Will Be Integrated With Unmanned BAMS Platform For Maritime Patrol
More than 1,200 distinguished visitors filled the Patrol Squadron 30 hangar at Naval Air Station Jacksonville March 28 to celebrate the first fleet delivery of the P-8A Poseidon multi-mission aircraft. "In the same year that our maritime patrol and reconnaissance force (MPRF) is celebrating 50 years of service for the P-3 Orion, we're also celebrating the fleet introduction of P-8 Poseidon," said Capt. Mark Stevens, VP-30 commanding officer and master of ceremonies.
In his remarks, Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mark Ferguson said, "The P-8 is the future of Navy maritime patrol. It will be a critical component of our maritime security and the fleet's eyes and ears for generations to come. While this aircraft is impressive, the strength of our Navy does not rest with technology alone. The real capability will reside in the men and women who fly and maintain this aircraft. In the hands of our great Sailors, it stands ready to meet the needs of the nation and challenges ahead as we continue to operate forward to reassure allies, deter aggression and when needed, prevail in conflict."
Under Secretary of the Navy Robert Work provided keynote remarks. "As the Navy's replacement platform for the P-3C, the P-8A Poseidon is transforming how the Navy's maritime patrol and reconnaissance force will man, train, operate and deploy. The P-8A is a network enabled aircraft for the network age, and gives Sailors the added benefits of working with manned and unmanned systems," said Work. "The training and readiness concept for the Poseidon was designed around a high fidelity simulator solution to provide cost-wise warfighting readiness. The P-8A Integrated Training Facility includes leading-edge operational flight trainers, which will provide innovative and cutting-edge training for today's warfighter."
During his remarks he highlighted the partnership of the Navy and industrial base, which made this day possible.
"On behalf of the Secretary of the Navy, I would like to thank the maritime patrol and reconnaissance community, veterans, industry, and the city of Jacksonville." He added, "thanks and gratitude goes to the City of Jacksonville, which has been such a great host to this base for more than 75 years, and whose citizens embody the values our Sailors fight to protect."
The next phase for Poseidon will be its integration with the unmanned BAMS platform to create a cohesive team that covers an even greater territory.
"Maritime patrol is the forward indicator of the U.S. presence around the globe," said Work. "MPRF is often the first to respond to natural disasters and provide humanitarian relief. These Sailors embody the CNO's guidance for executing the maritime strategy by demonstrating daily that our Navy is flexible, adaptable and ready to respond globally to preserve the peace. Thank you for allowing me to be part of today's ceremony."
At the conclusion of Work's remarks, Boeing President and CEO of Defense, Space and Security Dennis Muilenburg handed over the "key" for P-8A Poseidon LL 428 to Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group Rear Adm. Michael Hewitt. He, in turn, gave the key to Stevens who ordered, "Poseidon aircrew and maintenance department, prepare LL 428 for flight operations."
After the roll-out event, attendees were invited across the street from VP-30 to the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the P-8A Integrated Training Center (ITC). Flight crew and mission specialists are assigned to the ITC where they undertake classroom instruction as well as full-motion, simulated exercises that present the highest degree of realism.
NAS Jacksonville Commanding Officer Capt. Bob Sanders welcomed a large crowd that seemed eager to tour the $38 million training facility.
"Thank you for being part of this history making day at NAS Jacksonville," said Sanders. "We're proud you could join us and learn about the exciting future taking shape for the P-8A Poseidon within the maritime patrol and reconnaissance community." (Images provided by the U.S. Navy)