OF THE VP INTERNATIONAL (VPI) ASSOCIATION
                                                                                      (Lloyd Graham, Mar 15)

VPI has its history founded in May, 1966 at 407 Sqn as the P-2000 Club (based on the P2V7 Neptune) with the intent to establish an association of airmen to foster goodwill and fellowship among land-based long-rang, sub-searching and reconnaissance flyers through the promotion of understanding and recognition of VP operations and their impact on military aviation.  The membership eligibility was based on aircrew having a minimum of 2,000 hours flying on the Neptune aircraft.  With the demise of the P2V7 Neptune, the Club expanded its mandate to include all varieties of long-range patrol (LRP) aircraft.  The P-2000 Club transformed into VPI in 1970 with a charter and constitution to reflect the broader variety of LRP, with the Base Commander at CFB Greenwood becoming the Official Patron of the VP International (VPI) Association.  The VPIHQ is also located at CFB Greenwood, and it has become a truly worldwide Association with some 6000 members of serving and retired aircrew from 23 countries.

The term “VP” is accepted by VP International as a military designator applied to fixed-wing, Maritime Patrol aircraft, employed in intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, anti-surface and anti-subsurface operations;  The objective of VPI is “To maintain a worldwide organization of aircrew to foster goodwill and fellowship through the promotion of understanding and recognition of VP operations.”

The Association has established international recognition with the VPI emblem, the flight suit badge and associated blue, red, silver and gold maple leaf lapel pins as symbols of maritime flying experience and achievement.

                                                The badge was designed, featuring a red maple leaf and a P2V7, the symbolic links denoting Canadian                                                                origin and the founding P2000 Club. The letters VP identify with heavier than air, land-based operations                                                              and the globe with no boundaries, balanced within a gyro ring, represents the worldwide international                                                                  scope, stability and precision essential in maritime patrol aircrew teamwork. 


VP International has established a worldwide aircrew association with a membership of over 6000 regular and retired aircrew in 23 countries. 

                                                                                                           Countries represented include Argentina, Australia, Canada, Cyprus,                                                                                                                       France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Malaysia,                                                                                                                                 Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Republic of                                                                                                                       Korea, Republic of South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United Arab                                                                                                                                 Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States.  All have voluntarily                                                                                                                   joined this not-for-profit Association and continue to foster the                                                                                                                                 recognition and development of professional interests and MPA capabilities.

                                                                              The VPI Memorial at 14 Wing Greenwood and its accompanying  “Book of Remembrance”                                                                                  recognizes and records the names of all aircrew, from member countries, who have been                                                                                        killed on active duty in maritime patrol operations over the past 50 years.  The Memorial was                                                                                dedicated in 1993 and the Greenwood Military aviation Museum (GMAM) is the permanent                                                                                  custodian of the “Book of Remembrance”.  Each year in October, a Memorial service is held                                                                                at the Wing to dedicate new names to the Book and honour the 1,896 entries from 13                                                                                              countries of aircrew that have died in the service of their countries since 1947.   

                                                                                 Here at home, over the last 49 years, VPI has provided regular assistance to the                                                                                                       Base/Wing/Squadrons in terms of organizing and hosting various events such as exchange                                                                                     visits, professional days with military or industrial presentations; awarding honorary                                                                                               recognition to deserving individuals; supporting Reunion activities, hosting visiting air and                                                                                   ground crews and communicating world-wide with its members in many countries.  Over                                                                                       the years when tragedy struck, VPI was there to support other Air Force’s projects like the                                                                                     RAF Nimrod and USN/VP50 Aircrew Memorials.

Various reviews have recommended changes to the flying hours criteria for membership.  Now membership only requires aircrew to graduate from a VP OTU with a posting to an operational squadron.  Graduates are offered a blue maple leaf pin.  Other pins reflect VP flying hour milestones, with a red pin for achieving 1500 hrs; a silver pin for 5000 hrs; and a gold pin for a 8760 hrs (a year in the air).