BENGALURU, India - Members of the “Royal Maces” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 27 and “Diamondbacks” of (VFA) 102 joined hundreds of civilian and military exhibitors for the Aero India 2023 aerospace exhibition held at Yelahanka Air Force Station in Bengaluru, India, Feb. 13-17.
Aero India 2023 offers a venue to build stronger relationships between the U.S. and India, as well as with other participating nations. Department of Defense leadership and participating units’ attendance underscores the importance of the tight-knit U.S.-India partnership and our shared commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.
“Participating in Aero India is an excellent opportunity for our squadrons to be showcased alongside our Indian partners," said Cmdr. Adam Cohen, executive officer, VFA 27. "Our squadrons routinely operate throughout the entire Indo-Pacific and it is always a great experience to visit a partner nation's country in person, and showcase the professionalism of the Royal Mace, Diamondback team and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5."
VFA-27 operates the F/A-18E Super Hornet and VFA-102 operates the F/A-18F Super Hornet as part of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, which deploys with Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 5. As part of the strike group, CVW 5 completed a 7th Fleet deployment in 2022 where they provided airpower in support of the USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group while it operated with Allies and partners in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific. Those missions included numerous joint and combined multi-lateral operations demonstrating flexibility and capability in multiple warfighting domains, ensuring commitment to regional stability and Allied and partner relationship-building.
CVW 5 aircraft have routinely operated with the Indian Navy including during exercise Malabar 2022 in November off the coast of Japan and in June 2021, CVW 5 conducted multi-axis training off the coast of India, that included a P-8I maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, MiG-29K fighters from the Indian Navy Air Squadron 303, and Su-30 fighter aircrafts from the Indian Air Force 222 Squadron.
The “Royal Maces” and “Diamondbacks” are forward-deployed to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan. The squadrons directly support the 7th Fleet area of operations and enable a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with Allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.