Original article: http://www.c7f.navy.mil/news/2012/03-march/022.htm
By Lt. j.g. Michael Glynn
Posted: March 15, 2012
OKINAWA, Japan – Vice Adm. Allen Myers, Commander Naval Air Forces, visited the ‘War Eagles’ of Patrol Squadron (VP) 16 on March 11th to meet with Sailors and witness current maritime patrol operations in the Western Pacific.
Myers held an all-hands ‘Admiral’s Call’ to answer questions and listen to feedback from aircrew and maintenance personnel. He shared his thoughts on the introduction of the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft to the fleet. The ‘War Eagles’ are the first squadron to transition to the aircraft following their current deployment.
“The ‘War Eagles’ were chosen to lead the transition to the P-8 due to sustained performance and leadership,” said Myers. “It’s very important to lean forward during the transition as we bring the new capabilities of the Poseidon to the fleet.”
Myers also spoke about the evolving force structure and manning of Naval Aviation. He stressed the new capabilities that the P-8A was bringing to the fleet and the importance of being able to project power globally.
“The most critical mission we can perform is to protect the sea base,” said Myers. “The Poseidon is critical to that task and recapitalizing the maritime patrol community is our most important priority.”
“I was impressed to hear Admiral Myers speak about how important the P-8 program is to Naval Aviation,” said Naval Aircrewman Second Class Aaron Dial. “The chance to transition to a new job and a new platform is all we talk about.”
VP-16 is a maritime patrol squadron that conducts routine security, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions. The squadron operates the P-3C Orion and is based ashore Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla. Following their current deployment they will transition to the new P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. VP-16 is currently forward-deployed to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa and flies in support of Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet.