MQ-4C Triton UAS program provides fleet with “expeditionary” capability to increase overseas operations

A member of the U.S. Air Force C-17 aircrew supports the transport of the MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Air System's forward operating base from NAS Patuxent River, Md. to Japan, April 12,. 2021. Triton's expeditionary FOB will support overseas operations beginning in summer 2021. (Navy photograph)

The Triton program team coordinated a C-17 airlift to move the unmanned air system’s expeditionary Forward Operating Base at Patuxent River, Md., River to an air base in Japan April 13, 2021, in an effort to increase Triton’s operational flexibility in the future.  

The fleet requested this expeditionary capability to provide the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Fleet additional geographic flexibility to support operations beginning in summer 2021. 

“Our team was able to identify truly innovative low cost solutions to meet a fleet problem,” said Cmdr. Josh Calloway, deputy program team lead.  “They pulled a FOB out of the fleet, worked with Dayton T Brown Inc, and in about six months, at minimal cost, reconstituted the FOB into a mobile trailer and are now shipping it half way across the world.” 

The MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Air System’s expeditionary forward operating base is loaded onto the U.S. Air Force’s C-17. The Air Force transported the FOB to Japan to support operations in summer 2021. (Navy photograph)

Unmanned Patrol Squadron (VUP) 19 is currently operating two MQ-4C Triton out of Anderson Air Force in Guam and recently marked its one year deployment. Now, with this new capability VUP-19 can support operations from nearly any U.S. facility in the world, he said. 

“Triton is fully integrated into the 7th fleet mission gathering intelligence, interacting with joint partners, carrier strike groups, and other MPRF assets and exercises, and remaining agile to pave the way for future unmanned platforms,” said Cmdr. Michael Minervini, VUP-19 commander. 

VUP-19 will continue to operate Triton to further develop the concept of operations and fleet learning associated with operating a high-altitude, long-endurance system in the maritime domain
The MQ-4C Triton delivers unprecedented situational awareness of the battle space to shorten the sensor-to-shooter decision loop in the maritime and littoral battlespace. Its persistence and sensor mix is integral to the Navy’s Maritime Strategy to deliver a more lethal, efficient, and effective global joint force.

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