Navy P-8A Aerial Refueling Training Set for September
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Navy plans to begin routine training of its P-8A Poseidon patrol (VP) squadrons in aerial refueling procedures next month, a Navy spokesman said in an Aug. 10 article in the JAX Air News, the official newspaper of Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla.
VP-45, one of six fleet P-8A squadrons based at Jacksonville, will begin training Sept. 9 to receive fuel inflight from Air Force tankers, according to Lt. Nick Wilharm, public affairs for VP-30, the fleet replacement squadron for the P-8A.
The P-8A was built with the aerial refueling capability but only now is the Navy gearing up to use the capability, almost four years after the aircraft’s first deployment. The capability will extend the range and endurance of the P-8A, allowing for more time on station and more distant transits.
Wilharm said his squadron completed its first aerial refueling flight on Aug. 1 over Tennessee, teaming with a KC-135 Stratotanker from the Tennessee Air National Guard.
The first deployment of a P-8A squadron with the refueling training is scheduled for 2018.