By Lt. j.g. Kaitlyn Morales
One P-8A Poseidon and 19 sailors from Patrol Squadron (VP) 26, the “Tridents,” participated in the AIR COMBAT POWER VISIT 2018, October 14-17 in Coningsby, England.
Visitors of the AIR COMBAT POWER VISIT (ACPV) included military officials, defense attachés, work load analysis teams, and students enrolled in the Advanced Command and Staff Course from over 50 countries.
The annual event offers the Royal Air Force (RAF) an opportunity to gather their personnel and platforms to discuss current and future operations.
“Getting the opportunity to meet with our RAF counterparts who we coordinate with so frequently, face to face, in this kind of setting, was invaluable,” said Lieutenant Nicholas Wohar, a Trident Naval Flight Officer.
The RAF has had a lapse in organic maritime air support since the decommissioning of their Nimrod Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft (MRA). The Poseidon MRA Mk1 will fill that void. The participation of this U.S. crew offered members of the RAF a rare opportunity to view their future asset.
“We were thrilled to provide an opportunity for our RAF allies to get hands on exposure with the incredible airframe they are about to add to their fleet of aircraft,” said Lieutenant Commander David Swimm, Officer in Charge of the detachment.
The VP-26 crew was able to share their experience with the P-8A, demonstrating safety and egress procedures to the RAF Fire and Rescue Service, answering questions from both current and future RAF Aviators, and providing tours of the aircraft to over one thousand visitors.
“In addition to coordinating military to military, this detachment also afforded us the opportunity to expose the P-8A to the international public,” said Lt. Cmdr. Swimm.
The aircraft involved in the ACPV is one of seven P-8As operating throughout the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations, adding enhanced long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities to support U.S. allies and partners in the region.
VP-26, homeported in Jacksonville, FL, arrived in theater September 2018 and is currently operating out of Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy.