The VUP-19 unit was initially stationed in Guam in January 2020 and wrapped up their rotational duties within the U.S. 7th Fleet jurisdiction in October 2022. The MQ-4C Triton, following its maiden deployment to Guam, underwent a series of enhancements based on the insights gathered. This included a significant upgrade to its sensor suite. These improvements have bolstered Triton’s capacity to deliver continuous maritime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeting (MISR-T) capabilities. This positions it alongside the P-8A Poseidon as a crucial element of the Navy’s Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force (MPRF) Family of Systems (FoS).
“We have been successfully operating Triton in Guam for several years, and now we have expanded this platform’s capabilities far beyond those it started with,” said Capt. Josh Guerre, MQ-4C Triton’s Program Manager.
The enhanced MQ-4C now possesses the ability to broaden maritime domain awareness for the U.S. and its regional allies and partners. This reflects the U.S.’s commitment to executing crucial missions and maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific.
VUP-19, the pioneer Triton UAS squadron, is tasked with operating and maintaining the aircraft in Guam, marking the MQ-4C’s initial operational capability (IOC). The IOC represents VUP-19’s first successful utilization of the MQ-4C, achieved when the platform proves its capacity to augment joint, distributed MISR-T operations.
Rear Adm. Adam Kijek, Commander of the Patrol and Reconnaissance Group, anticipates this deployment as a chance to further apply and fine-tune MQ-4C tactics, techniques, and procedures for round-the-clock MISR-T operations in the Indo-Pacific region.
“Leveraging all the lessons we learned from our first deployment to Guam, Triton is poised to bring significant improvements that will increase its effectiveness in the battlespace, enabling our manned-unmanned team to maintain awareness in the maritime domain. The Indo-Pacific theater is the ideal arena to demonstrate the advanced capabilities that Triton brings to our Fleet Commanders and the nation,” said Rear Adm. Adam Kijek, Commander of the Patrol and Reconnaissance Group.
“The squadron’s return to the Pacific stands as a testament to the unwavering efforts of the outstanding Sailors within VUP-19. Through their ingenuity and hard work, they have ensured that our platform is not only prepared for deployment, but will also significantly contribute to the expansion of the FoS. The aircrew and maintenance professionals’ dedication to excellence has truly set us apart, we are excited to bring this advanced platform to the fight, knowing that it will further enhance our capabilities in fulfilling critical missions and safeguarding our nation’s interests,” added Cmdr. Jae Kim, VUP-19’s commanding officer.