For the last time in over half a century - the East Coast has sent a P-3 Orion on deployment. Via Patrol Squadron 26's LTjg Elizabeth McNaught;
Sailors of Patrol Squadron (VP) 26 will make history Jan. 22 as the last East Coast squadron to deploy in the P-3C Orion aircraft. For the squadron, this deployment will mark the sunset of an aircraft with a 50-year legacy of excellence and historic milestones which began with the acceptance of its first P-3B back in 1966. On Jan. 4 of that year, nearly 49 years to the month, VP-26 became the Navy’s first operational P-3B squadron, when the squadron ferried the first P-3B from its production site in Burbank, Calif. to Naval Air Station, Brunswick, Maine.The mighty Orion served her nation well, and still will for a few more years. She is long in the tooth and the airframes have about finished giving their last full measure.
For an old bird born to chase down and nuke Soviet submarines, this will be a sad little deployment;
So, when the sailors return from El Salvador and Bahrain, they'll upgrade to a new Boeing 737 called P-8 Poseidon.The P-8A still has some work to do - but with time and a bit more money I'm sure - it will get there.
Is has to.
Until then - thanks old girl.