Tag Archives: VP-16


Navy’s newest plane to deploy for first time in hands of Jacksonville NAS-based squadron

Stepping aboard the classy new aircraft, you notice the first-class leather seats and expect to see a flight attendant waiting to show you to your seat.



But though it uses the same airframe, this is not your average Boeing 737. It is the P-8A, the Navy’s newest eyes, ears and muscle in the air — and its first operational squadron is right here in Jacksonville.

Squadron VP-16 out of Jacksonville Naval Air Station, also known as the War Eagles, will deploy with the new birds for the first time when they head to the Western Pacific in December.

The P-8A Poseidon is replacing the Navy’s aging fleet of P-3 Orions, introduced in the early ’60s.

“It’s like going from flying a tractor to a Cadillac,” according to Lt. Cmdr. Bryan Hager, who has flown both.

Gone are the glass gauges and rigid confines of the P-3s. For the first time, pilots and crew will have seats that recline and bathrooms.

Check out more photos of the plane here

The cockpit resembles a computer lab complete with a heads-up display. All of this, pilots say, free them up to concentrate on other problems and threats that may appear.

“It really increases a pilot’s situational awareness,” Lt. j.g. Christi Morissey, a P-8A pilot, said.

The plane actually makes her a better pilot, she said.

The benefits of the new plane are obvious. Chief among them are speed and altitude. The jet-powered P-8A can fly farther, faster and higher than its aging, propeller-driven predecessor.

This gives the plane more time over the target area because it takes less time to get there.

“We can get somewhere so much quicker,” Hager said. “If you’re heading to a target that’s 1,200 miles away, it will take a P-3 four hours to get there. The P-8 can be there in less than three.”

Though it can do the job better, the job description remains the same. The Poseidon’s job will be anti-submarine, anti-surface, reconnaissance and intelligence duties.

Equipped with the newest technology, and resembling a flying computer lab, it can send video, photos and information to commanders in real time.

But it also packs a punch.

Among its armaments is the AGM84D Harpoon missile that can take out nearly anything that floats, according to Lt. Kenny Vanhook, assistant aircraft maintenance officer. “It’ll do some serious damage.”

In case of attack, the aircraft is also outfitted with a new laser deterrent system which diverts surface-to-air missiles by creating a distant heat source to attract their sensors.

The most critical advantage to the U.S. Navy, however, may be the cost savings in the age of sequestration, recent spending cuts affecting the military.

The Navy was considering the idea of reproducing the P-3, but Lockheed Martin, the builder of the P-3, no longer had the manufacturing facility. The P-8 on the other hand, is being produced in its civilian form — the 737.

In addition, the P-8 requires only nine crewmen, compared with the P-3’s 11.

But perhaps most important, the revered P-3s were showing their age. The planes were requiring more maintenance time for less flying time.

“You could take off with all four engines working and land with only two,” Vanhook said.


Read more at Jacksonville.com: http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2013-09-19/story/navys-newest-plane-deploy-first-time-hands-jacksonville-nas-based#ixzz2fukDWGzc

VP-16 qualifies first CWO patrol plane commander

By Lt. j.g. Robert Maul

VP-16 recently qualified CWO3 Dan Haller as a P-3C Orion patrol plane commander (PPC) – making him the first chief warrant officer PPC in P-3 fleet history. As a qualified PPC, Haller will be tasked to ensure the safe operation of the P-3C and ensure the crew and the aircraft return home safely.
The Flying Chief Warrant Officer Pilot Program was instituted in January of 2006. This extremely competitive program takes highly motivated enlisted Sailors and commissions them as warrant officers to complete training as naval pilots and naval flight officers (NFOs). The program allows chief warrant officers to serve as pilot or NFO in the P-3, EP-3, E-6 and the helicopter communities.
The goal behind qualifying warrant officers is to create naval pilots and NFOs who are not restricted to the career path that is taken by unrestricted line officers.
Haller enlisted in the Navy in August 1997 as an aviation machinist mate. He attended aircrew school and was soon qualified as a P-3C Orion flight engineer. He successfully completed tours with VP-9 and later as an instructor flight engineer at the P-3C Fleet Replacement Squadron, VP-30.
Haller was commissioned Dec. 1, 2006. After attending aviation preflight indoctrination and primary flight training in Pensacola, Haller completed advanced flight training in Corpus Christi, Texas and received his wings of gold in August 2008. He then returned to VP-30, this time as a student pilot, and was then assigned to VP-16 in May 2009.
Haller said, “It is an honor to pave the way for future warrant officer aviators. My only goal is to set the standard for all other flying warrants in the fleet.”
The historic achievement that Haller has accomplished serves as an example to all enlisted Sailors that other opportunities for advancement are available to them. The success that Haller has had during his career in naval aviation, as both an enlisted Sailor and as an officer, will bring the intrinsic benefits of the Flying Chief Warrant Officer Pilot Program to the attention of many within the aviation community and the Navy.

Read more at Jacksonville.com: http://jaxairnews.jacksonville.com/military/jax-air-news/2011-03-09/story/vp-16-qualifies-first-cwo-patrol-plane-commander?sms_ss=facebook&at_xt=4da86b4a44653c5d%2C1#ixzz1JvzM5lQ7

Photo courtesy of VP-16

Photo courtesy of VP-16