US Navy sub hunter aces first operational aerial refueling over Mediterranean

A P-8A attached to the “Tridents” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 26 receives fuel from a 100th Air Refueling Wing tanker. Photo: US Navy

The US Navy has shared a photo of a Poseidon P-8A ASW maritime patrol aircraft conducting the type’s first operational aerial refueling over the Mediterranean Sea.

US Navy Aircrewmen assigned to the “Tridents” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 26 carried out the flight Oct. 15, 2018, while patrolling the US 6th Fleet area of operations.

The introduction of aerial refueling is a strategic military capability that will increase the P-8A’s capabilities by increasing the range and duration of flights.

“Introducing P-8A aerial refueling to the US 6th Fleet [area of operations] is a huge milestone for the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force,” said Cmdr. Mike Haymon, the commanding officer of VP-26. “This capability is a game changer for our community and I could not be prouder of the hard work put in by Team Trident to successfully bring it forward.”

During the half-hour evolution, which was accomplished in coordination with the 100th Air Refueling Wing, the Tridents made two separate connections with the tanker and received more than 30,000 pounds of fuel.

VP-26, based out of Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, is in the US 6th Fleet area of operation in support of US National security interests in Europe and Africa.

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