Patrol Squadron (VP) 47 hosted a static display of the P-8A Poseidon during an air show in which the Royal Norwegian Air Force launched the last P-3C Orion mission flight at Andøya Air Station, Norway, June 30, 2023.

The air show was a nostalgic gathering of aviation enthusiasts, veterans, and personnel from around the world to witness this historic moment. The event served as a farewell to the P-3 Orion, a workhorse that has been a crucial asset to the Royal Norwegian Air Force’s mission for over five decades.

Spectators also had the opportunity to tour the P-8A Poseidon, a technologically advanced successor to the P-3C Orion and learn about its capabilities in anti-submarine warfare and maritime patrol and reconnaissance. The P-3C Orion, initially designed for anti-submarine warfare, evolved to encompass a broad spectrum of maritime operations, such as surveillance, reconnaissance, and search and rescue missions. The P-3’s legacy and mission have advanced and live vicariously through the P-8, a highly advanced multi-mission aircraft that seamlessly integrates cutting-edge technology to buoy up maritime security.

Many visitors shared stories about their time serving on the P-3, bonding with VP-47’s crew over their shared experiences and the aircraft’s integral role in their service and the nation’s defense history.

Other notable guests of the event were members of the Bundeswehr of Germany and the Canadian Armed Forces who also hosted a display of their aircraft.

Aviation Structural Mechanic Senior Chief Petty Officer Mark Thomas, assigned to VP-47, who played an integral role in organizing the P-8 static display, commented on the atmosphere. “We had a great time with Germans, Canadians, and Norwegians coming onboard the P-8 and telling us about their history with the P-3 and trading patches.”

As the P-3 Orion completed its last mission and passed the torch to the P-8, it symbolized the continuous advancement of military aviation throughout history. VP-47’s participation in the event not only honored the P-3 Orion’s legacy, but highlighted the commitment of the United States Navy’s longstanding partnership and loyalty to its allied nations.