PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - Two P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft assigned to the Skinny Dragons of Patrol Squadron (VP) 4 will operate from Marine Corps Base Hawaii and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in support of maritime security initiatives beginning Sept. 28.
This is a part of a rotational deployment of forces, and the first time a P-8 detachment will be deployed to Oahu. Previously, these maritime security missions were flown by P-3C Orion aircraft.
This is VP-4's first deployment flying the P-8A Poseidon. The P-8A, a militarized version of the Boeing 737, is the most advanced long-range maritime patrol aircraft in the world. It is a capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, and ISR operations. The aircraft brings the latest avionics and onboard systems to the maritime patrol and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) mission, making it the most advanced anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare aircraft in the world.
VP-4, which is based at Whidbey Island in Washington, has a long history in Hawaii, dating back to 1928 when it was first established in Hawaii. The squadron operated here during the Vietnam War and the Cold War. In recent years, VP-4 deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations including Italy, Greece and Spain, to name a few.
VP-4 departed Oahu for the last time as a Hawaii squadron in March 2016. While on deployment, VP-4 executed a permanent duty station change to Whidbey Island.
Maritime patrol squadrons now temporarily deploy to Hawaii on a rotational basis.