The Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 1 Pioneers recently returned from a detachment at Naval Base Ventura County in Pt. Mugu, California, where they successfully conducted two ATM-84 Harpoon live fire missile events in the P-8A Poseidon aircraft.
The detachment was the culmination of testing, training, and data collection for the P-8A Operational Test Team performing follow-on operational test and evaluation. The successful events were a direct result of the hard work of the VX-1 aircrew, maintenance and ordnance team.
“The whole process from the simulator and captive carry events in [NAS Patuxent River], to ferrying the aircraft across the country with ATM-84s and completing the shots on the Sea Range, was an incredible combined effort from maintenance, the aircrew and the NAVAIR Range Support team,” said Lt. Michael Reynders, VX-1 project officer.
Prior to the live fire events, multiple captive carry events were flown out of Pax River, resulting in 26 missile uploads and downloads to the aircraft. The dry run events provided a way to ensure ordnance hardware and aircraft software were synchronized.
Despite complications from critical ground support equipment and the missiles themselves, the ordinance team skillfully overcame obstacles presented to them and quickly adapted.
“The Aviation Ordnanceman (AO) detachment worked together and overcame these obstacles and executed our mission flawlessly,” said AO3 Cornelius Knox, from Thousand Oaks, California. The exceptional work conducted by the ordnance team supported smooth execution of all flight events.
The successful test provides new capabilities for the fleet to employ Harpoon from the P-8A Poseidon.