New Aircraft Introduced At P-8A Roll-Out Ceremony
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014


New Aircraft Introduced At P-8A Roll-Out Ceremony

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.

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."

Following the roll out, Work, Brown and Hewitt answered questions from the media.

Work was asked if every P-3 in the Navy would be replaced by the P-8A.

"The P-3 continues to fly after 50 years of service. Only two military aircraft have served longer, the U-2 spy plane and the B-52 bomber. As the P-3C fleet begins to retire aircraft, they will be replaced by a combination of the P-8A and its new partner, the unmanned BAMS (Broad Area Maritime Surveillance)," said Work.

Brown was queried about the importance of Jacksonville's mayor being part of the ceremony.

"This is a historic occasion for our great city and northeast Florida. We've been a military friendly city for a long time and I believe military affairs are an important part of our community. The P-8 shows the benefits of private/public partnerships for the Navy in their development and acquisition process. We're proud to be part of the P-3/P-8 transition and will support it in any way we can," replied Brown

Hewitt fielded the question, "How does this P-8 event help the Navy overall?"

"This is a great day for our maritime patrol and reconnaissance force. We wouldn't be here today without bold leadership from the City of Jacksonville and the creativity of our industry partners. It's also a humbling day in that many MPRF squadrons are actively patrolling oceans and land areas around the world. So while many P-3s are on station protecting American interests, we're proudly rolling out the formidable, new P-8 Poseidon," said Hewitt. "It brings new technology and innovation to bear wherever our country needs us. We're also very proud of our young naval aircrew and maintainers who are bringing this aircraft to life. We know that the platform is new and important -but it's the men and women who fly it that makes it a naval asset to be reckoned with."

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."

By Clark Pierce, Editor, Jax Air News

Source : US Navy

Published on ASDNews: Apr 2, 2012

 

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