VP-8 Menu

Command History


Patrol Squadron (VP) 8 was commissioned as VP-201 in September 1942 in Norfolk, Virginia. During World War II, VP-201 flew the sea-based PBM Mariner aircraft, combating German submarines that threatened Allied shipping throughout the Atlantic. In June 1947, the squadron completed a homeport change to Quonset Point, Rhode Island and transitioned to the land-based P-2V Neptune aircraft. The squadron was renamed to VP-8 in September 1948, and in October 1962, VP-8 became the first operational P-3 Orion squadron in the U.S. Navy.

VP-8 operated the venerable P-3 above every ocean for over 50 years, earning a reputation as one of the best Maritime Patrol Aviation (MPA) squadrons. During the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, VP-8 demonstrated the P-3's superior Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Anti-Surface Warfare (ASUW) capabilities by tracking Soviet submarines in the Caribbean and Eastern Atlantic. Later that decade, VP-8 flew combat missions throughout Southeast Asia in support of the Vietnam War. The squadron conducted a homeport change to Naval Air Station (NAS) Brunswick, Maine in 1971.

In December 1990, VP-8 deployed to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and Sigonella, Italy during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. This conflict re-emphasized the P-3's multi-mission capabilities while conducting coordinated operations with U.S. 5th Fleet Carrier Battle Groups, as well as monitoring Soviet, Libyan, and Iraqi naval units in the Arabian Gulf and Mediterranean Sea. Over the course of the decade, VP-8 performed brilliantly on station supporting the following operations: Sharp Guard and Decisive Endeavor (Mediterranean Sea), Deliberate Guard (Bosnia-Herzegovina) and Silver Wake (Albania - supporting the humanitarian evacuation of 889 civilian personnel).

In 1999, VP-8 upgraded to the P-3C Aircraft Improvement Program (AIP) aircraft. This new warfighting suite vastly improved the aircraft capabilities which further contributed to meeting national security objectives. Upgrades include an improved radar sensor (APS-137), surveillance video suite (AIMS) and robust communications which allows the aircraft to transmit "near real-time" imagery and data. With this advancement in technology, VP-8 excelled at ASW, ASUW and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions in support of the following operations: Joint Guardian, Determined Forge and Deliberate Forge (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Allied Force and Noble Anvil (Kosovo), Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn (Iraq), Unified Assistance (Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief missions in response to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake/tsunami), and Odyssey Dawn (Libya). VP-8 conducted a homeport change from NAS Brunswick, Maine to NAS Jacksonville, Florida in 2009.

In December 2013, VP-8 embarked on its 37th and final P-3C Orion deployment prior to transitioning to the P-8A Poseidon. The dual-site deployment to Isa Air Base, Bahrain and to Comalapa, El Salvador demonstrated the squadron's superb operational excellence as a premier MPA squadron and leader in the primary mission areas of ASW, ASUW and ISR in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Support, as well as Counter-Transnational Organized Crime in support of Operations Martillo, Caper Focus, and Caribbean Shield.

Upon completion of the squadron's final P-3 deployment in July 2014, aircrew and maintenance personnel began a seven-month transition to the P-8A Poseidon.

In February 2015, VP-8 will enter the Inter-Deployment Readiness Cycle in preparation for their first deployment as a P-8A squadron. The P-8A Poseidon is a modified Boeing 737-800ERX airframe featuring a fully connected, state-of-the-art, open architecture mission system. This aircraft features a highly advanced sensor suite which dramatically improves MPAs ASW, ASUW and ISR capabilities. The P-8A is the Navy's next generation fixed wing aircraft that eventually replace the aging P-3C.

In December 2013, VP-8 embarked on its 37th and final P-3C Orion deployment prior to transitioning to the P-8A Poseidon. The dual-site deployment to Isa Air Base, Bahrain and to Comalapa, El Salvador demonstrated the squadron's superb operational excellence as a premier MPA squadron and leader in the primary mission areas of ASW, ASUW and ISR in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Support, as well as Counter-Transnational Organized Crime in support of Operations Martillo, Caper Focus, and Caribbean Shield. VP-8 was awarded the “Battle E” and Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy awards for 2014 because of these actions.

Upon completion of the squadron's final P-3 deployment in July 2014, aircrew and maintenance personnel began a seven-month transition to the P-8A Poseidon. In March 2016, VP-8 deployed to Kadena Air Base, Japan in support of Commander 7th Fleet. They returned home in October 2016 after a highly successful inaugural P-8A deployment.

In October 2017, VP-8 deployed to Kadena Air Base, Japan conducting missions and providing maritime domain awareness to supported units throughout the Indo-Asia region. During the deployment VP-8 became the first P-8A squadron to successfully deploy a UNI-PAC II Search and Rescue kit in real-world SAR operations. They returned home in April 2018 after a highly successful P-8A deployment.

In April 2019, VP-8 deployed to Misawa Air Base, Japan and to El Salvador. The Fighting Tigers would return home following a very successful deployment.

In October 2020, VP-8 conducted a dual site deployment to Bahrain in the U.S. 5th Fleet AOR and to Misawa Air Base, Japan in the U.S. 7th Fleet AOR. Despite the various obstacles presented by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Fighting Tigers were incredibly successful and boasted a 97% mission success rate throughout both AORs.

The P-8A Poseidon is a modified Boeing 737-800ERX airframe featuring a fully connected, state-of-the-art, open architecture mission system. This aircraft features a highly advanced sensor suite which dramatically improves MPAs ASW, ASUW and ISR capabilities. The P-8A is the Navy's next generation fixed wing aircraft which is replacing the aging P-3C.

VP-8 has executed more than 205,000 mishap-free flying hours since 1978.

P-8A Antisubmarine Warfare Aircraft

The Boeing P-8 Poseidon (formerly the Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft or MMA) is a military aircraft developed for the United States Navy (USN). The aircraft has been developed by Boeing Defense, Space & Security, modified from the 737-800ERX. The P-8 conducts anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), and shipping interdiction, along with an early warning self-protection (EWSP) ability, otherwise known as electronic support measures (ESM). This involves carrying torpedoes, depth charges, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and other weapons. It can drop and monitor sonobuoys.
 
General Characteristics, P-8A Poseidon

Primary Function: Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Anti-surface Warfare (ASuW), Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR)
Contractor: Boeing Defense, Space and Security
Date Deployed: First flight, 25 April 2009; Operational, P-8A November 2013
Unit Cost: US$256.5 million (procurement cost FY2015) /  US$125 million (fly-away cost FY2016)
Propulsion: 2 CFM 56-7B engines with 27,300 lbs. thrust each
Length: 129.5 feet (39.47 meters)
Height: 42.1 feet (12.83 meters)
Wingspan: 123.6 feet (37.64 meters)
Weight: Maximum takeoff: 189,200 pounds (85,820 kilograms)
Airspeed: Maximum: 490 knots (564 mph) true air speed
Ceiling: 41,000 feet (12,496 meters)
Range: 1,200 nautical miles radius with four hours on station
Crew: Nine
Armament: Torpedoes, cruise missile

 

 
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