As his squadron looked on from the flight line, Patrol Squadron One’s commanding officer Cmdr. J.T. Pianetta congratulated the “fleet’s finest” on a job well done.
After a rigorous seven months of learning, testing and practice in both state of the art flight simulators and aircraft, VP-1 successfully transitioned from the P-3C Orion to the Boeing P-8A Poseidon, the Navy’s newest maritime patrol aircraft.
“Transitioning a squadron to a new aircraft is a challenging process, but the men and women of VP-1 tackled it with pride and enthusiasm,” Pianetta said in a prepared release.
“What the entire team accomplished is truly amazing.”
VP-1 is the first squadron originally based at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island to complete the rigorous transition course.
Originally established as Bombing Squadron 128 (VPB-128) in 1943, VP-1 has transitioned through seven Maritime Patrol Aircraft, including the PV-1 Ventura, the P-2 Neptune, the P-3 Orion and now the P-8 Poseidon.
The squadron played active roles in both the North Atlantic and Pacific theaters during World War II, and shortly after the end of the war transitioned to the P-2 Neptune. VP-1 relocated to NAS Whidbey early in 1948, where it continued to fly the P-2 until transitioning to the P-3C in 1969.
After nearly 50 years of service with the Navy, the P-3 brought VP-1 back from its most recent successful deployment in October 2018.
After reuniting with family and friends, VP-1 squadron members detached to Jacksonville, Fla., to begin their transition to the P-8A under the guidance of VP-30, the Navy’s Patrol and Reconnaissance Fleet Replacement Squadron. Squadron members tackled different aircraft and mission systems and faced new challenges before returning to Whidbey to complete the transition.
With the completion of the transition syllabus, VP-1 squadron members will now prepare for future deployments in the P-8. Though the nostalgia for the P-3 will always be present in the hearts of the sailors and officers of VP-1, the P-8 Poseidon will be the backbone of the VP-1 team and the Navy for years to come.