Category Archives: General

No permanent VP presence at MCB Kaneohe Bay with P-8A?

Navy Publishes Notice of Intent to Prepare Supplemental EIS for P-8 Basing
Story Number: NNS121114-10

From Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) — A Notice of Intent (NOI) will be published in the Federal Register Nov. 15 announcing the Navy’s intent to prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the introduction of the P-8A Multi-Mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA) to the U.S. Navy Fleet.

The Supplemental EIS will address the potential environmental impacts of new home basing alternatives and updated P-8A MMA program information.

In September 2008, the Navy completed the Final EIS for the Introduction of the P-8A into the U.S. Navy Fleet, which evaluated the environmental impacts of home basing 12 P-8A MMA fleet squadrons (72 aircraft) and one Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) (12 aircraft) at established maritime patrol home bases. On Jan. 2, 2009, a Record of Decision (ROD) was issued that called for basing five fleet squadrons and the FRS at Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, four fleet squadrons at NAS Whidbey Island, and three fleet squadrons at Marine Corps Base (MCB) Hawaii Kaneohe Bay, with periodic squadron detachments at NAS North Island (Alternative 5).

To meet the Navy’s current and future requirements and maximize the efficiency of support facilities, simulation training equipment, and on-site support personnel, the Navy now proposes to analyze additional alternatives for P-8A aircraft home basing. The Navy has determined that a dual-siting alternative, rather than home basing the aircraft at three locations, may best meet current requirements. The two potential home base locations for the P-8A MMA are NAS Jacksonville and NAS Whidbey Island.

Home basing at two locations would result in an increase in aircraft and personnel at NAS Jacksonville and NAS Whidbey Island compared to the 2008 ROD. There is no new facility requirement for additional aircraft at NAS Jacksonville. Additional aircraft at NAS Whidbey Island would result in an expanded facility footprint. Under a dual-siting alternative, a presence in Hawaii would be maintained with a continuous presence of two aircraft filled by rotating detachments at MCB Hawaii Kaneohe Bay. The two-aircraft detachment would result in fewer personnel and a reduced facility footprint at MCB Hawaii Kaneohe Bay when compared to the 2008 ROD. There would be no change to the periodic squadron detachment operations at NAS North Island, as described in the 2008 ROD.

No decision has been made to change the 2008 Record of decision. When the Supplemental EIS is complete, the SECNAV can decide to homebase at two locations, or to continue implementing homebasing at three locations in light of the updated information.

During the 45-day public comment and agency review period following release of the Draft Supplemental EIS, anticipated in the summer of 2013, the Navy will schedule public meetings to discuss the findings of the Draft Supplemental EIS and to receive public comments.

The public meetings will be held near each of the home basing locations. Dates, locations, and times for the public meetings will be announced in the Federal Register and local media at the appropriate time.

The Navy has established a public web site for the Supplemental EIS: [<>]. This public web site includes up-to-date information on the project and schedule, as well as related documents associated with the Supplemental EIS and 2008 Final EIS. To be included on the Navy’s mailing list for the Supplemental EIS (or to receive a copy of the Draft Supplemental EIS), interested individuals may submit an electronic request through the project web site under “mailing list” or a written request to: P-8A MMA EIS Project Manager (Code EV21/CZ); Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Atlantic, 6506 Hampton Blvd, Norfolk, VA 23508.

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


VP-4 Bird in front of Mt Fuji

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Leave No One Behind | House Committee on Veterans Affairs

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, issued the following statement in recognition of National POW/MIA Recognition Day:“On the third Friday of every September we pay tribute to the lives and contributions of the more than 83,000 Americans who are still listed as Prisoners of War or Missing in Action. ‘Leave no one behind’ is a familiar refrain which echoes throughout the ranks of our Armed Forces. This motto is also what propels the men and women of Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command JPAC, who devote their lives to finding the remains of those unaccounted for in foreign lands.“While JPAC’s task is challenging, their cause is worthy. Those who never made it home hold a special place in our hearts, and it is the responsibility of the living to give them a proper resting place here at home on American soil.“This past July, the remains of Lt. Col. Clarence F. Blanton of the U.S. Air Force, who was lost on March 11, 1968, in Houaphan Province, Laos, were recovered. Lt. Col. Blanton is a symbol for all those who are missing. No matter how much time elapses—in his case 42 years—no cause is lost.“We are committed to finding all 83,000 POW/MIA and bringing them back to the home they sacrificed so much to defend, and to give their families an answer.”

via Leave No One Behind | House Committee on Veterans Affairs.

Code One Magazine: Golden Orion

Code One Magazine: Golden Orion.

Exactly three months after delivery of the first P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft, US Navy aircrews from Patrol Squadron 8 found themselves deployed to Bermuda—and stepping into the brightest of world spotlights.

On 23 October 1962, four aircrews from VP-8 and four aircrews from Patrol Squadron 44 (VP-44) began enforcing President John F. Kennedy’s blockade of Cuba to prevent Soviet missiles from reaching Cuba. The P-3 crews patrolled the Atlantic sea lanes to locate and track Soviet cargo ships carrying intermediate range ballistic missiles or missile launch support equipment.

By the time the Cuban Missile Crisis ended a few days later, a VP-44 crew achieved international recognition of sorts when their aircraft was photographed flying close surveillance over the Russian freighter Anasov on its return to the Soviet Union. Anasov was the only Russian vessel that refused to uncover the large oblong objects lashed to its deck. The Orion crew was able to verify that the objects were indeed crated missiles, and the ship was allowed to proceed.

The P-3 came about as a response to Navy Type Specification #146 issued in 1957 for a new land-based antisubmarine warfare, or ASW, aircraft to replace the Lockheed P2V Neptune land-based maritime patrol aircraft and the Martin P5M Marlin flying boat. Very specific requirements pertaining to delivery schedule and cost constraints dictated the need for adapting an off-the-shelf aircraft design for the maritime patrol mission.

The competitors were Martin, Consolidated, and Lockheed, three companies that had been building patrol aircraft for the Navy for more than three decades at that point. The French Atlantique, developed with the help of US Navy funds, did not meet the stated range requirement and was eliminated from the competition.

The Lockheed proposal highlighted the Electra airliner’s turboprop engines and its capability for high-speed transit at high altitudes, low speed, low-altitude handling qualities, and fuel economy. Because the Electra was designed to operate from commercial airports, the Navy did not have to alter any runways. The Lockheed Model 185 retained the wings, tail, and Allison T56-A-1 turboprop engines of the Electra. The new design called for the Electra’s fuselage to be shortened by seven feet, and a weapon bay for mines, conventional or nuclear depth charges, or torpedoes was added.

Lockheed was named as the winner of the competition on 24 April 1958, and the contract was awarded that May. A design problem with the Electra’s propeller and engine mount that resulted in several crashes—a phenomenon called whirl mode—had not surfaced at this point. Once the issue was identified, Lockheed briefed the Navy on proposed fixes, and the service was satisfied. Development continued.

The first aircraft was actually the third production Electra with a mockup of a magnetic anomaly detection, or MAD, boom installed at the rear of the aircraft. The MAD equipment, originally developed in World War II, gives aircraft crews the ability to detect large metal objects under water. The greatly improved MAD gear in the P-3 is a primary method the crew uses to locate submarines. The demonstrator was an aerodynamic prototype only and still had the airliner’s passenger windows. It was first flown on 19 August 1958, and Lockheed crews made eight flights. This aircraft was again modified into a full-up prototype of what was then designated P3V-1.

The first flight of YP3V-1 prototype came on 25 November 1959 at the Lockheed plant in Burbank, California, where most of the aircraft would be built. The nickname Orion was officially adopted in late 1960, keeping with the Lockheed tradition of naming aircraft after mythological figures or celestial bodies. The first preproduction P3V-1 was flown on 15 April 1961 from the Lockheed plant in Burbank, California.

The Orion represented a new approach to the ASW mission. It was a more spacious aircraft than previous patrol aircraft, with room for a crew of up to a dozen, along with a galley and rest bunks. It was pressurized and air conditioned. The P-3 had enough electrical power to incorporate advanced sensors and avionics. It was the world’s first dedicated maritime patrol aircraft to be powered by turboprop engines. The Orion also had a significantly better weapons system than its predecessors.

The Orion test fleet consisted of six aircraft. Navy Bureau of Inspection and Survey trials—what today is called operational test and evaluation—took place from April to June 1962 at what was then known as the Naval Air Test Center at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, and the Naval Weapons Evaluation Facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The first P3V-1s were delivered to VP-8 on 23 July 1962 and to VP-44 on 13 August. Delivery consisted essentially of moving the aircraft on the Pax River ramp, as both squadrons were based there at the time. With the adoption of the new Department of Defense designation system on 18 September 1962, the P3V-1 was redesignated P-3A. The first Naval Reserve squadrons would receive P-3As in 1970.

A total of 158 P-3As were built for the US Navy. The Alphas, as they were called, were equipped with state-of-the-art analog avionic systems, including the first inertial navigation system in a Navy patrol aircraft. The aircraft featured fore and aft AN/APS-80 search radars, an AN/AQA-3 Jezebel passive acoustic signal processor, an AN/ASA-20 Julie echo location system, and the ASR-3, which was designed to sniff for diesel exhaust from snorkeling submarines.

The move-countermove strategy between the superpowers that defined the Cold War was particularly striking in ASW. The emergence of increasingly lethal and quiet Soviet submarines resulted in the need for increasingly more sophisticated navigation, detection, and tracking equipment on the P-3. Throughout its career, the most significant changes made to the Orion were in its sensors and avionics, not to its airframe.

The next major advance in the Orion was P-3B, or Bravo, introduced in 1966. This version featured a first-generation integrated ASW sensor suite and more powerful 4,500 shp T56-A-14 engines. The Heavyweight modification that came at the end of the P-3B production run featured strengthened structural elements, mainly in the wings, to accommodate heavier sensors and weapons.

A total of 125 Bravos were built for the US Navy. Additional aircraft were delivered new to the first international P-3 operators, the air forces—not the navies—of New Zealand in 1966, to Australia in 1968, and to Norway in 1969.

Development of a fully integrated avionics for the P-3C, or Charlie, began in 1966. Dubbed A-NEW, the heart of this system was the Univac 1830A thirty-bit parallel binary airborne digital computer that combined all the collected sensor data in real time. Computerization improved the speed and accuracy of sensor data generation and freed the crew from routine recordkeeping tasks. Development of this system was accelerated, and VP-49 made the first deployment with the P-3C in July 1970.

Much like the Super Bowl, the avionics, navigation, and sensor suite updates to the P-3C variant over the next three decades were seen as being important enough to warrant Roman numerals to differentiate them—Update I, II, II.5, and III. These updates brought a variety of advanced equipment, capabilities, and weapons to the Orion, which kept it ahead of the threat and took advantage of the computer revolution.

As illustrative examples, the P-3C has a chin-mounted electro-optical infrared sensor allowing crews to see and target at night. By contrast, the P-3A had a seventy-million candlepower searchlight under its right wing to locate surface targets. In addition to the ability to fire short range AGM-65 Maverick air-to-surface missiles, the P-3C crew can now launch over-the-horizon AGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship and AGM-84E Standoff Land Attack Missiles. The P-3 Alphas could launch unguided rockets. The Bravos were the first to be modified to launch guided AGM-12 Bullpup missiles, which gave crews a significantly enhanced ability to attack surface targets.

A total of 266 P-3Cs were built for the US Navy, and 107 Charlies and special mission aircraft were built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries under license in Japan. US production of the P-3C shifted from Burbank to Palmdale, California, in the 1980s and then to Marietta, Georgia, in the early 1990s. The last US-built P-3Cs, eight aircraft for the Republic of Korea Navy, were delivered in 1995. The last Kawasaki-built aircraft was delivered in 2000, closing out thirty-nine years of Orion production.

Total P-3 production, including license-built aircraft, came to 757 aircraft. Today, the worldwide P-3 fleet numbers 435 aircraft flown by twenty-one operators in sixteen countries on five continents, with Taiwan scheduled to join the Orion community with refurbished and rewinged former US Navy aircraft in 2013.

At the height of the Cold War in the 1970s, twenty-four squadrons of US Navy P-3s blanketed the seven seas tracking submarines, primarily Soviet fast attack and ballistic missile boats. Literally millions of sonobuoys—active or passive sensors dropped by parachute into the water to extend the Orion crew’s search area—were launched during the Cold War. An oft-repeated story is of a Soviet admiral who once lamented that if he wanted to know where his submarines were, all he had to do was look for the P-3s flying over them.

For most of its career, the primary mission for US Navy P-3 crews was hunting submarines on missions lasting more than twelve hours. But the Orion carried out other missions as well. Crews from VP-9 at NAS Moffett Field, California, deployed to Vietnam for Operation Market Time in February 1969 for the P-3’s first Pacific deployment. Market Time was the Navy’s coordinated operation to stop the flow of weapons, ammunition, and supplies to Viet Cong forces infiltrating South Vietnam. The EP-3 signals intelligence variant also debuted during Vietnam.

The end of the Cold War brought a dramatic change in mission, as the P-3 was increasingly used in supporting overland missions in surveillance, targeting, and peacekeeping roles.

During Desert Storm, P-3 crews monitored shipping lanes while EP-3 crews monitored electrons. But by Operation Allied Force in Kosovo in 1999, Orion crews had further expanded their role to include targeting cruise missiles. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, P-3 crews using surveillance equipment and sensors could determine who or what was on the other side of a hill. Then a Marine riding on board would transmit that information directly to troops in contact on the ground.

But the versatility of the Orion has always been one of its strongest attributes. Today, Norwegian crews do much as they did during the Cold War, monitoring Russian ships and submarines coming out of the ice-free port of Murmansk and protecting Norwegian fishing grounds from poachers. Former Dutch P-3s now owned and operated by Germany are flown on antipiracy missions in Djibouti, while Australian P-3 crews have been conducting overland missions in Afghanistan since 2003.

In addition to military operators, two versions of the P-3 are flown by US Customs and Border Protection primarily for antidrug and homeland security missions. NASA acquired the YP3V prototype in 1966 and flew it until 1993. Today the agency has an NP-3B for scientific research missions. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, has two WP-3Ds, nicknamed Kermit and Miss Piggy, for weather research.

Although the P-8 is the US Navy’s designated replacement for the P-3, Orion crews will still be on station for several years to come. Upgraded EP-3E ARIES II electronic reconnaissance aircraft will be flown well into the 2020s.

But other operators intend to continue flying their P-3s for many more years. To get the Orion through at least its sixth decade of service, the P-3 Mid-Life Upgrade, or MLU, is a life extension kit that replaces the aircraft’s outer wings, center wing lower section, and horizontal stabilizer with new production components. The MLU removes all current P-3 airframe flight restrictions and provides 15,000 additional flight hours.

The US Navy has thirty-one MLU kits on order. Lockheed Martin builds the outer wings at its Marietta facility, and the kits are installed at the Fleet Readiness Center Southeast, the aviation depot at NAS Jacksonville, Florida. New wings are also being built for P-3s flown by Norway, Canada, Taiwan, and US Customs and Border Protection.

In one respect, the Orion has actually come full circle. The MLU replacement wings today are built on the exact same tooling that was used to build the wings for Bureau Number 148883, the first P3V-1 delivered to VP-8 fifty years ago.

Jeff Rhodes is the associate editor of Code One.


YOUR Navy Operating Forward: Massachusetts, Arabian Sea, Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, East China Sea

This post has NOTHING to do with VP-4 or any MPA news, but it has my favorite ship in it, so I’m posting it up for your viewing enjoyment 🙂

YOUR Navy Operating Forward: Massachusetts, Arabian Sea, Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, East China Sea.

YOUR Navy Operating Forward: Massachusetts, Arabian Sea, Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, East China Sea

Right now your Navy is 100% on watch around the globe helping to preserve the American way of life. Whether it be operating and training in the waters off the coast of Virginia or forward deployed to the South China Sea, the flexibility and presence provided by our U.S. naval forces provides national leaders with great options for protecting and maintaining our national security and interests around the world. The imagery below highlights the Navy’s ability to provide those options by operating forward.





You’ve ever said, “Oh yes sir, it’s supposed to look like that.”

You’ve ever sucked LOX to cure a hangover.

You know what JP-4 or JP-5 tastes like.

You’ve ever used a piece of safety wire as a toothpick.

You ever used soot from the tailpipe to blacken your boots.

You can’t figure out why maintenance officers exist.

You consider “Moly-B” smudges on food an “acquired taste.”

You have ever jumped inside an intake to get out of the rain.

You looked for pictures of “your” jet in aviation books and magazines.

You can’t figure out why two weeks of advance per diem is gone after three days.

You ever used a wheel chock or tow bar for a pillow.

You ever stood on wheel chocks to keep your feet dry.

You ever used a pair of dikes to trim a fingernail.

You ever pulled the trigger while riding brakes.

You ever wiped leaks right before a crew showed.

You ever had to defuel your jet an hour after fueling it.

You refer to QA as “the enemy.”

You know the international sign language for “pull your head out of your a–.”

You’ve wanted the jet to start just so you can warm up.

You have ever bled hydraulic fluid into a Gatorade bottle or soda can because it was too hard to get a hydraulic bucket.

You used the “Pull Chocks” hand signal to tell your buddies it is time to leave.

You ever pre-flighted in bad weather only to learn that the flight was canceled hours ago.

You’ve ever been told to go get some prop wash, a yard of flight line or the keys to the jet.

You fix $30 million jets, but can’t figure out what’s wrong with your $150 lawnmower.

Your toolbox at home has wheels and foam cutouts, just like the ones at work.

Some of the tools in your toolbox at home have numbers etched on them.



VP-4 Maverick Shot pictures

Our shipmates on active duty with VP-4 preformed a AGM-65 Maverick shot during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012. Here are some photos of the preflight and take off for the shot.


New videos on VP-4 and RIMPAC 2012

Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System (dvids) has two new videos up of VP-4. Please follow the links below to view the videos.

P-3 Orion crewmembers assigned to Patrol Squadron Four head out on a training mission during Rim of the Pacific Exercise 2012

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Lt. Sarah Hartman, a P-3 Orion tactical coordinator assigned to Patrol Squadron Four (VP-4), gives insight on an upcoming training mission during Rim of the Pacific Exercise 2012.

Read more:


Logistics Specialists Keep Fire Alive in VP-4 Skinny Dragons

Written by: LTJG Lane A. Cobble
Supply Officer, NCTAMS PAC
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Bio: A Danville, Virginia native and University of Virginia graduate, LTJG Cobble completed schoolhouse training in Athens, GA in May of 2009. LTJG Cobble spent two years on the USS Eisenhower (CVN 69) before transferring to NCTAMS PAC Wahiawa, HI in July of 2011.

VP-4 POC: LTJG Jenna Rose (PAO)
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In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, four thousand miles from the coast of California, the Ko’olau Mountain Range juts out of the ocean and surrounds Kaneohe Bay. It’s a spectacular sight. The green, tropical mountains rise far above the horizon and loom large, the way stadium seats rise up and surround the football fields of NFL and college teams. Make no mistake though, the grand stage, the main act, is the bay itself, which coolly projects its own panache and grandiosity. Kaneohe Bay is the largest sheltered body of water in the main Hawaiian Islands. Eight miles long and almost three miles broad, it is dotted with reefs and sandbars that lie just under the surface of the water.

Looking out upon the kaleidoscopic bay water is Hangar Bay 104, the home of the VP-4 Skinny Dragons. Two P-3C Orions sit parked and facing open bay doors which showcase views of the bay and allow the reliable Pacific trade winds to roll right through the hangar bay. Life isn’t too bad here at the edge of the water at Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH), and the Logistics Specialists who sit in the Material Control office, not twenty feet from the wing of one of those Orions, know it. “Oh I’ve been hiking, snorkeling, parasailing, I went on a shark dive,” says LS2 Anna Anagaran, a nine-year Navy veteran who enlisted out of high school from Santa Clara, California. “There were only about four or five sharks. They weren’t too big.” When asked about the safety of such an excursion, she retorted “Well, you’re in a cage.” LS2 Anagaran has been on the island for a while now, having completed tours at FISC Pearl Harbor, VP-9, and the USS Chafee. She helped pre-commission the Chafee in Bath, Maine, then sailed with her all the way to Oahu. “We sailed from Maine to Boston, to Puerto Vallarto, San Diego, then to Hawaii.”

Not every Logistics Specialist at Patrol Squadron Four has spent that many years on the island. LS3 Kayla Peggs is in the middle of her first tour out of ‘A’ School. Hawaii was her top choice and LS3, a photographer by hobby, spends a lot of her free time exploring the island with friends, especially with those friends who have nice cars to ride around in. “I’ve gotten some really good photos from the car.” Another big fan of Hawaii life is LSC Baby Wakefield, who’s been on island for eight years running. “I loooove Hawaii. The weather is perfect.” Originally from the Philippines, the location is just right as well, “It’s not too close but not too far from my family in the Philippines. They can come visit, but they’re not over here all the time. Plus, there are a lot of Filipinos here in Hawaii, so it’s kind of a home away from home. I can get some good Filipino food whenever I want.” She’d like to get into surfing, but she’s not a huge water person. Neither is LS2 Robert Nelson, “I’m not much of an outdoors person. I’m a bit of a computer nerd. I don’t like being stuck on an island where you can’t just get up and do something or go somewhere, or just go to another state or to Las Vegas for the weekend.”

What LS2 Nelson, a native of north Georgia, looks forward to during this tour is deployment. “I had a night shift during my last deployment with another squadron. I was the only guy there at night: ordering parts, putting together shipping labels, getting shipments set up for the day watch. I didn’t get to see much of the town we were in.” This time around will be different. The Skinny Dragons will be headed to parts of Europe and the Middle East and he’ll get some more quality, tourist-friendly liberty.

As LS2 Nelson attested to, deployment for P-3C squadron Logistics Specialists isn’t all sightseeing in exotic locales. They might not be out at sea, sleeping and working on a ship every day, but the workload is heavy and unrelenting. “We were busy changing props and engines like crazy last deployment,” says LS2 Anagaran. “We’re on land, which is nice, but we’re working every day, all day. We don’t get days off like you get on ships sometimes. You can see more of a city by pulling into port for a few days than we get to see being there for a month.”

What makes the workload so burdensome during deployments is the three-squadron cycle that P-3C squadrons operate on. While the Logistics Specialists only have three planes to order and track parts for in Hawaii, once they deploy the squadron will take ownership and responsibility for upwards of nine more P-3C Orions in theater. That’s a two hundred percent increase in parts and supplies to be ordered, all while dealing with the difficulties and stresses of doing the job abroad on a different base, then packing out again to move to a new base if the mission calls for it.

Maintaining P-3C Orions is difficult enough here in Hawaii. The P-3C platform was first introduced to the Navy by Lockheed in the 1960s, as an upgrade for the aging twin piston-engine Lockheed P2V Neptune. The P-3C scoured the oceans and waterways of the world during the Cold War, keeping tabs on Soviet Navy ballistic missile and fast attack subs. In the event of full scale war, the Orions and the crewmembers who manned them would be called upon to eliminate those threats. While upgrades have expanded the P-3C’s capabilities beyond its anti-submarine and maritime surveillance functions, she’s still aging and the Navy has already lined up a replacement for her: the P-8 Poseidon.

Finding parts for an old, discontinued aircraft makes the logistics job even more laborious. “The P-3C is an old platform and it’s difficult to get parts,” shares LSC Wakefield. “There are a lot of discontinued parts and it’s a longer process finding those parts. You have to spend more time talking to tech reps and you have to open purchase some items. Most of our support comes from JAX and Whidbey Island.” What makes things more complicated is that the VP-4 logistics process falls under a Marine Corps command, Marine Aviation Logistics Support (MALS 24). There was a helicopter crash in Afghanistan that was a catalyst for some official changes in policy for MALS 24 and its subordinate commands. “We can’t open purchase or use credit cards to purchase parts anymore. That makes things more difficult.” Plus, as with other Navy logistics systems, sometimes there are issues with ownership of a part; one system says this depot has a part while another system says a different command owns it. “We just have to stay on top of it. There are three main steps: we identify the part we need, locate that part in the system and compete with other squadrons to obtain the part, then keep running it to ground until we get it delivered to us.” As the saying goes, the money is in the follow-up.

“Without Supply, our operations would grind to a halt,” says Patrol Squadron Four Commanding Officer CDR Brent Strong. “I believe it was Napoleon who said ‘I want my colonels to know tactics and my generals to know logistics.’” When asked about Supply’s role in VP-4’s mission and its every day interaction with the rest of the squadron, Commander Strong remarked, “Especially with the age of the P-3C, we would not be in the air very long. They stay engaged with everyone and make sure our needs are met, whether it’s flight suits, or fuel, or keeping those wrenches turning.”

Critical to keeping those wrenches turning year after year is training the junior sailors in the ways of Navy logistics. Along the way, those sailors who end up here at VP-4 in Hawaii get some great Navy experiences and training that lie outside the normal LS purview. LS3 Peggs is almost qualified as a yellow-shirt, more formally known as a Plane Handler. “I help recover and launch the aircraft out on the runway. It’s a big adrenaline rush.” Even if they don’t get to work on the runway, the Logistics Specialists in VP-4 can walk just a few feet and set their eyes on the stunning aquamarine waters of Kaneohe Bay and the lush, towering Ko’olau Range.

VP-4 Skinny Dragons on the flightline with the Ko’olau Range in the background.

VP-4 Wins 2012 Anti-Submarine Warfare Fleet Challenge

April 24, 2012
LTJG Jenna Rose
Public Affairs Officer
Patrol Squadron Four

VP-4 Wins 2012 Anti-Submarine Warfare Fleet Challenge

Last week during the annual Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force (MPRF) Symposium at NAS Jacksonville, FL VP-4’s Combat Aircrew One (CAC-1) was named the winner of the 2012 Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Fleet Challenge. Nine CACs participated in the event from across the fleet including crews from CPRW-2 (Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Two) at MCAS Kaneohe Bay, CPRW-10 at NAS Whidbey Island, and CPRW-11 at NAS Jacksonville. In addition, a Canadian CP-140 Aurora 405 from Squadron 14 Wing Greenwood and the P-8A Poseidon took part in the event. This was the first time the P-8A Poseidon, the replacement aircraft to the P-3C Orion, participated in the Fleet Challenge. Additionally, there were also Australian and Japanese riders that observed the flights onboard the U.S. P-3C Orions.

The ASW Fleet Challenge consisted of two evaluations. The first took place in the P-3C Orion simulator, known as the Tactical Operational Readiness Trainer (TORT). In this realistic trainer, crews executed standardized tactics in order to prosecute a diesel submarine. After completing the simulator portion, the CACs performed a flight event where they detected, localized, tracked, and conducted simulated attacks on a Los Angeles-class attack submarine off the northeast Florida coast. When asked about the weeklong challenge, AWO2 Sean Wawrzyniec, CAC-1 Acoustic Operator, stated, “It was good to go back to Jacksonville and visit with everyone. It was a great experience to be able to compete with my peers in other squadrons.”

During the competition, each aircrew position; consisting of a Plane Commander, Tactical Coordinator, two Acoustic Operators, and a Radar Operator; was evaluated on performance. “The evaluators looked very hard at our planning, prosecution, and crew resource management (CRM), which strengthens the fact that if a crew works well together, you get good results,” stated AWOCS Stanley Lenover, CAC-1 Radar Operator. “I was pleased to have a newly trained and qualified sensor one acoustic operator perform so well. It is a signature of our training plan when a brand new sensor one operator can compete with other seasoned operators. It is a privilege for us as senior operators and instructors to know how our training impacts our junior sailors, ultimately paving the way for the future.”

VP-4’s CAC-1 won the event, and Rear Admiral Michael Hewitt, Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group, awarded the championship belt to them at the MPRF Flight Suit Social on March 30, 2012. When asked about his crew’s performance, Tactical Coordinator and Mission Commander, Lieutenant Justin Jennings remarked, “We were excited for our crew to represent VP-4 and Wing Two at Fleet Challenge. The competition was tough and I’m proud of the job our crew did. It was an honor to be recognized as the Fleet Challenge Champions.”

Patrol Squadron Four (VP-4) is located at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay. The squadron flies the P-3C Orion and is better known as the Skinny Dragons. The P-3C is land-based and the Navy’s premier long-range maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, operating from locations throughout the world. The P-3C Orion missions range from submarine tracking to search and rescue, as well as overland missions, working alongside Navy, Army and Marine ground units.

Combat Aircrew One of Patrol Squadron Four, Fleet Challenge Champions. The Championship Belt was awarded at the MPA Flight Suit social on March 30. Pictured from left to right: AWOCS Stanley Lenover, LTJG Mario Tarver, LTJG Kathryn Robertson, LT Alex Dulude, LT Doug Marsh, AWO2 Sean Wawrzyniec with the Championship Belt, LT Justin Jennings, AWOC Brian Humphrey, AWVC E.J. Hopper, AWF3 Kerry Kerns, and AWF3 Tyler Campbell. Photo taken by MC1 Nathan Laird.


Sailors of the Year – Representing the Fighting Spirit of the Navy

Sailors of the Year – Representing the Fighting Spirit of the Navy.

Sailors of the Year – Representing the Fighting Spirit of the Navy


The four 2011 Navy Sailor’s of the Year are recognized during the Sailor of the Year advancement ceremony. Steelworker 1st Class Louis Salazar, Ship’s Serviceman 1st Class Angela A. Zamora, Master-at-Arms 1st Class Douglas Newman, and Aircrew Survival Equipmentman 1st Class Maria Johnson received their appointment letters from Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert.

The 2011 Sailors of the Year (SOY) are in Washington D.C. this week. The SOYs officially became chief petty officers during a ceremony at the Navy Memorial May 17. They spent the week taking in the sights around D.C., but they had a couple of minutes to sit down and talk about Navy opportunities and what the Navy has taught them. Here’s what they had to say:


The 2011 Navy Reserve Sailor of the Year Chief Master-at-Arms Doug Newman of Navy Reserve National Security Forces, Naval Base Kitsap, Wash., gets his combination cover ceremoniously placed on his head.

Chief Master-at-Arms (SCW/FMF) Douglas R. Newman

Chief of Navy Reserve Sailor of the Year

“The Navy Reserve and the Navy have taught me leadership skills. I’m very lucky because I’m able to be a Master-at-Arms in one community and a civilian police officer in the other. So, what I learn in one field, I carry over to the next field. But at the end of the day it’s about leadership, and that’s what the Navy has given me. It’s given me the skills to be a leader … whether it’s a civilian police officer that I work with, or a Sailor that I drill with, I have to [think] about their morale and welfare to get the mission done.”

Master-At-Arms 1st Class (SCW/FMF) Douglas Newman enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1992. He attended recruit training at MCRD, San Diego where he graduated as the Platoon Honorman, meritoriously advancing to Lance Corporal. After his enlistment in the Marines, MA1 Newman returned to his hometown of Tucson, Ariz., to pursue a career in law enforcement. In 2001, after his enlistment in the National Guard, MA1 Newman enlisted in the Navy Reserve. He was assigned to NMCB 17 where he served as the Battalion Master-At-Arms, Security Company Commander, and Lead Seabee Military Instructor.

In 2005 he volunteered to deploy to Fallujah, Iraq with the 30th Naval Construction Regiment, attached to the 2ndMarine Expeditionary Force. MA1 Newman has received numerous awards, to include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (5), Operation Iraqi Freedom Campaign Medal with Marine Corps device, Military Outstanding Volunteer Medal, and Seabee Combat Warfare and Fleet Marine Force Warfare Specialist qualifications.

MA1 Newman has been a civilian police officer for 14 years. He lives in Gig Harbor, WA with his wife and two children.


The 2011 CNO Shore Sailor of the Year Chief Aircrew Survival Equipmentman Maria Johnson of Strike Fighter Squadron 131 gets her anchors pinned on by her mother and a shipmate at the U.S. Navy Memorial during the pinning ceremony.

Chief Aircrew Survival Equipmentman (AW) Maria E. Johnson

Chief of Naval Operations Shore Sailor of the Year

“The opportunities are there regardless of who you are or where you come from. They don’t discriminate. It’s there for you to take if you want it. You just have to be dedicated and work for it; be a professional. They’ve also provided structure for me, so that was a big thing for me.”

Petty Officer Johnson was born in Dallas, Texas. She enlisted in the Navy on November 21, 2000 and completed recruit training in Great Lakes, Illinois. In September 2001 she deployed onboard USS PELELIU in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, where she was advanced to Petty Officer Third Class.

In March 2005 she reported to Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) School in San Diego, CA. She earned her Navy Enlisted Classification Code 9502 and 9505 as well as her Master Training Specialist Qualification. In July 2008, she reported to VFA-106, where she was advanced to Petty Officer First Class and assigned as the Paraloft Leading Petty Officer.

Her military decorations include Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal (2), Good Conduct Medal (3), Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal and various unit commendations. She is currently assigned to VFA-131, reporting in January 2012.


2011 U.S. Pacific Fleet Sailor of the Year Chief Steelworker (SCW) Louis F. Salazar receives his chief pins from his wife.

Chief Steelworker (SCW) Louis F. Salazar

U.S. Pacific Fleet Sailor of the Year

“The Navy has taught me … maturity, to be a man, to lead. A lot of the trainings that we go through, [like] leadership classes, have also taught me how to be successful as well. Continuing education and tuition assistance that’s out there [helped me] to take additional college courses in business and organizational management to be a successful leader.”

Petty Officer Louis F. Salazar JR was born in San Jose California on September 9, 1981. He enlisted in the Navy in August of 1999.

Following the completion of his first deployment in 2001, he then went on to attend Steelworker “A” School at Naval Construction Training Center, Gulfport, Miss. Upon graduation in April 2002, he reported to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion FIVE, Port Hueneme, Calif. He made four successful deployments to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Naval Base Guam; Lambayeque, Peru and Andros Island, Bahamas.

In April 2007, he reported to the 31st Seabee Readiness Group, Port Hueneme, Calif., as an instructor for the Military Training Division. In May 2010, he reported to NMCB Forty, Port Hueneme, Calif. As Detail Operations Chief for Khelegay, Afghanistan, he led 16 Seabees in the planning and execution of $2.2M of contingency construction. He led 58 Seabees in two highly successful 48-hour embarkation exercises and a Field Training Exercise. He is currently deployed to Camp Covington, Naval Base Guam.

He resides in Oxnard, California, with with his wife and two children.


Chief Ship’s Serviceman Angela A. Zamora, assigned to USS Wasp (LHD 1), gets her chief combination cover ceremoniously placed on her head.

Chief Ship’s Serviceman (SW/AW) Angela A. Zamora

U.S. Fleet Forces Command Sailor of the Year

“The Navy has a lot of opportunities. The opportunities, like education, are there for you. They don’t discriminate [against] your race, your color; there is not discrimination whatsoever in the Navy. So, opportunities are there for everybody, [but] you need to go there and get it. It’s up to you. It’s up to the person to go and get that.”

Petty Officer Zamora is a native of Ecuador and a graduate of William L. Dickinson High School in Jersey City, N.J. She entered the U.S. Navy on June 24, 2000 and attended Recruit Training in Great Lakes, Ill. Upon completion of recruit training, she attended Ship’s Serviceman “A” School in Meridian, Miss., and was subsequently assigned to USS Emory S. Land (AS 39).

In December 2001 she was promoted to Petty Officer Third Class and was put in charge of S-3 Division. In December 2003, she transferred to USS ROOSEVELT (DDG 80). During her tenure onboard, she served as Division Assistant Leading Petty Officer. Her ambition and hard work led to her qualifying as an Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist.

In May 2005, she transferred to Navy Recruiting District New York, and was advanced to Second Class Petty Officer and qualified as a Recruiter-in-Charge. While assigned, her recruiting station attained a 110 percent new contract objective, resulting in her selection as the Junior Sailor of the Year and ultimately leading to her being meritoriously advanced to First Class Petty Officer.

Her decorations include the Navy Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3), Good Conduct Award (3) and numerous unit commendations, campaign medals and service ribbons.


The four 2011 Navy Sailor’s of the Year cut their cake with Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Rick West.

When asked, “What is the best advice you’ve gotten in the Navy?” our Sailors of the Year had this to say:

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76th commander leads the Grey Knights – Whidbey News Times

76th commander leads the Grey Knights – Whidbey News Times.

Whidbey News Times Whidbey Crosswinds
MAY 8, 2012 · UPDATED 1:35 PM

KATHY REED/WHIDBEY NEWS-TIMES A suit of armor, the symbol of the Grey Knights of Maritime Patrol Squadron 46, stands as a sentinel at the edge of the podium as officers salute during a change of command ceremony Friday, May 4 at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.

The Grey Knights of Maritime Patrol Squadron (VP) 46 continued a long tradition Friday on Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. For the 76th time, leadership of VP-46 was passed from one commander to the next.

Capt. Peter Garvin, Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 10, guest speaker for the event, lauded the men and women of VP-46 and their outgoing leader, Cmdr. James Jacobs.

“It has been a truly fantastic year for VP-46,” Garvin said. “How you conduct your daily business is as telling as the accolades you receive. You have met every challenge and I have no doubt you will continue to excel.”

Garvin told Jacobs he had led America’s oldest maritime patrol squadron exceptionally well, and offered words of encouragement to incoming Cmdr. Christopher Kijek.

“Without a doubt, I know this squadron will thrive under your leadership,” he said.

Retired Vice Adm. Barry Costello, who presented the change of command address, also had high praise for Jacobs, whom he recruited to work for him during his time in the Navy.

“Hiring James Jacobs was the best personnel decision I made in 34 years,” said Costello. He went on to share several positive conversations he’d had with various Navy officials over the past several months regarding Jacobs.

“I say these things in reference to your commanding officer, because he would say his success is totally because of all of you,” Costello told the men and women of VP-46. “To you, Grey Knights, well done — your reputation around the world is excellent.

“As one great commander moves forward, another steps up to the plate,” Costello continued. “Cmdr. Kijek is ready to step up.”

For his part, Cmdr. Jacobs extended his thanks and appreciation to several people in the audience and on the podium, including Commodore Garvin, Vice Adm. Costello, Capt. Jay Johnston, commanding officer of NAS Whidbey Island and the officers and sailors of the Grey Knights.

“You are some of the finest Americans I’ve served with in 18 years,” Jacobs said. “VP-46 understands the meaning of mission. VP-46 understands the meaning of execution. VP-46 understands the meaning of hard work and dedication.

“You all know what’s expected of you and you all know what to do,” he continued. “Now you just have to go do it. Remember, legacy is not gifted, or even earned, but built on excellence, teamwork and dedication. Work hard to continue the proud legacy of being the oldest and the best.”

With that, Jacobs read his orders, immediately followed by the Grey Knights’ new leader, Cmdr. Kijek, who also read his orders and then told the crowd he was honored to take the helm of VP-46.

“To the men and women who serve, there is no greater honor than to be your commanding officer,” he said. “The greatest nation on earth has entrusted me with its greatest treasure.”

In closing, Kijek said he would do everything in his power to continue to honor the legacy of the Grey Knights.

Truculent Turtle

Great story.

Hard to believe that they could squeeze 55 hours out of the beast.!?!

This is a rather long and interesting story about a Navy P-2 that flew non-stop from Perth Australia to Columbus, Ohio in 1946.

More than 11,000 miles with more than 55 hours in the air…

The oxidized Lockheed ‘ Truculent Turtle ‘ had been squatting next to a Navy Air Station’s main gate, completely exposed to the elements and getting ragged around the edges. Finally recognizing the Turtle’s singular historic value to aviation, it was moved to Pensacola to receive a badly required and pristine restoration. It is now – gleamingly hanging – from the National Naval Aviation Museum’s ceiling where it earned its distinction.

Taxiing tests demonstrated that its Lockheed P2V-1’s landing gear might fold while bearing the Turtle’s extreme weight before carrying it airborne. And during taxi turns its landing gear struts could fail carrying such a load. For that reason, the Turtle was only partially filled with fuel before it was positioned at the head of Australia’s Pearce Aerodrome runway 27 at 7 A.M. on September 29th, 1946.

Lined up for take-off, all fueling was completed by 4:00 p.m. At the same time JATO packs were carefully attached to its fuselage for the jet-assistance required to shove the Truculent Turtle fast enough to take-off before going off the end of the runway

The Turtle would attempt its take-off with CDR Thomas D. Davies, as pilot in command, in the left seat and CDR Eugene P. (Gene) Rankin, the copilot, in the right seat.

In CDR Rankin’s own words:

“Late afternoon on the 29th, the weather in southwestern Australia was beautiful. And at 1800, the two 2,300 hp Wright R-3350 engines were warming up.

We were about to takeoff from 6,000 feet of runway with a gross weight of 85,561 pounds [the standard P2V was gross weight limited at 65,000 pounds.]

Sitting in the copilot’s seat, I remember thinking about my wife, Virginia, and my three daughters and asking myself, ‘ What am I doing here in this situation? ‘I took a deep breath and wished for the best.

At 6:11 p.m., CDR Tom Davies stood hard on the brakes as both throttles were pushed forward to max power. At the far end of the mile-long runway, he could make out the throng of news reporters and photographers.

Scattered across the air base were hundreds of picnickers who came to witness the spectacle of a JATO takeoff. They all stood up when they heard the sound of the engines being advanced to full military power. Davies and Rankin scanned the engine instruments. Normal. Davies raised his feet from the brakes.

On this day, September 29, 1946, the reciprocating engine Turtle was a veritable winged gas tank. . THIRTEEN TONS BEYOND the two-engine Lockheed’s Max Gross Weight Limitations.

The Truculent Turtle rumbled and bounced on tires that had been over-inflated to handle the heavy load. Slowly it began to pick up speed. As each 1,000-foot sign went by, Rankin called out the speed and compared it to predicted figures on a clipboard in his lap.

With the second 1,000-foot sign astern, the Turtle was committed.

Davies could no longer stop on the remaining runway. It was now. . fly or burn.

[Secretly . . . some of the excited end of runway watchers may have wanted to see the airplane crash and burn.]

When the quivering airspeed needle touched 87 knots, Davies punched a button wired to his yoke, and the four JATO bottles fired from attachment points on the aft fuselage.

The crew’s ears filled with JATO bottles’ ROAR. . bodies FEELING the JATO’s thrust. For a critical twelve seconds, the JATO provided the thrust of a third engine.

At about 4,500 feet down the runway, 115 knots was reached on the airspeed indicator, and Davies pulled the nose wheel off. There were some long seconds while the main landing gear continued to rumble over the last of the runway. Then the rumbling stopped as the main landing gear staggered off the runway and the full load of the aircraft shifted to the wings.

As soon as they were certain that they were airborne, but still only an estimated five feet above the ground, Davies called ‘gear up.’ Rankin moved the wheel-shaped actuator on the pedestal between the pilots to the up position, and the wheels came up. Davies likely tapped the brakes to stop the wheels from spinning, and the wheel-well doors closed just as the JATO bottles burned out. Behind the pilots in the aft fuselage, CDR Walt Reid kept his hand on the dump valve that could quickly lighten their load in an emergency.

Roy Tabeling, at the radio position, kept all his switches off for now to prevent the slightest spark.

The Turtle had an estimated 20 feet of altitude and 130 knots of airspeed when the JATO bottles burned out. The JATO bottles were not just to give the Turtle additional speed on take-off, but were intended to improve the rate of climb immediately after lift-off. The Turtle barely cleared the trees a quarter of a mile from the end of the runway.

The field elevation of Pearce Aerodrome was about 500 feet, and the terrain to the west sloped gradually down to the Indian Ocean about six miles from the field. So, even without climbing, the Turtle was able to gain height above the trees in the critical minutes after take-off.

Fortunately, the emergency procedures for a failed engine had been well thought out, but were never needed. At their take-off weight, they estimated that they would be able to climb at a maximum of 400 feet per minute. If an engine failed and they put maximum power on the remaining engine, they estimated that they would be forced to descend at 200 feet per minute.

Their planning indicated that if they could achieve 1,000 feet before an engine failure they would have about four minutes in which to dump fuel to lighten the load and still be 200 feet in the air to attempt a landing. With their built-in fuel dump system, they were confident that they were in good shape at any altitude above 1,000 feet because they could dump fuel fast enough to get down to a comfortable single-engine operating weight before losing too much altitude.

Departing the Aerodrome boundary, the Turtle was over the waters of the Indian Ocean.

With agonizing slowness, the altimeter and airspeed readings crept upward. Walt Reid jettisoned the empty JATO bottles. The Turtle was thought to have a 125 KT stall speed with the flaps up at that weight. When they established a sluggish climb rate, Gene Rankin started bringing the flaps up in careful small increments. At 165 KT, with the flaps fully retracted, Tom Davies made his first power reduction to the maximum continuous setting.

The sun was setting and the lights of the city were blinking on as the Turtle circled back over Perth at 3,500 feet and headed out across the 1,800 miles of the central desert of Australia. On this record-breaking night, one record had already been broken. Never before had two engines carried so much weight into the air. . after the JATOS quit.

Their plan was to keep a fairly low 3,500 feet for the first few hundred miles, burning off some fuel, giving them a faster climb to cruise altitude. . and [hopefully] costing them less fuel for the total trip.

But the southwest wind, burbling and eddying across the hills northeast of Perth, brought turbulence that shook and rattled the overloaded Turtle, threatening the integrity of the wings themselves.

Tom Davies applied full power and took her up to 6,500 feet where the air was smoother, reluctantly accepting the sacrifice of enough fuel to fly an extra couple of hundred miles if lost, bad WX or other unexpected problems at flight’s end.

Alice Springs at Australia’s center, slid under the Turtle’s long wings at midnight. And Cooktown on the northeast coast at dawn. Then it was out over the Coral Sea where, only a few years before, the LEXINGTON and YORKTOWN had sunk the Japanese ship SHOHO to win the first carrier battle in history, and prevented Australia and New Zealand from being cutoff and then isolated.

At noon on the second day, the Turtle skirted the 10,000 foot peaks of southern New Guinea, and in mid-afternoon detoured around a mass of boiling thunderheads over Bougainville in the Solomons.

As the sun set for the second time since takeoff, the Turtle’s crew headed out across the vast and empty Pacific Ocean and began to establish a flight routine.

They stood two-man four-hour watches, washing, shaving, and changing to clean clothes each morning. And eating regular meals cooked on a hot plate. Every two hours, a fresh pilot would enter the cockpit to relieve whoever had been sitting watch the longest.

The two Wright 3350 engines ran smoothly; all the gauges and needles showed normal. And every hour another 200 or so miles of the Pacific passed astern. The crew’s only worry was Joey the kangaroo, who hunched unhappily in her crate, refusing to eat or drink.

Dawn of the second morning found the Turtle over Maro Reef, halfway between Midway Island and Oahu in the long chain of Hawaiian Islands. The Turtle only had one low-frequency radio, because most of the modern radio equipment had been removed to reduce weight. Radio calls to Midway and Hawaii for weather updates were unsuccessful due to the long distance.

Celestial navigation was showing that the Turtle was drifting southward from their intended great circle route due to increased northerly winds that were adding a headwind factor to their track. Instead of correcting their course by turning more northward, thereby increasing the aircraft’s relative wind, CDR Davies stayed on their current heading accepting the fact that they would reach the west coast of the U.S. [somewhere] in northern California rather than near Seattle as they had originally planned.

When Turtle’s wing tip gas tanks empty, they were jettisoned over the ocean. Then the Turtle eased up to 10,000 feet; later to 12,000 feet.

At noon, CDR Reid came up to the cockpit smiling. “Well,” he reported, “the damned kangaroo has started to eat and drink again. I guess she thinks we’re going to make it.”

The purpose of our mission [except in Joey’s brain] was not some foolish stunt, despite her unusual presence aboard.

In the fall of 1946, the increasingly hostile Soviet Union was pushing construction of a submarine force nearly ten times larger than Hitler’s. Antialternative-submarine warfare was the Navy’s responsibility, regardless of the U.S. Army Air Force’s alternative views.

The Turtle was among the first of the P2V Neptune patrol planes designed to counter the sub threat. Tom Davies’ orders derived straight from the offices of Secretary of the Navy, James V. Forrestal, and the Chief of Naval Operations, Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz.

A dramatic demonstration was needed to prove beyond question that the new P2V patrol plane, its production at Lockheed representing a sizeable chunk of the Navy’s skimpy peacetime budget, could do the job. With its efficient design that gave it 4-engine capability on just two engines, the mission would show the Neptune’s ability to cover the transoceanic distances necessary to perform its ASW mission and sea-surveillance functions.

At a time when new roles and missions were being developed to deliver nuclear weapons, it would not hurt a bit to show that the Navy, too, had those significant capabilities.

So far, the flight had gone pretty much according to plan. But now as the second full day in the air began to darken, the Pacific sky, gently clear and blue for so long, turned rough and hostile.

An hour before landfall, great rolling knuckles of cloud punched out from the coastal mountains. The Turtle bounced and vibrated. Ice crusted on the wings. Static blanked out its radio transmissions and radio reception.

The crew strapped down hard, turned up the red instrument lights and took turns trying to tune the radio direction finder to a recognizable station.

It was midnight before Roy Tabeling succeeded in making contact with the ground and requested an instrument clearance eastward from California.

They were 150 miles off the coast when a delightful female voice reached up through the murk from Williams Radio, 70 miles south of Red Bluff, California.

“I’m sorry” the voice said. “I don’t seem to have a flight plan on you. What was your departure point?”

“Perth, Western Australia.” “No . . . I mean where did you take-off from?”

“Perth, Western Australia.”

“Navy Zero Eight Two, you do not understand me. I mean what was your departure airport for this leg of the flight?”

“Perth, Western Australia. BUT. . That’s halfway around the world! ”

“No . . . Only about a third. May we have that clearance, please? ”

The Turtle had departed Perth some thirty-nine hours earlier and had been out of radio contact with anyone for the past twenty hours. That contact with Williams Radio called off a world-wide alert for ships and stations between Mid-way and the west coast to attempt contact with the Turtle on all frequencies. With some difficulty due to reception, the Turtle received an instrument clearance to proceed on airways from Oakland to Sacramento and on to Salt Lake City at 13,000 feet.

The weather report was discouraging. It indicated heavy turbulence, thunderstorms, rain and icing conditions.

As Gene Rankin wrote in a magazine article after the flight: “Had the Turtle been on the ground at an airport at that threatening point, the question might have arisen: ‘ is this trip important enough to continue right through this ‘ stuff ‘?

The Turtle reached the west coast at 9:16 p.m. about thirty miles north of San Francisco. Their estimated time of arrival, further north up the coast, had been 9:00 p.m. They had taken off about forty hours earlier and had covered 9,000 statute miles thus far.

They had broken the distance record by more than a thousand miles, and all of their remaining fuel was in their wing tanks which showed about eight-tenths full. Speculation among the pilots began as to how much further the Turtle could fly before fuel exhaustion.

The static and atmospherics began demonstrating the weird and wonderful phenomenon of St. Elmo’s fire, adding more distractions to the crew’s problems. The two propellers whirled in rings of blue-white light. And violet tongues licked up between the windshields’ laminations. While eerie purple spokes protruded from the Neptune’s nose cone.

All those distracting effects now increased in brilliance with an accompanying rise in static on all radio frequencies before suddenly discharging with a blinding flash and audible thump. Then once again. . Slowly re-create itself.

The Turtle’s oxygen system had been removed for the flight, so the pilots were using portable walk-around oxygen bottles to avoid hypoxia at higher altitudes.

The St. Elmo’s fire had been annoying but not dangerous. But it can be a heart-thumping experience for those witnessing it for the first time. The tachometer for the starboard engine had been acting up, but there were no other engine problems. The pilots kept the fuel cross-feed levers, which connected both main tanks to both engines, in the ‘off’ position so each was feeding from the tank in its own wing.

Somewhere over Nevada, the starboard engine began running rough and losing power.

After scanning the gauges, the pilots surmised that the carburetor intake was icing up and choking itself. To correct that, the carburetor air preheating systems on both engines were increased to full heat to clear out any carburetor ice. Very quickly, the warm air solved the problem and the starboard engine ran smoothly again.

With an engine running rough, CDR Davies had to be thinking about their mission. The Turtle had broken the existing record, but was that good enough? It was just a matter of time before the AAF would launch another B-29 to take the record up another notch. The Neptune was now light enough for single engine flight, but how much farther could it go on one engine? And was it worth risking this expensive aircraft for the sake of improving a long-distance record?

Over Nevada and Utah, the weather was a serious factor. Freezing rain, snow and ice froze on the wings and fuselage, forcing the crew to increase power to stay airborne. The aircraft picked up a headwind and an estimated 1,000 pounds of ice. It was problematic because the plane’s deicing and anti-icing equipment had been removed as a weight-saving measure.

The next three [3] hours of high power settings and increased fuel usage at a lower altitude of 13,000 feet. And it probably slashed 500 miles from our flight’s record-breaking distance.

After passing Salt Lake City, the weather finally broke with the dawn of the Turtle’s third day in the air. The Turtle was cleared to descend to 9,000 feet. All morning, CDR Davies tracked their progress eastward over Nebraska, Iowa, and the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. To the north, Chicago’s haze was in sight.

But not surprisingly, our remaining fuel levels were gaining more attention from each and every member of the crew.

The wingtip tanks had long ago been emptied and jettisoned over the Pacific. The bomb bay tank, the nose tank and the huge aft-fuselage tank were empty. Entirely empty. The fuel gauges for both wing tanks were moving inexorably toward zero.

CDR Davies and his crew consulted, tapped each fuel gauges, calculated and recalculated their remaining fuel, and cursed the gauges on which one-eighth of an inch represented 200 gallons.

At noon, they concluded they could not safely stretch the flight all the way to Washington, D.C., and certainly not to the island of Bermuda. CDR Davies chose the Naval Air Station at Columbus, Ohio to be their final destination.

At quarter past one that afternoon the runways and hangars of the Columbus airport were in sight. The Turtle’s crew were cleaned-up and shaven and in uniform. And the fuel gauges all read empty. With the landing checklist completed and wheels and flaps down, CDR Davies cranked the Turtle around in a 45 degree left turn towards final. As the airplane leveled out of its final turn, the starboard engine popped, sputtered and quit. .

The port engine continued smoothly.

Down to 400 feet, as they completed their final turn, both pilots simultaneously recognized the problem. Their hands collided, as both reached for the fuel cross feed fuel lever between their seats.

During the landing pattern’s descending final turn in the landing pattern, the near-empty starboard tank quit feeding fuel into the starboard engine.

Within seconds, the starboard engine began running smoothly again from fuel rushing in from the open cross feed. The Turtle had been in no danger, since they were light enough to operate on one engine. On the other hand, it would have been embarrassing to have an engine quit, in view of the growing crowd watching below.

At 1:28 p.m. on October 1st, the Neptune’s wheels once more touched the earth [HARD] with tires intentionally

Over-inflated for our take-off at Perth. . 11,236 miles and 55 hours and 17 minutes. . after take-off.

After a hastily called press conference in Columbus, the crew was flown to NAS air station in Washington, D.C. by a Marine Corps Reserve aircraft, where they were met by their wives and the Secretary of the Navy. The crew was grounded by a flight surgeon upon landing in Columbus…

But before the day was over, the Turtle’s crew had been awarded Distinguished Flying Crosses by Navy Secretary Forrestal. Next day, they were scheduled to meet with an exuberant President Harry S. Truman.

And Joey was observably relieved to be back on solid earth. And she was installed in luxurious quarters at the zoo.

The record established by CDR Tom Davies and the crew of the Truculent Turtle’s crew did not stand for a fluke year or two. But for decades. The long-distance record for all aircraft was only broken by a jet-powered B-52 in 1962.

The Truculent Turtle’s record for piston/propeller driven aircraft was broken by Burt Rutan’s Voyager, a carbon-fiber aircraft, which made its historic around the world non-stop flight in 1986… more than four decades after the Turtle landed in Ohio.

After a well-earned publicity tour, the Truculent Turtle was used by the Naval Air Test Center, at Patuxent River, as a flying test bed for advanced avionics systems. The Truculent Turtle was retired with honors in 1953 and put on display in Norfolk, Virginia, and later repositioned at the main gate of Naval Air Station Norfolk, Virginia, in 1968.

In 1977, the Truculent Turtle was transported to the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida where it now holds forth in a place of honor in Hangar Bay One.

Many thanks to the Naval Institute Proceedings magazine, Naval Aviation News magazine, the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation magazine, CDR Eugene P. Rankin, CDR Walter S. Reid and CDR Edward P. Stafford, whose articles about the “Truculent Turtle ” were the basis for this article. [abridged]


‘War Eagle’ Aircrew Participate in Balikatan 2012

‘War Eagle’ Aircrew Participate in Balikatan 2012.

‘War Eagle’ Aircrew Participate in Balikatan 2012

By Lt. j.g. Michael Glynn, VP-16 Public Affairs
Posted: April 30, 2012

MANILA, Philippines –Aircrew and maintainers from the ‘War Eagles’ of Patrol Squadron (VP) 16 paid a visit to the Republic of the Philippines to participate in exercise Balikatan 2012.

MISAWA, Japan (April 21, 2012) – Aviation Ordnancemen attached to Patrol Squadron (VP) 1, download the SLAM-ER (Captive Air Training Missile) from a P-3 aircraft. VP-1 is currently on deployment to northern Japan in support of 7th Fleet operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Darrius Wharton)

The exercise, which focused on improving interoperability and response to disaster relief, ran from April 16 to April 27 and included American and Filipino personnel.


‘War Eagle’ aircrew and officers from the Philippine Navy held a series of joint briefings to discuss maritime security and capabilities during combined operations. The meetings provided a forum to discuss safety, teamwork, and effective crew resource management.


“The joint briefings were the most interesting part of the whole exercise,” said VP-16 pilot, Lt. Adam Boland. “The briefings were very informative, giving us all insight into how the Philippine Navy incorporates maritime patrol assets.”


VP-16 aircrew flew several flights focused on building maritime domain awareness (MDA). The Philippines is an archipelago nation of over 7,000 islands, making maritime security a prime concern.


The ‘War Eagle’ aircrew hosted personnel from the Philippine Navy onboard one of their flights to observe patrol operations and exchange perspective.


“I really enjoyed allowing our hosts to come fly with us,” said ‘War Eagle’ plane commander Chief Warrant Officer Steev Ditamore. “It really gave us the opportunity to showcase the aircraft.”


The ‘War Eagles’ operate the P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft. With a robust sensor suite, high speeds, and long endurance, the P-3C is an ideal platform to conduct surveillance patrols.


The squadron is based ashore Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla. and flies routine security, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions. VP-16 is currently forward-deployed to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa and flies in support of Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet.



A too close encounter

(From: Andoyposten)

Norwegian P-3 Orion in shock wave over Barentsz Sea
Close encounter with Russian fighter aircraft

Tuesday 10 April 2012 a Russian fighter passed a RNoAF P-3 Orion, flying over the Barentsz Sea, at un “uncomfortable distance”. Norwegian fighters often intercept Russian aircraft approaching Norwegian air space in that same area, usually without much drama. But last Tuesday’s event was a different story.

During a routine mission the Norwegian P-3 crew had spotted the Russian aircraft, a MiG31 Foxhound, twice at a visual safe distance. The third time however the MiG31 cme in from behind and passed the Orion very close to the Orion, said LtCol John Espen Lien, the communications director at the RnOAF HQ.

Lien said that the incident will be discussed with the Russian Armed Forces

25 years ago, on 13 September 1987, a RNoAF P-3B had a mid air collision with a Soviet Su27 Flanker in a quite similar event. The P-3B was damaged but landed safely.

Marco P.J. Borst
P-3 Orion Research Group – The Netherlands

P-3 website:
MSN Messenger:
subscribe to the P-3 Orion e-mail group:

MPA Dinner Spotlight on Hall of Honor Inductees



(Photos available by request) [I will be requesting photos and posting soon. Chad]


Maritime Patrol Association Heritage Dinner Puts the Spotlight on the P-3, Hall of Honor Inductees

JACKSONVILLE, FL – The Maritime Patrol Association (MPA) celebrated 50 years of the P-3 Orion at the annual Heritage Dinner on March 28, 2012 onboard Naval Air Station Jacksonville by honoring the strength and commitment of the many members, past and present, who have helped shape the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance community.

“Last year we celebrated the Centennial of Naval Aviation in which we noted that maritime patrol has played a key role in the U.S. military aviation operations since the very beginning,” said Rear Admiral Michael W. Hewitt, Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group. “And tonight, we are here to toast a major accomplishment within our own community; the service of the P-3 Orion for the last 50 years.”

The milestone anniversary of the celebrated aircraft attracted a crowd of nearly 450 guests in historic Hangar 117. One of the many distinguished attendees, guest speaker Vice Admiral Harry B. Harris, Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a former Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force (MPRF) member, spoke about the leaders who had helped mold the aviation community. He singled out dozens of active duty and retired members of the MPRF, many of them seated in the audience, who had played key roles in leadership and antisubmarine warfare (ASW), the critical mission of maritime patrol. It was clear that these people created the foundation upon which the community is currently run.

Included in that group of stand-outs were the three individuals inducted into the MPRF Hall of Honor during the dinner.

Commander Scott Carpenter, USN (Ret.), one of the original Mercury astronauts and a former VP pilot (VP-6), flew aboard the Mercury-Atlas 7 mission, becoming the 4th American in space and the second to orbit the earth. After the completion of his astronaut tour, CDR Carpenter later joined the navy SEALAB program, which made him the only person ever designated as an astronaut and an aquanaut.

Captain Arnold Isbell (deceased) was the commanding officer of Patrol Squadron (VP) ELEVEN during World War II, during which time he faced a hurricane while surveying military base sites in Newfoundland and skillfully maneuvered his aircraft to make an emergency night landing. Isbell later commanded the escort carrier Card (CVE-11), and coordinated action that destroyed eight U-boats in a two-month period in 1943. He then took his knowledge and experience to Washington DC where he set-up an antisubmarine warfare tactical research and development department. In March of 1945, en route to take command of the Yorktown (CV-10), Isbell was killed when a Japanese plane scored two bomb hits on the carrier in which he was embarked as a passenger.

Rear Admiral Daniel Wolkensdorfer (deceased) served in several VP squadrons throughout his career, commanding both Patrol Squadrons (VP) FORTY-SEVEN and THIRTY. Hailed for his dedication to the maritime patrol community, he was noted most for his service to the development of antisubmarine warfare (ASW) and tactics during the Cold War. Among other positions, Wolkensdorfer served as head of the Air Branch of the Antisubmarine Warfare Division of the Antisubmarine Warfare and Ocean Surveillance Program Office for the Chief of Naval Operations. Wolkensdorfer spent much of his 35-year career in ASW planning, acquisition, testing and operations, which helped shape much of current day ASW tactics.

Selected for their hand in shaping the heritage of the community and/or for bravery in combat, the awards for Carpenter, Isbell and Wolkensdorfer were accepted by family members and colleagues.

Another highlight of the evening’s attendees was a group of nine retired officers who were members of the original P-3C delivery crew in 1969 and/or instructors from Patrol Squadron (VP) THIRTY at the time of the aircraft’s arrival. The self-named “Det Burbank Crew” gathered at two distinguished tables at the Heritage Dinner where they recalled their infamous trip home with the first P-3C.

“When we arrived at NATC Pax River there was a large crowd gathering around to see the `new baby’,” recalled CAPT Ron W. Martin, USN (Ret.), Patrol Squadron (VP) THIRTY’s first P-3C Project Officer who delivered the first P-3C aircraft to the fleet from the assembly line in Burbank, California. “Would you believe the new fancy electronic ladder wouldn’t work?”

The primary aircraft of the US Navy Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force (MPRF), the P-3 Orion has aided in anti-submarine warfare since the early 1960s when it was introduced to the aviation community by aeronautics corporation Lockheed Martin. The P-3 turboprop was an answer to a late 1950s request by the Chief of Naval Operations for an aircraft with more cabin space, a larger radius and a longer endurance than its predecessor, the P-2 Neptune. In August of 1962, Patrol Squadron (VP) EIGHT took possession of the first P-3, and then in 1969, the final revamp of the Orion, the first “P-3C”, came online.

“From a tactical standpoint, this new `Charlie’ was a quantum leap in improved sensors, data processing, tactical displays, weapons delivery, and decision making assistance over any P-3 system flying at that time,” said Martin. “We all knew Maritime Patrol was about to become a force to be reckoned with.”

A half century later, the celebration of the P-3C Orion comes at both a historic and pivotal point in the MPRF’s future. In June of this year, Jacksonville-based Patrol Squadron (VP) SIXTEEN will receive the first of a fleet of replacement aircraft for the P-3. The P-8A Poseidon, a multi-mission maritime aircraft developed by Boeing, will be the first jet-powered maritime patrol aircraft commandeered by the US Navy.

Integration of the P-8A into the entire MPRF fleet, however, will take a minimum of six years. Until then, the P-3 Orion will continue to play an important role in the critical mission of the U.S. maritime patrol community.

“There are very few airplanes in the world that can tout the distinct honor of being in service for 50 years. This is testament to the ingenuity and innovation of the designers, manufacturers and assemblers who created the P-3 Orion,” said Lockheed Martin Vice President of P-3 Programs and Greenville Operations Ray Burick. “The P-3 is the world standard in maritime patrol and reconnaissance and will continue to serve operators around the globe for many more decades to come.”

As a token of appreciation to the community, Burick presented the first of 755 copies of a limited edition P-3 lithograph to Rear Admiral Hewitt. The lithograph is inlaid with 21 roundels representing all P-3 operators, past and present. The number of lithographs being produced, represents the number of P-3s built by Lockheed Martin worldwide over the last half-century, and brings even more significance in 2012, Lockheed’s 100-year anniversary.

“Throughout those years the men and women of Lockheed Martin have been by your side,” said Burick. “And it is our commitment that we will be dedicated to remain by your side during this period of transition.”

In addition to the Heritage Dinner, MPA coordinated several additional events during the 2012 Symposium in the last week of March, including the MPA general members meeting, a golf tournament, 5K, and flight suit social.


A 501(c)(3) Florida non-profit corporation established in 2011 and headquartered in Jacksonville, FL, the Maritime Patrol Association is the premier professional organization representing the U.S. Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance community by promoting the use of the patrol and reconnaissance aircraft in the United States Navy. For more information on membership and corporate sponsorship opportunities, go to:

For more information, contact September Wilkerson, Executive Director, at (904) 563-4036 or; or check out the MPA website at

Your Navy TODAY (Apr 11 2012)

Your Navy TODAY – Enterprise in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait; Assistant SecNav Talks 21st Century.

Your Navy TODAY – Enterprise in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait; Assistant SecNav Talks 21st Century

On any given day, in your Navy, our team of more than 600,000 professional Sailors and Civilians are working together around the globe to perform our mission: deter aggression and, if deterrence fails, win our Nation’s wars. It is not possible to share every aspect of this global team but, through this blog, we offer you a glimpse of what these men and women do.


A landing craft air cushion (LCAC) approaches the well deck of the amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) after pre-staging 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (24th MEU) assets in Cap Draa, Morocco, before the commencement of Operation African Lion 2012. African Lion 2012 is a bi-lateral training exercise between the United States and the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces. Iwo Jima is the flagship of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group is deployed with the embarked 24th MEU in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.


The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) and the guided-missile cruiser USS Vicksburg (CG 69) transit the Bab el-Mandeb Strait. Enterprise and Vicksburg are deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions for Operation Enduring Freedom.


Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Robert Chittenden signals for an MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the Swamp Foxes of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 74 to take off from the flight deck of the littoral combat ship USS Independence (LCS 2). Sailors from Independence’s Gold crew and embarked Mine Countermeasures Detachment 1 are underway for the ship’s transit to San Diego after successfully completing testing on the mine countermeasures mission package.



Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs Juan M. Garcia conducts an all-hands call during a visit to Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay to promote sexual assault awareness during the 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative. The initiative consolidates a set of objectives and policies, new and existing, to maximize Sailor and Marine personal readiness, build resiliency and hone combat effectiveness.



Navy Personnel
Active Duty: 323,773
Officers Officers: 53,120
Enlisted Enlisted: 266,146
Midshipmen Midshipmen: 4,507
Ready Reserve: 105,157 [As of Feb 2012 ]
Selected Reserves Selected Reserves: 64,118
Individual Ready Reserve Individual Ready Reserve: 41,039
Reserves currently mobilized: 4,668 [As of 03 Apr 2012]
Personnel on deployment: 47,943
Navy Department Civilian Employees: 203,609
Ships and Submarines
Deployable Battle Force Ships: 282
Total Ships Underway Total Ships Underway: 110 (39% of total)
Deployed Ships Underway Deployed Ships Underway: 66 (23% of total)
Attack Submarines Underway Attack Submarines Underway: 33
Other Underway Other Underway: 44 (15% of total)
Total Ships Deployed/Underway Total Ships Deployed/Underway: 151 (54% of total)
Ships Underway
Underway Aircraft Carriers:
USS Enterprise (CVN 65) – 5th Fleet
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) – 5th Fleet
USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) – 5th Fleet
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) – port visit San Diego
Underway Amphibious Assault Ships:
USS Peleliu (LHA 5) – Pacific Ocean
USS Wasp (LHD 1) – Atlantic Ocean
USS Essex (LHD 2) – port visit Sasebo, JA
USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) – port visit Sasebo, JA
USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) – Atlantic Ocean
USS Makin Island (LHD 8) – 5th Fleet

Aircraft (operational):


Recap of 2012 MPA symposium

By: John Lasron
Posted: 03 Apr 2012


Greetings everyone,

Here is the recap of this year’s MPA symposium. It was held from March 27th through March 30th at NAS Jacksonville, FL.

On the first day we had the members meeting. Since the MPA was formed last September, there are over 700 members. Active duty is 319 and retired is 323. There are 6 volunteer members on the board, all officers. They would like to get an enlisted person for the 7th member. They will be elections in the future for the board. There are National officers. The president is Commodore Wheeler, CPW 11 and the vice-president is Capt. Stevens, CO of VP-30. At the present time, all future symposiums will be held at NAS Jacksonville. There are 4 chapters, Wash D.C., Pax River, Whidbey Island, and Hawaii.

There are has been a Hall of Honor started at the ITC (Integrated Training Center). It is a new facility that was dedicated at the symposium. One wall has the Navy Medal of Honor awardees, and the wall across is dedicated to those who have been inducted into the Maritime Hall of Honor. I will mention this year’s inductees later on.

Some things the MPA wants to do in the future, is develop a MPA scholarship fund, and the growth of new chapters.

At the reception that night, we talked to a member of the reserve squadron. The squadron is back to the old days. They have their own aircraft again. With the active squadrons getting P-8’s and in transition, the reserves will have to pick up the slack. Individuals will mobilize for 4 months and this will last a few years.

On day two was the roll out of the P-8 and its delivery to VP-30. I was chatting with the Canadian Commodore before the ceremony. They have a little over half of their aircraft updated. They are getting new wings, tall, aft bulkhead and repairs around tank 5. They are getting a new avionics package. They say it is as good as the U.S. AIP planes.

There were British, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and Japanese in Jacksonville during the week as we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the P-3.

At the rollout ceremony, the dignitaries were, Under Secretary of the Navy, Honorable Robert Work, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Mark Ferguson, Commander Naval Air Force, Vice Admiral Allen Myers, Commander Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Group, RADM Hewitt, Mayor Alvin Brown, and Mr. Dennis Muilenburg, President and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space and Security.

After the rollout, the ITC building had a ribbon cutting ceremony. There are now 4 full motion cockpit simulators with room for 10. There is room for 9 weapons trainers, with the 5 tactical crewmember positions. Each station is interchangeable. They are “on the rail”. With the Tacco in the middle, the Nav is to the left and then the SS3. To the right of the Tacco would be the acoustic sensor operators. Again they could be in any seat. None of the equipment was turned on, so we could not see any displays. The Commodore said that the current generation doesn’t like the rail system, while the old guys prefer that. The classrooms will have an instructor and stations were the students study. They have two large screens on top of each other. They are the same as in the airplane. The students will learn at their own pace. If most are having trouble then the instructor will go back to instructing. The P-3 training was 70% flying and 30% simulators. The P-8 will be 70% simulators and 30% flying.

Here is some info on the crews. There will be 3 pilots (if over 6 hrs. of flying). The tacco and nav. There will be 4 AW’s. One will be loading the sonobuoys. If there won’t be any ASW, then there would 1 acoustic operator and 2 SS-3’s. So there is a total of 9 crewmembers. There will be a plane captain assigned to the plane. He won’t fly with the crew, unless they are going on a det and then would accompany the crew. There are 21 seat positions on the aircraft.

We then took a tour of the aircraft. I took a lot of pictures inside. I started at the front and worked backwards. The cockpit has a heads-up display. All the info you need is right in front of your eyes for flying. The plane can hold about 65 K of fuel. There is a refueling capability. But that won’t be used until about 2015. The limiting factor is oil in the engine and possible crew time. There is an airline galley where they can cook their meals. No more cruise boxes and hopefully box lunches. Next comes the head, I didn’t look inside, but assume it is a standard airline bathroom. Then next to head, are the 2 crew rest seats. They fully recline. Father back was the crew stations with seats next to them. There were not many avionics bays, no main load center and very few circuit breakers. Then there were the sono racks. They have a total capacity of 121 buoys. There are 3 circular buoy containers, each one holds 10. There were 3 individual launchers, and you don’t have to depressurize. They can monitor 64 buoys. The AIP planes can monitor 32 buoys. The bomb bay is behind the wing. They will carry the MK 54 Torpedo and the Harpoons. In the back of the plane is a storage area, for the lobsters, Coors beer, the furniture, and motorcycles. GEE DUNK!!

The Tacco who was on board was at Pax River and has been on the plane 3 years. She said that top screen you could have radar and IRDS, split screen. On the bottom CRT you could have the grams.

Then in the afternoon we received our briefing. Commodore Wheeler started off the briefs. Also in attendance were Commodores from Whidbey Is and Kaneohe. We also had CTF 72, CTF 57 and CTE 67 there to brief us.

Last year during the briefing, they would not show the Maverick firing on a Libyan small craft. We got to see it this year. The Maritime Patrol and Recon forces is 18 squadrons, 6169 sailors= 1186 Officers and 4983 Enlisted. There are 127 aircraft and 65 mission capable aircraft. VPU-1 and VQ-2 are going away this year. So they will be incorporated into the other squadrons. Info from Whidbey Is, VP-1 now is deployed in El Salvador and Misawa. There are 4 P-3 squadrons there. VQ-1 will have 12 crews and 600 sailors after the consolidation. Hawaii has 4 squadrons. Jacksonville has 7 P-3 squadrons. VP-16 will be the first to transition to the P-8 when they come back from deployment. First P-8 deployment will be Dec 2013. One squadron will transition every 6 months. All the Jax squadrons will get the plane first then probably Whidbey Is and then Hawaii. There will be 12 crews and 6 planes in each squadron.

They then talked about the different threats. Iranian subs don’t go far from home. They are kind of novice at it. The Iranian P-3’s are still flying out of Bandar Abbas. The PRC (Peoples Republic of China) are now going East of Guam. Their ops are getting more complex. The PRC claims a lot of the South China Sea and that has the countries around it concerned. So we have had a crew go into Cambodia, search and rescue exercise with Vietnam. We are also going back into Cubi Pt. That drew a big cheer from the attendees.

Deployment sights for Jax are to El Salvador and Misawa. The squadron out of Misawa helped out after the earthquake with mapping the debris field last year. We have not had deployments to Misawa for 4 years. Whidbey Is goes to Kadena, Bahrain and Qatar. Kaneohe is going to Sicily and Djibouti. VQ is in Crete, Curacao and Qatar. We left Diego Garcia in 2006

With the tension with Iran and their treats of shutting down the Straits of Hormuz, the aircraft carriers want 4 armed P-3 in the area to verify the threats. The UAV’s (BAMS) have been flying now for 3 years. There are 5 of them and 1 is forward deployed. They can do 24 hr. missions. The carriers also want BAMS coverage on the Straits of Hormuz.

Then that night we had the Heritage Dinner. There were 3 new inductees into the Hall of Honor. Commander Scott Carpenter. He flew P-2V’s in VP-6. He was the 4 into space and the second to orbit the Earth. Also inducted were Captain Isbell and RADM Wolkensdorfer. The Admiral’s wife was there to accept the honor. P-3 crews with the highest proficiency in ASW would be awarded the Isbell trophy.

VADM Harris was the guest speaker. He is the Assistant to the Chairman of JCS. He has a P-3 background (VP-44, VP-4, and VP-46).

We had in attendance the original acceptance crew for the first P-3A. They flew the plane from Burbank, CA to NAS Jacksonville in 1962. Everyone received a coin commemorating the 50th anniversary of the P-3.

Those are the highlights of this year’s MPA symposium. You can look at the pictures I took at

I hope to put my video on the internet. It was taken during the rollout ceremony.

I hope you enjoyed this briefing and getting to see the inside of the new P-8.

John Larson



March 31, 2012

The following information was released by the Navy:

By Clark Pierce, Editor, Jax Air News

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.”

For more information, visit , , or .

For more news from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, visit .
Copyright 2012 States News Service

Your Navy TODAY (Mar. 30, 2012)

Your Navy TODAY (Mar. 30, 2012).

On any given day, in your Navy, our team of more than 600,000 professional Sailors and Civilians are working together around the globe to perform our mission: deter aggression and, if deterrence fails, win our Nation’s wars. It is not possible to share every aspect of this global team but, through this blog, we offer you a glimpse of what these men and women do.


Marines from Battalion Landing Team 1/2 pilot amphibious assault vehicles into the well deck of the amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) as the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) transits nearby. New York is deployed as part of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group with the embarked 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (24th MEU) in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.


Chief petty officers march in formation to join their fellow chiefs during morning colors at Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka. April 1 marks the 119th anniversary of the chief petty officer rank.


A P-8A Poseidon, the Navy’s newest patrol aircraft, conducts a flyover above the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). Dwight D. Eisenhower is underway conducting training in the Atlantic Ocean.


Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Lauren Coons looks over Sailors chosen to simulate casualties for a mass casualty drill aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). Dwight D. Eisenhower is underway conducting training in the Atlantic Ocean.


Navy Personnel
Active Duty: 323,773
Officers Officers: 53,120
Enlisted Enlisted: 266,146
Midshipmen Midshipmen: 4,507
Ready Reserve: 105,157 [As of Feb 2012 ]
Selected Reserves Selected Reserves: 64,118
Individual Ready Reserve Individual Ready Reserve: 41,039
Reserves currently mobilized: 4,478 [As of 20 Mar 2012]
Personnel on deployment: 47,943
Navy Department Civilian Employees: 203,609
Ships and Submarines
Deployable Battle Force Ships: 282
Total Ships Underway Total Ships Underway: 97 (35% of total)
Deployed Ships Underway Deployed Ships Underway: 64 (22% of total)
Attack Submarines Underway Attack Submarines Underway: 33
Other Underway Other Underway: 33 (11% of total)
Total Ships Deployed/Underway Total Ships Deployed/Underway: 138 (49% of total)
Ships Underway
Underway Aircraft Carriers:
USS Enterprise (CVN 65) – port visit Piraeus, GR
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) – Atlantic Ocean
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) – 5th Fleet
USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) – 5th Fleet
Underway Amphibious Assault Ships:
USS Peleliu (LHA 5) – Pacific Ocean
USS Essex (LHD 2) – 7th Fleet
USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) – Atlantic Ocean
USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) – 7th Fleet
USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) – Atlantic Ocean
USS Makin Island (LHD 8) – 5th Fleet

Aircraft (operational):