JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A 2010 Bonneville High School graduate and Ogden native is serving with Patrol Squadron Sixteen (VP-16), also known as the “War Eagles”.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Calli Carter is a naval aircrewman (operator) with VP-16, a Jacksonville-based squadron that operates the Navy’s newly-designed maritime patrol aircraft, the P-8A Poseidon. Each aircraft has an aircrew of nine, is nearly 130 feet long, may weigh up to 188,200 lbs. (max gross) and can travel over 560 miles per hour and nearly 1,380 miles on a tank of gas.
As a naval aircrewman (operator), Carter‘s job duties are to perform as a member of an integrated tactical crew aboard maritime patrol aircraft and an integrated, tactical and logistics worldwide intelligence network.
“I ensure the safety of flights and identify any nearby threats in the area of flights my crew is a part of,” said Carter.
The Navy’s replacement platform for the P-3C, the P-8A Poseidon, is designed to secure the Navy’s future in long-range maritime patrol capability, while transforming how the Navy’s maritime patrol and reconnaissance force will man, train, operate and deploy.
“I really enjoy the platform it is a very competitive aircraft, and really enjoy flying,” said Carter.
The P-8A provides more combat capability from a smaller force and less infrastructure while focusing on worldwide responsiveness and interoperability with traditional manned forces and evolving unmanned sensors.
Carter also said she is proud of the work she is doing as part of the squadron’s 260-member team, helping to protect America on the world’s oceans.
“I like the diversity of the job, it is never the same thing everyday, you meet people from every kind of background it is definitely a change from Utah and where I grew up,” Carter said.
The P-8A leverages the experience and technology of the P-3C’s capabilities and assets to meet the Navy’s needs of developing and fielding a maritime aircraft equipped with significant growth potential, including an extended global reach, greater payload capacity, higher operating altitude, and the open systems architecture.
The War Eagles were the first squadron to deploy with the new P-8A platform.
One of their first major missions had international attention as they participated in the international search effort for Malaysia Airlines flight
MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean.
Sailors’ jobs are highly varied in VP-16. Approximately 60 officers, 200 enlisted men and women make up and keep all parts of the squadron running smoothly — this includes everything from maintaining aircraft airframes and engines, to processing paperwork, handling weaponry, and flying the aircraft.
“Every day I feel an extraordinary amount of pride to serve alongside our great Nation’s most inspiring men and women,” said Cmdr. Daniel Papp, VP-16’s commanding officer. “Our team is filled with hardworking and highly qualified professionals who hold uncommon levels of responsibility and accountability in support of our mission: To provide maritime patrol services to the fleet in support of national interests. Their work ethic, commitment, enthusiasm, and esprit de corps are second to none!”
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s newest maritime patrol aircraft platforms, Carter and other VP-16 sailors are proud to part of a warfighting team that readily defends America at all times.