A P-8A Poseidon and 19 Sailors assigned to the “Tridents” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 26 participated in the air combat power Visit (ACPV) 2018 in Coningsby, England Oct. 14-17.
Visitors included military officials, defense attachés, workload analysis teams, and students enrolled in the advanced command and staff course from more than 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 Lt. Nicholas Wohar, a VP-26 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 Mark 1 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 Lt. Cmdr. David Swimm, officer in charge of the .
The VP-26 crew shared their experiences with the P-8A, demonstrating safety and egress procedures to the RAF ire and escue ervice, answering questions from both current and future RAF aviators, and providing tours of the aircraft to more than 1,000 visitors.
“In addition to coordinating military-to-military, this also afforded us the opportunity to expose the P-8A to the international public,” said Swimm.
The aircraft involved in the ACPV is one of seven P-8As operating in 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 aboard Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, arrived in theater September 2018 and is operating out of NAS Sigonella, Italy.