NAS Jacksonville P-3 and P-8 Callsigns; February 2015 Update

In December 2013 I put this blog post together in response to a question I received about P-3 and P-8 callsigns at NAS Jacksonville. In the just over a year that has passed, the transition from the P-3 to the P-8 at NAS Jacksonville is almost complete (As a reserve squadron, I wouldn’t expect VP-62 to transition until after all of the activity duty squadrons transition). VP-10 is ending their current deployment and will begin transitioning to the P-8 in March. VP-26 is now beginning their last deployment with the P-3, after which they will transition to the P-8. Taking this into mind, I’ve updated the December 2013 post with the most current information.

The US Navy is currently transitioning its Patrol Squadrons from the P-3 Orion to the P-8 Poseidon. VP-30, based at NAS Jacksonville, is the FRS (Fleet Replacement Squadron) and was the first to train on the P-8 so that they could train the rest of the Patrol Squadrons during the transition.  VP-30 still retains the mission of training personnel for the P-3 until the transition is complete, so they are equipped with both P-3s and P-8s.  The east coast squadrons at NAS Jacksonville are the first to make the transition; VP-5, VP-8, VP-16, and VP-45 are the squadrons that have completed the transition.  VP-16 and VP-5 have made the first P-8A operational deployments.  VP-10 is about to begin the transition process and VP-26 will transition after their current deployment. VP-8 will soon begin a 13 month work up period prior to their first deployment with the P-8A. Below is a list of the Patrol Squadrons at NAS Jacksonville along with which aircraft they are currently operating (as of February 2015).

  • VP-30 (FRS):  P-3C, P-8A
  • VP-5:  P-8A
  • VP-8:  P-8A
  • VP-10:  Transitions to P-8A beginning March 2015
  • VP-16:  P-8A
  • VP-26:  Beginning last deployment with P-3C
  • VP-45:  P-8A
  • VP-62 (Reserve):  P-3C

For callsigns, the squadrons that transition to the P-8A are using the same callsigns that they did with the P-3C, so far no changes have been noted.  VP-30 flights have been using different callsign structures for P-3s and P-8s however:  P-3 flights have been utilizing two digit LL ## callsigns whereas P-8 flights have been using 3 digit LL 8## callsigns.

  • VP-30:  LL ## (P-3C), LL 8## (P-8A)
  • VP-5:  MAD FOX
  • VP-10:  LANCER
  • VP-26:  TRIDENT
  • VP-45:  PELICAN
  • VP-62:  NAVY LT 62#

Where can you hear the new P-8As?  The P-8As have been making regular flights along the coast as well as cross-country flights to other airfields.  They’ve also been heard on regular patrol squadron operating frequencies.  For the coastal Georgia area, here are some good frequencies to listen to (for ATC, they’re frequently heard on the VHF frequencies):

  • 277.400/126.750 – Jax Center Brunswick Low
  • 282.200/124.675 – Jax Center Jekyll Low
  • 282.300/135.975 – Jax Center Alma High
  • 285.650/126.125 – Jax Center Statesboro High
  • 290.350/132.425 – Jax Center Hunter Ultra High
  • 363.200/132.925 – Jax Center Millen/Savannah Low
  • 120.950/284.500 – SEALORD North Primary
  • 285.000 – TSC Jacksonville “FIDDLE”
  • 8.971 USB – TSC Jacksonville “FIDDLE”

Another interesting thing to note is that while most P-3s don’t make use of Mode-S the P-8As do, so if you’ve got a Mode-S receiver or one of the dongles that can be used for receiving Mode-S, keep an eye out for them.

Good Listening!

Recent News Articles with information on the P-3/P-8 transition:

Jax Air News – ‘Red Lancers’ homeward bound

Jax Air News – ‘Mad Foxes’ home from deployment

Jax Air News – ‘Fighting Tigers’ display high munitions proficiency

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s