Wednesday, April 17, 2024

First MQ-4C Triton arrives at US Navy base in Italy

The U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa announced that the first MQ-4C Triton arrived at Naval Air Station Sigonella in Italy, on March 30, 2024.

Marking the second forward-deployed detachment for VUP-19 (Unmanned Patrol Squadron 19), this deployment of the MQ-4C Triton enhances operational interoperability with NATO Allies and partners, underlining the Navy’s commitment to regional security and collaboration.

Capt. Aaron Shoemaker, Commanding Officer of NAS Sigonella, lauded the Triton’s deployment, emphasizing its pivotal role in expanding the spectrum of unmanned aircraft systems operations both locally and globally.


The MQ-4C Triton, renowned as the Navy’s premier Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Maritime Patrol asset, complements the capabilities of existing platforms like the P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, bolstering maritime domain awareness and response capabilities.

In anticipation of the Triton’s arrival in Italy, VUP-19 “Big Red” commemorated the deployment with a ceremony on March 2, coinciding with the inauguration of a dedicated Triton hangar at NAS Sigonella. This facility serves as a strategic hub for Triton operations and maintenance activities.

Comprising over 300 personnel from diverse aviation backgrounds, VUP-19 leverages a sophisticated array of data fusion tools to gather and process surveillance information, facilitating real-time threat assessment and situational awareness. The squadron attained initial operational capability in September 2023 during its deployment to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Colton Jones
Colton Jones
Colton Jones is the deputy editor of Defence Blog. He is a US-based journalist, writer and publisher who specializes in the defense industry in North America and Europe. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere. He is a former Air Force airmen and served at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.