of illicit narcotics.
VP-10 returned to NAS Jacksonville in February of 2015 and one month later began their transition to the P-8A Poseidon, their first transition in 50 years. The six month transition was completed in September of 2015. The squadron then completed a 12 month Fleet Readiness Training Plan in preparation for an upcoming deployment to U.S. SEVENTH Fleet.
In September 2016, the RED LANCERS departed Jacksonville on their inaugural P-8A deployment to SEVENTH Fleet. The squadron provided critical intelligence through Maritime Domain Awareness, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, and Anti-Submarine Warfare flights. In the span of six months, VP-10 detached to 16 different locations and conducted over 652 sorties and flew over 3,600 hours in the Pacific theater and participated in four major bilateral exercises, greatly enhancing partnerships and interoperability with regional allies.
In April 2018, PATRON TEN successfully completed a SIXTH Fleet
deployment from in Sigonella, Italy, with
detachments to Scotland, Portugal, Crete, Turkey, Denmark and Iceland. Amassing nearly 5,000 flight hours throughout the deployment, the squadron
conducted successful anti-submarine warfare prosecutions on multiple adversary
submarines, and earned yet another Battle “E” award.
From 2019-2020, VP-10 completed a split site SEVENTH and FIFTH Fleet
deployment. A testament to their critical value as an MPRA asset, the
squadron demonstrated significant global presence. Over the span of deployment, the Red Lancer team operated from 8 different countries and participated in numerous exercises.
Since reactivating in 1951, Patrol Squadron TEN has won numerous awards and accolades. The squadron has been awarded three Joint Meritorious Unit Commendations, eight Meritorious Unit Commendations, three Navy Unit Commendations, and four Navy Battle Efficiency "E" Awards. VP-10 won nine Captain Arnold Jay Isbell trophies for air ASW excellence, most recently in 2007, and is the first squadron to win consecutive awards ('83, ’84, '85, and '97, '98) since the trophy's first presentation in 1958. Patrol Squadron TEN was awarded the Atlantic Fleet Golden Wrench award in 2002, 2005 and in 2006. The squadron was recently awarded its eighth consecutive CFFC Retention Excellence Award. VP-10 has won nine CNO Aviation Safety Awards, the most recent being 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, and 2005.