The maintenance team assigned to the “Tridents” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 26 removed and replaced a CFM56-7 engine on a P-8A Poseidon at Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella, Italy, Nov. 17-18.

This is the first engine change VP-26 has performed on deployment since their transition to the P-8A in 2016.

“This was a very smooth evolution for something we rarely do, in a hangar not designed for a P-8” said Cmdr. Eric Andrews, the executive officer of VP-26.

“The team showed true, by-the-book maintenance.”

This is only the second engine change any patrol squadron has completed on a P-8A while deployed to NAS Sigonella.

“We are very lucky that our team is experienced with this process from the two engine changes we did during our home cycle,” said Lt. Cmdr. Charles Lewis, maintenance officer of VP-26.

The team of ten, led by AD2 Johnathon Kirchner, spent over nine hours replacing the 11,000 pound engine.

“The teamwork and coordination under Kirchner’s leadership was eye watering,” said Andrews.

Kirchner credited the success of the evolution to his experience, noting this was his seventh engine change on a P-8A.

“You just have to know where your team leader is and not let anyone interfere with the process,” said Kirchner. “The maintenance team demonstrated excellent procedural compliance and showed why we are the Golden Wrench winning squadron.” Said Cmdr. Michael Haymon, commanding officer of VP-26VP-26, homeported in Jacksonville, Florida, arrived in theater September 2018 and is operating out of Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy.

U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.