JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Friends and family gathered Friday morning at Jacksonville Naval Air Station to say goodbye to the Patrol Squadron 16, or V-P 16.

The squadron is going to make history as the first operational Navy squadron to deploy with the new P-8, a "Poseidon," to the western pacific.

They were the first marine patrol reconnaissance aircraft operational squadron to go from the P-3c Orion to the P-8A Poseidon.

So what's new about this ship?

It's designed to replace the Orion as a long-range ship. It's also designed to protect against submarine and surface warfare, intelligence and surveillance aircraft.

The ship provides more capability when it comes to combat and it's able to do this with a smaller force and with less infrastructure.

At the same time, it's able to respond to wherever they are needed to be across the whole world.

The ship uses traditional forces and even unmanned sensors. The V-P 16 squadron has been preparing for this deployment for the last year.

The navy says it has significant growth potential, including being able to go further throughout the world, have a greater payload capacity and even operate in a higher altitude.