P-8A Multi-Mission Maritime Aircraft Homebasing Announced

P-8A Multi-Mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA) (Photo @Boeing)

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Department of the Navy announced Jan. 2 its decision to provide facilities and functions to base five fleet squadrons of the P-8A Multi-Mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA) with a fleet replacement squadron (FRS) at Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Fla., four fleet squadrons at NAS Whidbey Island, Wash., and three fleet squadrons at Marine Corps Base Hawaii Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, with periodic squadron detachment operations at NAS North Island.

This decision implements the preferred homebasing alternative 5 identified in the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) for the Introduction of the P-8A Multi-Mission Aircraft into the U.S. Navy Fleet (published November 2008).

Introduction of the P-8A MMA squadrons is projected to begin no later than 2012 and be completed by 2019.

This action is needed to transition from existing P-3C aircraft to the P-8A MMA while maintaining the Navy's overall maritime patrol capability supporting national defense objectives and policies without interruption or impediment to operations or combat readiness.

P-3C Orion (Photo @Navy.mil)

Ultimately, this action will include a total of 84 fleet and FRS aircraft.@NNS

P-8A Poseidon

P-8A Cockpit (Photo @Boeing)
Technical Specs
Length: 126.5 feet
Height: 42.1 feet
Wing Span: 117.5 feet
Max Fuel Capacity: 75,169 pounds
Max Zero Fuel Weight: 138,300 pounds
Max Taxi Weight: 184,700 pounds
Max Cruise Altitude: 41,000 feet
Max Cruise Speed: 490 KTAS (True Air Speed)
Max Range Cruise Speed: 440 KTAS (True Air Speed)
Propulsion: Two CFM56-7B engines providing 27,000 pounds thrust each

Naval Air Station Jacksonville
Commissioned on October 15, 1940, NAS Jacksonville occupies 3,896 acres in Jacksonville, Florida (Duval County) west of the St. Johns River and approximately 15 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. NAS Jacksonville employs approximately 18,000 active duty and civilian personnel. It is a multi-mission base hosting more than 100 tenant commands. This installation serves as the host for the Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Eleven and Patrol Squadron 30 (VP-30), the FRS for the P-3C.

NAS Jacksonville hosts six assigned squadrons of P-3C aircraft and one FRS. This base also hosts a detachment of the Helicopter Sea Combat Wing, Atlantic Fleet, and five squadrons of SH-60/HH-60/MH-60 helicopters. Additionally, an operational squadron of C-40 aircraft (the 18 military cargo and passenger variant of the Boeing 737) operates from NAS Jacksonville.

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island

Commissioned on September 21, 1942, NAS Whidbey Island is 50 miles north of Seattle, Washington, next to the city of Oak Harbor in Whidbey Island. Whidbey Island forms the northern boundary of Puget Sound and is located at the eastern end of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. NAS Whidbey Island employs more than 9,000 military and civilian personnel. The air station is home to 19 active duty squadrons, two reserve squadrons, and numerous tenant commands. NAS Whidbey Island provides land-based support and training (including airspace, operating areas, and ranges) for all of the Navy’s active duty EA-6B (being replaced by EA-18G) and EP-3 aircraft squadrons and the West Coast Fleet P-3C patrol and reconnaissance aircraft squadrons. The station also supports a Navy Reserve P-3C and a C-9 squadron in addition to the air station’s MH-60S search-and-rescue helicopters. Tenant commands include Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Ten and Commander Electronic Attack Wing Pacific.

Marine Corps Base Hawaii Kaneohe Bay
First commissioned as a Naval Air Station in 1941, MCBH Kaneohe Bay was re-commissioned on January 15, 1952, as a Marine Corps base. MCBH Kaneohe Bay is located on Mokapu Peninsula, which connects to Oahu, on the windward side, near the communities of Kaneohe and Kailua. The base is approximately 12 miles northeast of Honolulu. MCBH Kaneohe Bay employs approximately 11,200 active duty Navy, Marine Corps, and civilian personnel. The installation is home to the 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Aircraft Group 24, and the 3rd Radio Battalion. This installation supports three assigned squadrons of P-3C aircraft and MH-60, SH-60, and C-20 aircraft. Tenant commands include Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Two.

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