Monday, December 2, 2013

P-8A Poseidon reaches IOC; squadron leaves for Pacific deployment

131129-N-ZZ999-017 JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Nov. 29, 2013) Patrol Squadron (VP) 16 Commanding Officer Cmdr. Bill Pennington Jr. takes off on a P-8A Poseidon No. 429 aircraft from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Nov. 29. The take-off represents the squadron's historic first operational deployment of the Poseidon within the Navy's maritime patrol and reconnaissance community. (U.S. Navy photo by Clark Pierce/Released)

The U.S. Navy's newest maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, the P-8A Poseidon, has achieved initial operational capability (IOC) after the first two P-8A Poseidons departed for deployment Nov. 29. The War Eagles of Patrol Squadron 16 (VP-16) will deploy to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan with six aircraft and 12 aircrew.

Given the situation in the region and the interest shown by regional militaries in beefing up their capabilities in this area, I would expect VP-16 to make a trip to Singapore in February 2014 for the Singapore Airshow. Especially given the hosts are one of the countries in the market for a new Maritime Patrol/Anti-submarine aircraft.

UPDATE: And the first two Poseidons have arrived at Kadena.

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