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A P-8A Poseidon assigned to the Skinny Dragons of Patrol Squadron (VP) 4 flies near Mount Baker during a training exercise over Washington state, May 22, 2017.

A P-8A Poseidon assigned to the Skinny Dragons of Patrol Squadron (VP) 4 flies near Mount Baker during a training exercise over Washington state, May 22, 2017. (Courtesy of the U.S. Navy)

FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii — A pair of Poseidon surveillance planes are set to arrive in Hawaii this week, the first time a P-8 detachment has deployed to Oahu for maritime-security missions, the Navy said Thursday.

Part of a rotational deployment of forces, the planes will operate out of Marine Corps Base Hawaii and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, from which P-3C Orion planes had previously conducted such security missions.

The Poseidons are assigned to the Skinny Dragons of Patrol Squadron (VP) 4, which is stationed at Whidbey Island in Washington state.

This is VP-4’s first deployment flying the P-8A Poseidon, the Navy said.

The P-8A is a “militarized” version of the Boeing 737 and capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, the Navy said.

While the Poseidons are new to Oahu, the VP-4 is not. A squadron operated out of Hawaii during the Vietnam and Cold wars.

VP-4 departed Oahu for the last time as a Hawaii squadron in March 2016, the Navy said.

olson.wyatt@stripes.com Twitter: @WyattWOlson

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Wyatt Olson is based in the Honolulu bureau, where he has reported on military and security issues in the Indo-Pacific since 2014. He was Stars and Stripes’ roving Pacific reporter from 2011-2013 while based in Tokyo. He was a freelance writer and journalism teacher in China from 2006-2009.

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