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HistoryVP-30 HistoryHistory

Circa 1969

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation December 1969 "...On Patrol - Page 47 - December 1969..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1969/dec69.pdf [17SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation September 1969 "...On Patrol - Page 34 to 35 - Naval Aviation News - September 1969..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1969/sep69.pdf [17SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation August 1969 "...On Patrol - Page 30 to 31 - August 1969..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1969/aug69.pdf [17SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation July 1969 "...On Patrol - Page 24 to 25 - Naval Aviation News - July 1969..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1969/jul69.pdf [17SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation June 1969 "...On Patrol - Page 30 to 31 - Naval Aviation News - June 1969..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1969/jun69.pdf [17SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation February 1969 "...On Patrol - Page 31 - Naval Aviation News - February 1969..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1969/feb69.pdf [16SEP2004]

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HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Squadron Awards..." Contributed by Mahlon K. Miller mkwsmiller@cox.net [23APR2001]

  • Meritorious Unit Commendation
    01 Jan 69 31 Dec 69
    01 Dec 80 30 Jun 82
    01 Jan 89 01 Jul 90
    01 Oct 91 01 Jun 93
    01 Feb 98 30 Sep 00

  • SECNAV Letter of Commendation
    Mar 78 - Jul 78
    01 Jul 94 30 Nov 95

    VP-30 Participating Aircrew
  • Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
    21 Sep 94 21 Dec 94

    Circa 1968

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-30 History "...VP-30 Shifts Homeports - JAX AIR NEWS - VOL 26 - NO 37 - NAS Jacksonville, FL - 05 DEC 1968..." WebSite: University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries http://ufdc.ufl.edu/ [30APR2011]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-30 History "...VP-30 Holds Inspection - JAX AIR NEWS - VOL 26 - NO 25 - NAS Jacksonville, FL - 12 SEP 1968..." WebSite: University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries http://ufdc.ufl.edu/ [27APR2011]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-30 "...CDR Campbell Is New Officer In Charge Of VP-30 Detachment - JAX AIR NEWS - VOL 26 - NO 07 - NAS Jacksonville, FL - 09 MAY 1968..." WebSite: University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries http://ufdc.ufl.edu/ [23APR2011]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation December 1968 "...On Patrol - Page 30 to 31 - Naval Aviation News - December 1968..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1968/dec68.pdf [15SEP2004]

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    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation September 1968 "...On Patrol - Page 30 to 31 - Naval Aviation News - September 1968..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1968/sep68.pdf [15SEP2004]

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    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation August 1968 "...On Patrol - Page 28 to 29 - Naval Aviation News - August 1968..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1968/aug68.pdf [15SEP2004]

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    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation July 1968 "...On Patrol - Page 30 to 31 - Naval Aviation News - July 1968..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1968/jul68.pdf [15SEP2004]

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    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation February 1968 "...On Patrol - Page 28 to 29 - Naval Aviation News - February 1968..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1968/feb68.pdf [14SEP2004]

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    Circa 1967

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-30 History "...VP-30 Gets New OIC - JAX AIR NEWS - VOL 25 - NO 18 - NAS Jacksonville, FL - 27 JUL 1967..." WebSite: University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries http://ufdc.ufl.edu/ [18APR2011]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-30 History "...CDR Rusch Takes Helm Of VP-30 Det - Deploys To Sicily - JAX AIR NEWS - VOL 25 - NO 04 - NAS Jacksonville, FL - 20 APR 1967..." WebSite: University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries http://ufdc.ufl.edu/ [16APR2011]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation December 1967 "...On Patrol - Page 26 to 27 - Naval Aviation News - December 1967..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1967/dec67.pdf [13SEP2004]

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    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation September 1967 "...WST Increases VP-30's Combat Readiness - Page 37 - Naval Aviation News - September 1967..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1967/sep67.pdf [12SEP2004]

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    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation May 1967 "...Fleet Air Wings On Patrol - Page 28 to 29 - Naval Aviation News - May 1967..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1967/may67.pdf [10SEP2004]

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    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation April 1967 "...Fleet Air Wings On Patrol - Page 28 - Naval Aviation News - April 1967..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1967/apr67.pdf [09SEP2004]

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    Circa 1966

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-30 History "...VP-30 Has New CO, Location Planes - JAX AIR NEWS - VOL 23 - NO 42 - NAS Jacksonville, FL - 13 JAN 1966..." WebSite: University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries http://ufdc.ufl.edu/ [10APR2011]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Circa 1966 - Tale Winds - The Paris Trip - A Journey with Admiral Tom Moorer - By CAPT Richard S. Zeisel, USN (Ret.) - Wings of Gold - Summer - Fall 2006 - Page 52 - 53..." WebSite: Association of Naval Aviation http://www.anahq.org/index.htm [21OCT2006]

    In April, 1966, the legendary ADM Tom Moorer was "wearing" five hats at Norfolk, but the one most applicable to this story was that of the Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic (SACLANT) .. Charles DeGaulle, France's president, had issued a "get out of France quick" directive to the U.S. Our response was immediate, hurried, and almost frantic. ADM Moorer, with key staff members and a substantial amount of classified rnaterial, was tasked with immediatley traveling to France for a meeting concerning critical logistics matters and returning just as quickly. Because of the volatility of the situation and the seniority of the admiral, rapid on-board communications with crypto capability was needed.

    VP-30 at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland had two brand new P-3Bs which, with their newer version of the T-56 engine, could cruise at Vne (maximum allowable airspeed). Security and communications capability were available and, most important to the time-strapped four-star, we could provide a "door-to-door" time-tailored service from NAS Norfolk, Virginia, to Le Bourget Airport in Paris which had a small French naval air base, Dugnny, at the opposite side of the field from the commercial terminals.

    Don Howard was the CO, and I was the XO, when the SACLANT call came in to VP-30. I was to make the Hight. I handpicked a crew from the squadron with departure from NAS Norfolk, Virginia set far 0800, April 5111o With the time change and estimated time en route of eight hours, an ETA of 2100 (local Paris time) was possible.

    One of the P-3Bs, BuNo 152720, was undergoing a major check and also had a hydraulic problem preventing the usc of the autopilot and causing a restricted mode of flap operation. The other, 152731, had just been ferried in from the Lockheed factory in Burbank. However, it arrived with a broken HF antenna. The antenna was replaced on Saturday, a test flight flown, and the VIP kit was added.

    There were a number of pieces in the VIP kit, the most significant of which was a large Hoar plate holding four plush airline seats, two facing forward and two facing aft, separated by a table. The whole assembly was bolted to the existing floor by at least a thousand screws (sounds like an exaggeration but I swear there were that many) to permit its use as a ditching station. It was mounted at the port over wing exit. We left for NAS Norfolk, Virginia on Sunday, 4 April to be all loaded and ready for the admiral at 0800 on Monday morning. The crew worked late into the evening loading a lot of miscellaneous equipment and all of the chief mess steward's gear, including the admiral's four star dishes and silverware.

    Monday morning broke bright and clear.

    We collected our passengers and ADM Moorer and launched at 0800, with a flight plan that called for 400 knots true airspeed. As we passed by Salisbury, Maryland just east of NAS Patuxent River, Maryland a few minutes later, we transmitted that all was well to the VP-30 duty office. Our estimated time en route was close to the published commercial jet time with the 50+ knots wind at our tai I, forecast to increase to 100+ knots. This was an important report since VP-30 and the first operational P-3B squadron in NAS Brunswick, Maine were on alert to bail us out if we ran into trouble. VP-30 only had old, slow (and somewhat worn out P-3As, and the interface with a different squadron and its aircraft at another base could not have been too detailed given the lack of advance warning.

    East of New York City, the admiral had his breakfast (he liked his toast buttered on both sides). The chief steward was working on fresh lobster salad for lunch as we were cooking along at 27,000 feet with 500 knots ground speed. It was precisely at this moment that the copilot's windshield uttered a loud crack heard all the way back to the after station. The P-3 windshield was a three-ply laminated affair, with the center layer acting as the structural member.

    The proper emergency procedure was to determine if the structural layer was the one that cracked, and if it was, to immediately depressurize the airplane and descend to a lower altitude, slowing to a safer airspeed to diminish the effect of a bird strike, if one occurred. Not many P3 folks had experienced a cracked windshield at this point in time. I sure hadn't, and since we couldn't determine ifit was structural, the book said to treut it like one.

    The copilot had already set a speed record getting his seat bottomed out and his helmet on. In fact he was back us far as he could get and was making moves us if to get out of his seat altogether. The decisions to depressurize, descend, declare an emergency and turn happened almost as fast. In my mind, there was no choice as to where I was going next: NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.

    VP-30 was aware of my passengers and mission, and somehow had to bail us out of this situation. I consulted ADM Moorer. He looked at me directly and said, "You're the captain." This spoke volumes about his confidence in our flight crew. I explained why we were going back to NAS Patuxent River, Maryland instead ahead to NAS Brunswick, Maine, but then he couldn't have known about the only other P-3B.

    We got on the horn to VP-30 immediately and I only have a witness to their activity to tell me what happened next. The entire squadron stopped in their tracks and turned to the task at hand. This included Don Howard who became painfully aware that he was about to host the most senior admiral on the east coast, perhaps the second senior in the Navy, within the next hour.

    The first order of business was the replacement aircraft. The cleanest and most reliable P-3A was an old hand-me-down from one of the early squadrons. It had seen a lot of service, and was definitely not exhibiting the "new plane smell." The clincher, however, was that it did not have an auxiliary power unit, the mod that delivered this capability to older P-3As was still coming. We in VP had long since known that going to a strange base with no P-3 support capability led to all sorts of problems, not the least of which was the inability to restart an engine.

    Don Howard turned to his maintenance crew and asked the impossible. Can we get the other P-3B out of check in time?

    To the Lockheed reps he asked if the aircraft was safe to fly considering the hydraulic problem. Answers to both were in the affirmative. The good old VP "can do" spirit was evident once again!

    When we skidded to a stop in front of the VP-30 hangar at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland about 45 minutes later, the other P-3B was on the flight line with what looked like an entire squadron of people running around it. CDR Howard had reached the admiral in command of the local Naval Air Test Center and the CO of the base, both of whom were waiting at the ladder leading from our aircraft. They took ADM Moorer in tow and went to an office in the hangar where they shared an uneasy cup of coffee.

    Meanwhile, the baggage, food, plates, classified matter and the VIP kit were transferred to 152720. (The VIP kit screws and mounting bolts were still being tightened as we flew across the Atlantic a couple of hours later.)

    In less than 60 minutes after we landed with the cracked windscreen, we were back in the air with all our passengers and gear aboard in a different aircraft. This effort was testimony to how fast things can be done when the purpose is critical. We had kept our clearance opened to avoid having to start over.

    Now the problem was time. We were over two hours behind schedule in an airplane we had to hand-fly at Vne. Fortunately, the winds were very favorable, and adrenalin kept the pilots alert all the way. Paris was experiencing IFR conditions when we arrived, which required a lengthy vectored descent and instrument approach. Even so, when we finally landed and taxied in to the the Dugnny base, we had logged only 8.6 hours total. Extract the approach, landing, and long taxi, and we made it in a little over 7 hours.

    The unfortunate news was that the local time was well after midnight and the admiral and his staff had to attend the critical early morning conference. They managed some sleep on the way over, however, thanks to the bunks we had rigged for that purpose. By the time we put the P-3B to bed, and drove to a hotel in Paris, it was 3 A.M. We were so wired up it was impossible to sleep. I remember taking a quick shower and getting a drink at the hotel before finally taking a nap. (I do remember that a coke cost $5 American!)

    The crew did a little sight-seeing before leaving to preflight the aircraft at 2 P.M. for a 5 P.M. departure. The officers were leaving at 3 P.M. when I received a frantic call from the flight engineer. He said, "There is no JP-4 or 5 here, only JP-I!" Our engines could not accept the cheap kerosene (J P-l) used by commercial jets. I learned later that the publication which lists available fuel (it had listed the availability of JP-4) was only correct once a year when JP-4 was trucked in for the Paris Air Show.

    A hurried telephone consultation with our French hosts, particularly the CO of Dugnny who was Captain Devasio De Gaulle - yes, son of Charles, followed. There were two options, both of which required us to refuel somewhere else.

    (Via single side band HF radio we had contacted Lockheed in Burbank confirming we shouldn't use JP-l.) We decided to refuel at Evereaux AFB, about 30 minutes flight time from Le Bourget and about a one and a half hour drive from the conference facility. The admiral's aide had decided against taking the offer of a French twin-engine airplane from Dugnny.

    I'm not sure who met us at Evereaux AFB, but it was another surprised base commander who had to contend with emergency demands for fuel, special food needs, and the arrival of a group of very senior U.S. naval officers. This part went very well, though, and the entire entourage took off for NAS Norfolk, Virginia about two hours later than planned.

    Another hand-tooled flight ensued, although not quite at the pace of the previous day. What with headwinds and a slower airspeed, it took 9.5 hours to get back to NAS Norfolk, Virginia.

    ADM Moorer could not have been more patient or considerate, especially in view of the extreme pressure he was under. We flew him again a few months later, a flight as pleasant and uneventful as this one was hectic.

    A few years later, at the annual Navy Ball in Washington D.C., where ADM Moorer presided as the newly appointed CNO, I brought my wife up to meet him after dinner and to congratulate him on his new assignment. Without missing a beat, and before I could introduce myself, he looked me straight in the eye, with a twinkle in his, and asked, "Broken any windshields lately?".

    P.S. CAPT Pat Gigliotti, USN (Ret.), the current CO of NAF Patuxent River Squadron. was the copilot on that flight when the windshield cracked not two feet from his nose.

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation December 1966 "...Fleet Air Wings On Patrol - Page 28 to 29 - Naval Aviation News - December 1966..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1966/dec66.pdf [07SEP2004]

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    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation March 1966 "...Fleet Air Wings On Patrol - Page 36 to 37 - Naval Aviation News - March 1966..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1966/mar66.pdf [04SEP2004]

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    Circa 1965

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation July 1965 "...Selective Air Reserve - Page 26 to 27 - Naval Aviation News - July 1965..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1965/jul65.pdf [01SEP2004]

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    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation May 1965 "...On Patrol With Atlantic Air Wings - Page 36 to 37 - Naval Aviation News - May 1965..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1965/may65.pdf [31AUG2004]

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    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation March 1965 "...On Patrol With Atlantic Air Wings - Page 26 to 27 - Naval Aviation News - March 1965..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1965/mar65.pdf [31AUG2004]

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    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation January 1965 "...On Patrol With Atlantic Air Wings - Page 28 to 29 - Naval Aviation News - January 1965..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1965/jan65.pdf [31AUG2004]

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    Circa 1964

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-30 History "...VP-30 Pilot Awarded Medal - JAX AIR NEWS - VOL 22 - NO 03 - NAS Jacksonville, FL - 26 MAR 1964..." WebSite: University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries http://ufdc.ufl.edu/ [29MAR2011]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-30 History "...CDR Smith Is New Commanding Officer of VP-30 - JAX AIR NEWS - VOL 21 - NO 42 - NAS Jacksonville, FL - 09 JAN 1964..." WebSite: University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries http://ufdc.ufl.edu/ [27MAR2011]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraLooking back to 1964 "...A French Air Force Officer receives training in the close quarters of a P2V Neptune assigned to the VP-30 "Pro's Nest" at NAS Jacksonville, Florida - Page 2 - Thursday, November 26, 2009..." WebSite: JaxAirNewshttp://www.jaxairnews.com/ [27NOV2009]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-30 History "...'Pro's Nest' Sailors Bring Sweets To Community by VP-30 Public Affairs Officer - Thursday October 12, 2009..." WebSite: JaxAirNews http://www.jaxairnews.com/ [13NOV2009]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: NAS ThumbnailCameraNAS Jacksonville, FLA "...Circa 1964...In 1961 VP-7 made its final homeport change, from NAS Brunswick, Maine to NAS Jacksonville, Florida. The photo shows the "seawall" area of NAS Jacksonville, Florida, site of VP-7 hangars. In the photo left is roughly north and the water at the top of the pic is the St. Johns River. The seaplane ramps are clearly visible, used until '63 or so by VP-45 and other P5M squadrons (most of which got P3's early in the game). the rightmost hangar belonged to VP-30, the P2 RAG. VP-7 at one time or another occupied the second or third hangar from the right. At one time the second hangar was shared by VP-7 and VW-4, the "Hurricaine Hunters" and their WV Super Connies..." Contributed by WOODRUFF, William H. (Woody) whw00dy@att.net [20FEB2001]


    Circa 1963

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-30 History "...NAS Patuxent River, Maryland Circa 1963..." Contributed by Mark Wass wmsburgoh@verizon.net [24DEC2010]


    Circa 1962

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-30 History "...New P3A Orion Here On Orientation Visit - JAX AIR NEWS - VOL 20 - NO 39 - NAS Jacksonville, FL - 13 DEC 1962..." WebSite: University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries http://ufdc.ufl.edu/ [26MAR2011]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-30 History "...VP-30 Boasts Safe Fiscal Year 1962 - JAX AIR NEWS - VOL 20 - NO 16 - NAS Jacksonville, FL - 19 JUL 1962..." WebSite: University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries http://ufdc.ufl.edu/ [22MAR2011]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-30 History "...AdMat Inspection Nets 'Outstanding' Rating For VP-30 - JAX AIR NEWS - VOL 20 - NO 08 - NAS Jacksonville, FL - 24 MAY 1962..." WebSite: University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries http://ufdc.ufl.edu/ [21MAR2011]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-18 History "...VP-18 and VP-30 Will GEt New COs Tuesday - JAX AIR NEWS - VOL 19 - NO 41 - NAS Jacksonville, FL - 25 NOV 1961..." WebSite: University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries http://ufdc.ufl.edu/ [19MAR2011]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News May 1962 "...German Aviators At NAS Jax - Page 30 - Naval Aviation News - May 1962..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1962/may62.pdf [23AUG2004]

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    Circa 1961

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-30 History "...P5M Arrivals Marks Return Of Seaplanes - JAX AIR NEWS - VOL 19 - NO 15 - NAS Jacksonville, FL - 13 JUL 1961..." WebSite: University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries http://ufdc.ufl.edu/ [15MAR2011]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-30 History "...VP-30 Forms Unique Maintenance System - JAX AIR NEWS - VOL 18 - NO 50 - NAS Jacksonville, FL - 02 MAR 1961..." WebSite: University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries http://ufdc.ufl.edu/ [14MAR2011]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News June 1961 "...Student Teaches Teacher - Page 36 - Naval Aviation News - June 1961..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1961/jun61.pdf [20AUG2004]

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    Circa 1960

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-30 History "...VP-30 Enters Into Aviator Training - JAX AIR NEWS - VOL 18 - NO 18 - NAS Jacksonville, FL - 07 JUL 1960..." WebSite: University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries http://ufdc.ufl.edu/ [12MAR2011]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-30 History "...New VP Squadron Commissioning Set - JAX AIR NEWS - VOL 18 - NO 16 - NAS Jacksonville, FL - 30 JUN 1960..." WebSite: University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries http://ufdc.ufl.edu/ [11MAR2011]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: History ThumbnailCameraVP-30 History "...New Patrol Squadron Joins Fleet Air Wing 11 - JAX AIR NEWS - VOL 18 - NO 15 - NAS Jacksonville, FL - 23 JUN 1960..." WebSite: University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries http://ufdc.ufl.edu/ [11MAR2011]

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: Naval Aviation News September 1960 "...Detachment Alfa Is Ready - Page 22 - Naval Aviation News - September 1960..." WebSite: http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1960/sep60.pdf [18AUG2004]

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    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...VP-30 was commissioned in June 1960 at NAS Jacksonville, Florida to train flight crews for P-5 Marlin and P-2 Neptune aircraft. In June 1963, VP-30 Detachment ALFA was formed at Patuxent River, Maryland to begin training in the newly introduced P-3 Orion. Growth of VP-30 Detachment ALFA soon became significant enough that the squadron homeport was changed to Patuxent River, Maryland in 1966. Flight operations continued at NAS Jacksonville, Florida until P-2 aircraft were phased out of service in December 1968. June 1969 marked the beginning of P-3C training with its computerized data processing equipment. In 1970, VP-30 assumed training for P-3 maintenance personnel with the Fleet Readiness Aviation Maintenance Program (FRAMP). From March-August 1975, VP-30 returned to its present homeport of NAS Jacksonville, Florida. In August 1991 the command was designated a Major Shore Command as the Maritime Patrol Community Fleet Replacement Squadron. Since its establishment in 1960, VP-30 has epitomized professionalism in Naval Aviation. This professionalism has been the command's trademark which is largely due to a rigorous process used to screen our ground and flight instructors. The instructors come to the "Pro's Nest" with vast fleet operational experience, then undergo an extensive Instructor Under Training (IUT) syllabus prior to being designated as instructors. VP-30 ensures the fleet receives safe and competent replacement pilots, naval flight officers, aircrewmen and maintenance technicians who are ready to participate as fully functioning crew members upon reporting to their fleet squadrons. With downsizing of the Department of Defense and focus on economic efficiencies, VP-30, the Navy's largest aviation squadron is the only site conducting Maritime Patrol Fleet Replacement Training. There are currently 13 VP fleet squadrons homeported in Brunswick, ME; Jacksonville, FL; Barbers Point, HI; and Whidbey Island, WA, all of which are now supported by the dedicated men and women of the "Pro's Nest". The squadron's awards include three Navy Meritorious Unit Commendations for Norwegian Navy P-3B training and P-3C introduction, P-3C Update II training of the Japanese and Royal Netherlands Navies, and recently for the consolidation of all P-3 training into a single-site FRS, the United States Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation with Operational Distinguishing Device for Participation in the 1985-1986 winter law enforcement operations and the 1971, 1983, 1991 and 1992 CNO Safety Award. In July 1995, the squadron surpassed 31 years and 300,000 flight hours accident free, a Naval Aviation record!" http://www.cnet.navy.mil/vp30home/vp30/about.htm

    HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons CD-ROM: Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons Vol. 2 Stock No. 008-046-00195-2 The History of VP, VPB, VP(HL), and VP(AM) Naval Historical Center, Department Of The Navy, Washington, D. C...." [15JUN2000]
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