Boeing has installed a new P-8A Poseidon training center at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington, as the base begins preparations for the arrival of P-8 aircraft beginning in 2017.
“About 70 percent of the training we do for our P-8 crews happens in this building,” said U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Kyle Cozad. “That is going to make that wonderful aircraft last longer and longer. As much as 45 years.”
The complete training system uses simulators and classroom-based materials to train pilots and mission crews to operate the aircraft, its sensors, communications and weapons systems without relying on live flights, the company said in a statement Friday.
“Integrated, ground-based training is critical to U.S. Navy operations,” said Tom Shadrach, Boeing P-8 program manager, Training Systems and Government Services. “This new facility will help to effectively and efficiently train aircrews before they ever leave the ground.”
The aircrew training devices installed at Whidbey Island have the same configuration as the aircraft that will be stationed there next year. Boeing is on contract to modify and provide updates to the training devices over the next three years.
Boeing also provides P-8A aircrew training devices, electronic classrooms and courseware for the Navy at its Integrated Training Center (ITC) at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla. Aircrews began training in the ITC in early 2012.