A Conversation With Heroes – Warbird Radio LIVE! – Ep532

Matt-Conversation-With-Heros-WEBWARBIRD RADIO – This past December, during the International Council of Air Shows annual convention in Las Vegas, WRL’s Matt Jolley had the privilege of hosting A Conversation With Heroes.  The event featured fighter pilot and triple ACE Bud Anderson, fighter pilot and Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee, and RCAF Lancaster bomber tail gunner Si Campbell.

The stories and life lessons contained in this conversation are well worth the time.  We hope you enjoy!

A special thank you to the International Council of Air Shows for making this re-broadcast possible.

QUICK LINK:  International Council of Air Shows

P-8A Poseidon Entering Full Rate Production

P-8A-Arrival-to-Pax21WARBIRD RADIO – On the heels of the P-8A Poseidon squadron’s inaugural deployment, the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft Program Office (PMA-290) recently announced it entered the full-rate production (FRP) phase of its development.

According to a recent news release, the approval, reached Jan. 3 from the FRP Milestone Decision Authority will allow the program office, resource sponsor, acquisition community and industry to continue to deliver the P-8A to the fleet with the required capabilities needed to ensure the squadrons are getting a stable and efficient system.

“This significant milestone approval moves the program from low-rate into full-rate production, and allows us to manufacture the remaining aircraft over the next several years with an opportunity for a cost-effective procurement,” said Cmdr. Tony Rossi, the integrated product team lead for the P-8A program.

Aligned under the Naval Air Systems Command, the program’s current objective is to deliver 117 aircraft to the fleet. Thirteen of 37 Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) aircraft have already been delivered to fleet squadrons, with all deliveries on or ahead of schedule. As the Naval Fleet Forces transition to the P-8A, from the P-3C, the Sailors will use these LRIP and future FRP aircraft to train and participate in operational missions.

Currently, Patrol Squadron 16 (VP-16), who deployed in December, is equipped with LRIP aircraft. VP-16 and the second squadron with LRIP P-8As will receive their next upgrades through increments 2 and 3, which are the follow-up phases for capabilities for the P-8A aircraft and weapons systems. The next significant milestone for the P-8A program is initial operational capability (IOC) for Increment 2, which is scheduled for 2016, Rossi said.

The P-8A’s current configuration, Increment 1, consists of the following capabilities: persistent armed anti-submarine warfare (ASW), an integrated sensor suite, and significant improvement in situational awareness. Increment 2 will consist of multi-static active coherent acoustics, automated identification system, and high-altitude ASW weapon capability.

“This FRP milestone is a testament to the incredible effort and dedication of the P-8A team to deliver the P-8A to the fleet as planned,” said Capt. Scott Dillon, PMA-290 program manager. “The team has accomplished a lot over the last six months, from passing the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation period this summer to achieving IOC this fall and the P-8’s first operational deployment this winter. We are moving forward with a successful start to 2014 with the announcement of FRP. The high-quality work of the P-8A team has made this milestone possible. We look forward to having continued successes within the program.”

The P-8A Poseidon will replace the P-3C Orion as a long-range anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft.

Story and photo courtesy PMA-290 Public Affairs

US Air Force Announces New Class of Test Pilots – Randolph AFB

WARBIRD RADIO – Forty-four Air Force captains and first lieutenants have been selected as primary or alternate test pilot school program attendees, Air Force Personnel Center officials said Jan. 21.

According to a recent news release “Officers selected will fill classes beginning in June this year, said Maj. Miles Middleton, AFPC special assignments branch.

The program exists to develop specially trained pilots, combat systems officers, flight test engineers and remotely piloted aircraft pilots to monitor, manage, and perform flight tests on research, experimental or production-type aerospace vehicles and weapon systems, he said.

“Program graduates have profound strategic impact on future combat capabilities, so selection is highly competitive,” Middleton said. “Graduates are future senior leaders who will help shape our national security and identifying the right people for this opportunity was critical.”

To see the list of selectees, visit myPers at and enter “Test Pilot School” in the search window.

QUICK LINK:  Test Pilot School

Happy Birthday Hawkeye! – Navy Celebrates 50th Anniversary of E-2 Aircraft

Hawkeye_50th_logo_web_smallWARBIRD RADIO — The United States Navy has announced a yearlong series of events that will mark the milestone 50th anniversary of the first E-2 Hawkeye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft, delivered to Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 11 on Jan. 19, 1964, becoming what is affectionately known as “the eyes and ears of the Navy.” As the first aircraft explicitly designed for the Navy’s AEW mission, the E-2 has had a presence aboard every carrier strike group in the Navy’s arsenal and has participated in every major combat operation, providing humanitarian and disaster relief.

According to a recent news release, the E-2/C-2 Airborne Tactical Data Systems Program Office (PMA-231) has named 2014 as the Year of the Hawkeye. The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is the newest variant of the E-2 aircraft platform. It features a state-of-the-art radar with a two-generation leap in capability and upgraded aircraft systems that will improve fleet supportability and increase readiness. The E-2D is on schedule to reach initial operational capability later this year.

Celebrations are scheduled to begin Jan. 19 kicking off a yearlong series of events focusing feature podcasts, videos, photos and articles about the E-2 Hawkeye that will be posted online (see Quick Link below for details).

QUICK LINK:  Hawkeye  www.navair.navy.mil/hawkeye

MAAM’s P-61 Black Widow Restoration UPDATE – Warbird Radio LIVE! – Ep 531

P-61KEYIMAGEWARBIRD RADIO – Russ Strine joins Matt Jolley with an update on the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum’s P-61 “Black Widow” restoration.  MAAM’s P-61 will soon become the only flying example of the famous WWII era night fighter. Russ also unveils some big news about their upcoming WWII Weekend!  Over a thousand re-enactors, 80 period airplanes and hundreds of military vehicles make up this “total immersion” living history experience.  The WWII Weekend in Reading, PA is truly a bucket list adventure for any history buff.  Hear all the details on this episode of Warbird Radio LIVE!  Thanks for tuning in.

QUICK LINK:  The Mid-Atlantic Air Museum

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