By Lt. Nick Wilharm
VP-30 Public Affairs Officer
Patrol Squadron (VP) 30 completed its first ever P-8A Poseidon air-to-air refueling (AAR) flight Aug. 1.
This marks the first time in maritime patrol and reconnaissance history that this has been attempted outside the test community.
The five-man crew, conducting the refueling consisted of Lt. Cmdr. Jacob Magan, Lt. David Christenson, Lt. Cmdr. Eric Martin, Lt. Mark Hume and Lt. Andrew Brown.
The crew departed Naval Air Station Jacksonville to rendezvous over eastern Tennessee with an Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker from the Tennessee Air National Guard 134th Air Refueling Wing. They spent an hour practicing contacts and other training for both units. Fleet training is set to begin Sept. 5 as VP-45 begins their AAR training.
In-flight refueling enables the P-8A to remain airborne for extended flight times, allowing increased on station time for present and future sensors. The P-8A Fleet Introduction Team has spent two years working closely with Naval Air Systems Command and the test community to plan for the integration of this new capability to the fleet. The first AAR capable P-8A squadron is expected to deploy in 2018.