Monday, February 01, 2010

VP-62 Flies Haiti Missions

By Clark Pierce, Jax Air News

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Crew members from Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville flight line boarded a Patrol Squadron 62 P-3C Orion Jan. 27 in support of Operation Unified Response in Haiti.

"Our primary mission is to monitor infrastructure – such as roads, bridges and harbors – along with ad hoc tasking as required," said VP-62 "Broadarrows" Plane Commander Lt. Cmdr. Jamey Shuemaker said. "Our crew will note any areas of concern, including poor road conditions, roadblocks and congestion. We also provide information on population migrations from Port-au-Prince to rural towns and agricultural areas."

VP-62 is a Reserve force squadron commissioned in 1970 to a provide fully manned and equipped P-3C squadron.

"Another task we perform is identifying landing sites for relief helicopters. Government agencies on the ground use our intelligence to ensure there are passable roads for humanitarian aid vehicles departing the capital. We also evaluate port access and activity, along with damage assessments along the coast," said Cmdr. Chris Moorehead, flight mission commander.

"NAS Jacksonville has been heavily involved with transporting relief supplies to NS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and then on to the Haitian people," said NAS Commanding Officer Capt. Jac Scorby Jr. "As of Jan. 27, our base has dispatched 46 airlifts totaling 2.53 million pounds of food, medical supplies and other material."

The squadron has selected Reservists who commute across the southeastern United States to take part in proficiency training and fleet contributory support missions such as Operation Unified Response.