Last P-3C squadron leaves for final deployment

  • Tuesday, April 9, 2019 5:41pm
  • News

By VP-40 Public Affairs

The last active duty P-3C Orion departed Naval Air Station Whidbey Island on March 29.

Patrol Squadron 40 is the last active duty P-3C squadron. On March 25th, VP-40’s first P-3C Orion aircraft departed NAS Whidbey to mark the beginning of the last P-3C squadron to deploy in support of US interests worldwide.

After finishing a 12-month inter-deployment readiness cycle at NAS Whidbey, they departed across different countries and continents within the US 5th and 7th Fleet Areas of Responsibility.

VP-40 has been flying the P-3C aircraft since 1975 and have taken the platform all over the world in support of multiple exercises and operations.

While VP-40 is the last active duty squadron to fly P-3s, there will still be P-3s on Whidbey Island. The Naval Reserve squadron, VP-69, is not scheduled to transition away from the P-3C during 2019, but VP-40 sun-downs the P-3C with this final deployment. VQ-1 will also continue to fly E-P3s for a few more years.

The P-3 platform was introduced by Lockheed Martin to the Navy in 1962. It has been utilized for decades in anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue, drug interdiction and information, surveillance and reconnaissance operations.

The P-3C has operated over all of the world’s oceans and in many of U.S conflicts.

“We could not be more proud of the effort given by the men and women of VP-40,” said Cmdr. Patrick O’Reilly, VP-40’s commanding officer.

“It’s had its challenges, but our sailors have succeeded in this fight with exceptional results.

“VP-40 has had many successes this IDRC, to include nearly perfect scores in the Conventional Weapons Technical Proficiency Inspection, the Chief of Naval Air Forces Aviation Maintenance Inspection and the Fleet NATOPS Evaluation. They also dominated operationally by participating in exercises supporting the U.S.S. John C. Stennis COMPTUEX, U.S.S. Boxer ARG MEUEX, Air Wing Fallon, and manned the Homeland Defense detachment while simultaneously training and preparing for its upcoming deployment.

“Even when the aircraft fought against us, even when the tempo was high and the days were long, we continued to fight,” O’Reilly said.

“We intend to honor the platform’s final deployment by living the legacy of all those that have gone before us and continuing to fight to the finish.”

More in News

New Langley tent initiative covers restaurants

The island’s realtors sponsored heated tents so Langley restaurants can continue outdoor seating.

Man with criminal history accused of threat, assault

The man is facing charges for threatening a post office employee, and spitting in an officer’s face.

Shop for a cause this weekend in Freeland

All proceeds from the garage sale will be donated.

South Whidbey Schools Foundation says it was stiffed on fundraiser proceeds

The foundation says it raised $7,000 in ticket sales but hasn’t received the money.

Oak Harbor 2020 sales taxes ‘on par’ with previous year

Although some sectors have decreased, remote sellers saw a 40 percent jump in sales taxes this year.

The MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system flies over Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., during a flight test activity in June. Though the Northrop Grumman aircraft won’t be landing at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Capt. Matt Arny said its mission will be run from the base. Photo by Alan Radecki.
NAS Whidbey ready to support unmanned aircraft

Base commander talks growth, future projects

Recent COVID-19 bump is ‘still very manageable’

Some of the most recent cases have been family clusters.

Mr. South Whidbey postponed, remembrance event in its place

Mr. South Whidbey won’t return to the stage until 2021.

Most Read