NAS Jacksonville on mission to find missing Malaysian plane

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Navy's newest addition of aircraft used for maritime search operations are based at NAS Jacksonville.

In recent days, one P-8A Poseidon has been flying missions halfway around the world to search for the missing Malaysian passenger jet that disappeared on March 8.

From a location in Australia, Squadron VP-16 has been flying daylight missions looking for the airliner. The crew, which has nine people in the air and 11 on the ground, is on the mission that involves being in the air ten hours a day.

"It takes an airplane like the P-8 with range, speed and endurance to effect the search of this magnitude and distance," said Captain Sean Liedman, Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Eleven.

Liedman said the crew is looking for debris fields with the very latest in technology.

"There is a high resolution electro optical turret on board...that camera gives us significant ranges to be able to detect small objects such as debris field," said Liedman.

Each aircraft costs $175 million dollars and are replacing the P-3 Oriens that have been used for the past fifty years. This spring, NAS Jacksonville is expected to received another 11 P-8A Poseidons.


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