Special Projects Patrol Squadron TWO [VPU-2]
Patrol Squadron Special Projects Unit (VPU) 2 was established on 01 July 1982, and was redesignated to Special Projects Patrol Squadron (VPU) 2 on 14 April 1998. VPU-2 operates from numerous detachment sites throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans. It was originally established as a small cadre of personnel assigned to squadrons, with the mission of supplementing aircrews on special collection missions. However, its manning and responsibilities expanded during the 1970s. In light of its unique mission capabilities and responsibilities, it was commissioned as an independent unit in July 1982.
Cmdr. Jeffrey S. Locke was relieved by Cmdr. Gregory D. Osborne as Commanding Officer of Special Projects Patrol Squadron Two (VPU-2), at Naval Air Station Barbers Point on 05 March 1999. During his tenure as Commanding Officer and Executive Officer, Locke's leadership was responsible for the flawless execution of 12 forward deployed detachments, totaling more than 300 events and 2,400 flight hours and achieving superb results in support of Joint Chiefs of Staff and Fleet Commander tasking. He directed the installation of 12 major aircraft sensor upgrades totaling $3.2 million, ensuring mission aircraft kept pace with evolving technology. His flawless planning and execution of initial operational test and evaluation of the prototype Tactical Common Data Link and Fiber Optic Bus Multiplexing system laid the foundation for future installation in Navy aircraft. His uncompromising 'safety first' command climate resulted in the squadron achieving more than 40,000 consecutive mishap-free flight hours during a 16-year period. Locke also effectively increased the squadron's mission capable rate by 11 percent, flight hours by 12 percent and achieved 'outstanding' results during the Type Wing Material Condition Inspection and Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Aviation Maintenance Evaluation. These accomplishments earned him his second Meritorious Service Medal.
Despite operational commitments, the squadron completed an early 1999 homeport change from Naval Air Station Barbers Point to Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay, and hastened to complete the move ahead of schedule so it could deploy a week later to support the NATO air campaign in Kosovo.
In early 2000 Cmdr. Irving G. Bough relieved Cmdr. Gregory D. Osborne as "Wizard One", Commanding Officer of Special Projects Patrol Squadron Two, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay in a ceremony held in the squadron hangar. Osborne took command of VPU-2 in March 1999. During the year, VPU-2 deployed aircrews around the world in support of theater, Commander in Chief and Joint Chiefs of Staff tasking. VPU-2 received the "Battle E" for 1999, the Navy award given to the best command within a given community for the year.