NAS Meridian holds winging' ceremony
Special to The Star
May 25, 2001
A naval aviator designation ceremony will be held today at 3:30 p.m. in the chapel at Naval Air Station Meridian.
The "winging" ceremony is not required by regulations, but has emerged as a part of U.S. Navy tradition. It marks the culmination of nearly two years of specialized training, which has prepared these officers for the demands of aerial combat and carrier operations earning each the title of Naval aviator and the right to wear the coveted "Wings of Gold."
The guest speaker will be Capt. Mark Clemente, commander, Fighter Wing, U.S. Atlantic Fleet.
The 10 U.S. Navy and Marine Corps pilots in this class carrier-qualified in the T-45C "Goshawk":
1st Lt. Donald Gerber of Jackson, Miss.;
1st Lt. John Banton of Amherst, Va.;
Lt. j.g. Bryan Billington of Miami, Fla.;
1st Lt. Jonathan Curtis of Martinez, Calif.;
1st Lt. Greig Gehman of Scottsdale, Ariz.;
1st Lt. Tyler Kauffmann Head of Fort Worth, Texas;
Lt. j.g. Geoffrey Lambert of San Diego, Calif.;
1st Lt. David Martin of East Lansing, Mich.;
Lt. j.g. Noel Sawatzky of Fredericksburg, Texas; and
1st Lt. Matthew Stencel of Skillman, N.J.