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NAS holds winging' ceremony

By Staff
special to The Star
April 24, 2002
There will be a Naval aviator designation ceremony Friday, at 3:30 p.m., in the chapel at the Naval Air Station Meridian.
The Naval aviator designation ceremony is not required by regulations, but has emerged as a U.S. Navy tradition. It marks the culmination of nearly two years of specialized training, which has prepared these officers for the 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. Pieter Vandenbergh, commander of Training Air Wing 6.
Six U.S. Navy and Marine Corps pilots and four French navy pilots will get their wings.
The class carrier-qualified March 27-29 in the T45-C "Goshawk" on board the USS Harry Truman (CVN-75) and earned Navy "E for Excellence" designations for bombing accuracy during Advanced Strike Training.
1st Lt. Benjamin Beard, USMC, who earned one Navy "E" designation;
Lt. j.g. Christophe Chapentier, French navy, who earned four Navy "E" designations;
Ensign Stephane Lombardo, French navy, who earned three Navy "E" designations;
Lt. j.g. Louis Maloux, French navy, who earned five Navy "E" designations;
1st Lt. Ryan McCaskill, USMC, who graduated from the Infantry Officer's Training Course in Quantico, Va., in October 1999 before beginning flight training. He was named to the Commodore's List with Distinction during Primary Flight Training and earned four Navy "E" designations;
Lt. j.g. Nicholas Michael, USNR, who earned two Navy "E" designations;
1st Lt. Matthew Steele, USMCR, who earned two Navy "E" designations;
1st Lt. Benjamin Taylor, USMC, who was named to the Commodore's List with Distinction during both Primary and Intermediate Flight Training. He was VT-9's Student of the Month for May 2001 and earned two Navy "E" designations;
Ensign Sebastien Vergne, French navy; and
Lt. j.g. Aaron Vernallis, USNR, who earned three Navy "E" designations.