VR-64 transports ‘Fire Scout’ UAV

by Lt. Cmdr. Steve Hacker

Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 64

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. — Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 64 (VR-64) transported a MQ-8B Fire Scout to deployed forces in the Mediterranean February 2013 here.

The MQ-8B is a remote piloted helicopter capable of shipboard launch and recovery. The aircraft will see action supporting naval operations throughout the theater, providing reconnaissance and situational awareness.

Demand for the Fire Scout will require increased reliance on Navy Air Logistics Office lift capability for operational deployments. Last year, the Fire Scout flew more than 3,200 flight hours in Afghanistan, the continental U.S. and deployed on frigates and exceeded 8,000 total flight hours. This milestone could not have been achieved without VR’s support and assistance in getting this critical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance asset to theater.

The logistics mission to transport the MQ-8B was a short notice request filled by the VR-64 Condors.

“There was an urgent need to get a replacement MQ-8B out to the detachment on the USS Robert G. Bradley, currently deployed in the Mediterranean Sea,” said Cmdr. Brian Genton, Multi-Mission Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems (PMA 266) program officer. “With the sensitive nature of the (unmanned aerial vehicle), organic lift was the only option. Upon receipt of our support request, the NOLA almost immediately assigned our lift to the VR-64 Condors.”

“The professional staff at VR-64 quickly planned a mission that got the replacement Fire Scout to Naval Air Station Sigonella in time to meet the ship for their port visit,” said Genton. “This vital point-to-point support is only possible with the unique capability that VR-64 and their sister squadrons bring to the table. This will be our first choice for all future overseas air-vehicle movements.”

C-130 Hercules squadrons specialize in providing short notice, flexible, world-wide logistics support to combatant commanders and deployed forces throughout the world. The move was an example of the responsive and flexible operational support capability provided to the fleet and combatant commanders by the men and women of the fleet logistics support squadrons. VR-64 safely transported more than 3.93 million pounds of cargo and 2,541 passengers while flying 3,009 flight hours in fiscal year 2012.