Whidbey Island, Wa- The Golden Eagles of Patrol Squadron (VP) 9, located at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, will receive a new aircraft.
VP-9 will be retiring the P-3 Orion, which has loyally serviced them for the last 54 years, and transitioning to the P-8 Poseidon.
Patrol Squadron Nine originated in Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island and has had four homeport changes on the West Coast, NAS Alameda, California (1952), NAS Moffett Field, California (1963), NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii (1992), and Marine Corps Base Hawaii Kaneohe, Hawaii (1999). The Golden Eagles have returned to their roots in NAS Whidbey Island, Washington after 66 years.
Over the years of operating the P-3 Orion, the Golden Eagles have been honored with nine Battle Efficiency Awards, four Meritorious Unit Commendations, five Coastal Command Trophies, and two Golden Wrench Awards for aviation maintenance excellence.
The P-8 Poseidon will be the fourth aircraft flown by VP-8 since their commissioning in 1951.
Upon returning from a seven month long deployment in Oct. 2017, VP-9 has been preparing for the transition to the P-8 Poseidon.
Aircraft transition is separated into three stages. The first stage began in November 2017 in Whidbey Island. This stage consisted of simulator training and classroom academics.
The second stage was started in Jan. 2018 and is currently taking place in Jacksonville, Florida. This stage includes executing training flights, crew simulators, and extensive maintenance instruction.
The final stage of the transition will return the squadron to Whidbey Island to complete the training syllabus by performing tactical aircraft employment.