JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- The Navy’s 100th P-8A “Poseidon” was delivered to Patrol Squadron (VP) 30 at Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, May 14.
In July 2004, the Navy placed its initial order of P-8A aircraft to replace the venerable Lockheed Martin P-3C Orion, which has been in service since 1962. The Maritime Patrol community began transition to the P-8A in 2012. The delivery of the 100th P-8A coincides with VP-40’s successful completion of the 12th and final active component squadron transition to the Poseidon.
The final transition concluded amidst a global pandemic, which could have halted or delayed the schedule, however, VP-40 remained on track.
“We finished up VP-40’s transition this month, and it has been a challenge. Despite the travel restrictions, the additional required procedures, and the aircraft transfers, VP-30 answered the call. The VP-30.1 detachment at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington was grinding every day to keep the transition on schedule,“ said VP-30 Commanding Officer Capt. T. J. Grady.
The P-3C to P-8A transition has been on glideslope, on course, maintaining the original schedule over the last seven years, all while continuing to meet VP Global Force Management and deployment obligations.
“The P-8A program has delivered ahead of schedule and under budget since its inception, which is why the delivery of the 100th P-8A is such a significant milestone,” said Rear Adm. Pete Garvin, commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group.
Between January 2016 and now, the P-8A fleet has grown from 33 to 100. The U. S. Navy is on contract to deliver a total of 117 P-8As in support of a larger fleet.
VP-30, the “Pro’s Nest,” is the U.S. Navy’s Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS). VP-30’s mission is to provide P-3 specific training to pilots, naval flight officers, and enlisted aircrew prior to reporting to the fleet. More than 650 staff personnel train over 800 officer and enlisted personnel annually, utilizing 21 P-3 aircraft.