British Royal Air Force (RAF) personnel of CXX Squadron and Poseidon Line Squadron have started training at the US Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida, US.
The initial cadre of 38 personnel comprising aircrew and engineers were drawn from RAF Lossiemouth and will receive training on the US Navy training squadron, Patrol Squadron 30 (VP-30).
During the next three years, RAF personnel will undergo training in the US. The RAF will then handle the training of all their P-8A Poseidon personnel in the UK at RAF Lossiemouth. Each training course will last for approximately six months.
CXX Squadron Officer Commanding wing commander James Hanson said: “It is really exciting to be among the first cohort of RAF aircrew and engineers to begin conversion to Poseidon, the people we have are among the most experienced in the RAF.
“This is the best maritime patrol aircraft available; a potent deterrent to our adversaries and a dependable asset for the UK and our allies. The commencement of our training marks the start of a new chapter for the RAF and a vital enhancement to our military capabilities in the maritime environment.”
The final training session in the US is expected to conclude in the summer of 2021.
The first Poseidon MRA Mk1 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) is set to be delivered in just over eight months.
A total of nine Poseidon aircraft will be delivered to the RAF and will be based at Lossiemouth.
Manufactured by Boeing, the P-8A Poseidon is a multi-role maritime patrol aircraft. It features sensors and weapons systems to support anti-submarine warfare, as well as surveillance and reconnaissance missions.