Aircrew from the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) graduated from Patrol Squadron (VP) Thirty’s Category 2 school Sept. 11, becoming the first crew to transition from the P-3C Orion to the P-8A Poseidon. VP-30’s Foreign Military Sales Division facilitated the course with RNoAF’s No. 333 Squadron, which started in early March.
“There is a need for close alliances and an importance for great power rivalry,” Col. Haavard Klevberg, Norway’s air and defense cooperation attache, said at the training graduation. “By continuing close operations with the U.S. with ASW and maritime surveillance, the 333 Squadron considerably and substantially contributes to maintain close partnerships between Norway and the United States,” Klevberg said.
The VP-30 commanding officer agreed. “Whether it be through NATO, our through the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, or simply through humanitarian assistance, the United States and Norway have always had a special bond,” said Capt. Thomas Grady. “And that bond becomes even stronger today, as we celebrate the graduation of the first Norwegian P-8A class.”
The RNoAF Squadron’s previous P-3C experience and maritime background ensured the crew hit the ground running in the course and will aid in a seamless transition of the P-8A for future Norway and allied operations. Some RNoAF crewmembers will go to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, to support testing and development of future P-8A technologies. Others will remain at VP-30 to go through the Instructor Under-Training syllabus, to qualify as instructors for the Norwegian P-8A force.
The Norwegian military plans to take delivery of the P-8A aircraft in 2021-23. The RNoAF transition will continue as 10 more aircrews are slated to arrive at VP-30 for training in the future.