By MC2 Tyler Fraser

VP-45 Public Affairs

Approximately 30 members from Boy Scouts of America Troops 17, 32, 33, 217 and 506 based out of Orange Park, Florida visited Naval Air Station Jacksonville's P-8A Poseidon Integrated Training Center (ITC) and took a tour of Patrol Squadron (VP) 30's P-3C Orion and P-8A Poseidon aircraft July 28.

The boys and their parents were given guided tours by VP-30 and VP-45 personnel of the ITC, a facility that houses simulators for the Navy's new P-8A multi-mission maritime aircraft. After touring the ITC, the group headed to VP-30 for a static display tour inside the P-3C and P-8A aircraft.

"VP-30 and VP-45 did a phenomenal job," said David Rochester, leader of Troop 33. "Lt. Wilharm and his VP-30 crew did a great job on the static displays and simulator coordination."

During the static display, the Boy Scouts were able to get a firsthand look at the day-to-day operations in the aviation community.

 "The general public really doesn't have a good idea of what their military counterparts do on a daily basis," said Retired Cmdr. Kurt Bair, former VP-62 Reservist and father to one of the Boy Scouts.

"For these young men, getting the opportunity to see all that is required to fly maritime aircraft as well as hearing of all the capabilities of aircraft and aircrews was an eye opening and educational experience."

 The visit was coordinated by Lt. j.g. Skyler Barger, a VP-45 pilot.

"The Boy Scouts of America was vital to my development as a young man and I had many leaders help develop me into who I am today," said Barger. "They put time, effort and skill into me so doing something like this is my way of giving back to an organization that did so much for me."

Those who attended the tour said they were able to gain a greater understanding of naval aviation.

"They walked away with a greater idea and appreciation for what is required for them to pursue a career in the maritime aviation community," said Bair.

"We would like to express our gratitude for the participation of all who helped make this experience possible."