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NAS Meridian holds winging' ceremony

By Staff
special to The Star
Sept. 26, 2003
There will be a Naval aviator designation ceremony today, at 3:30 p.m., in the chapel at 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 Lt. Gen. Michael Hough, deputy commandant for aviation, United States Marine Corps Headquarters.
Twenty-two U. S. Navy and Marine Corps aviators, one Spanish navy pilot and one French navy pilot will receive wings of gold.
The class carrier-qualified Aug. 18-19 in the T-45C "Goshawk" on board the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CV-71) and earned Navy "E for Excellence" designations for bombing accuracy during Advanced Strike Training.
Capt. Nicole Aunapu, USMC, who earned four Navy "E's";
Lt. j.g. Joseph Capalbo;
1st Lt. Greer Chambless, USMCR, who earned two Navy "E's";
1st Lt. Brian Davis, USMCR, who earned two Navy "E's";
Lt. j.g. David Elias, USNR, who earned two Navy "E's";
Lt. j.g. Mark Gander, USNR, who earned four Navy "E's";
Lt. j.g. Douglas Hool, USNR, who was named to the Commodore's List during Primary Flight Training. He earned four Navy "E's" and was also awarded the Smokey Hills Range "Shack" Award for Best Bombing at the July 2003 Salina, Kan., Weapons Detachment;
Lt. j.g. Kyle Jason, USNR, who was the first Naval aviator to complete primary flight training in the T-6A Texan II, the new Joint Forces Primary training aircraft. He was named to the Commodore's List during Primary (with Distinction) and earned four Navy "E's";
Lt. j.g. Kelly Ladd, USNR, who, prior to entering flight training, served in the enlisted ranks as a Search and Rescue helicopter crewman, logging more than 1800 hours in the SH-60B Seahawk. During Primary Flight Training, he received the Distinguished Graduate Award and was named to the Commodore's List;
Lt. j.g. Brian Lauber, USNR, who earned four Navy "E's";
Ensign Guillaume Lory, French navy, who earned two Navy "E's";
1st Lt. Jason Martin, USMCR, who was named to the Commodore's List during Primary Flight Training. He earned one Navy "E";
1st Lt. David Merritt, USMCR, who was named to the Commodore's List with Distinction during Primary Flight Training at Vance Air Force Base, and with Distinction during Intermediate Flight Training with VT-9. He also was named VT-9's Student of the Month for August 2002. He earned three Navy "E's" and was named "Best at the Boat" for that carrier qualification evolution;
1st Lt. Elizabeth Pham, USMCR, who earned two Navy "E's";
1st Lt. Luke Prigg, USMCR, who was named to the Commodore's List during Primary Flight Training;
Lt. Eduardo Ruiz-Mateos, Spanish navy, who earned two Navy "E's";
1st Lt. Kyle Shoop, USMCR, who earned one Navy "E";
Ensign Stephen Skoda, USNR, who earned three Navy "E's";
Lt. j.g. Erik Stinson, USNR, who earned four Navy "E's";
Lt. j.g. Erika Sutherland, USNR, who received the Academic Achievement Award during Primary Flight Training. She earned one Navy "E";
1st Lt. James Traylor, USMCR, who earned three Navy "E's";
Lt. j.g. Steven Vitrella, USNR, who earned two Navy "E's";
1st Lt. Matthew Vogt, USMC, who was selected as VT-9's Student of the Month for September 2002. He earned seven Navy "E's"; and
Lt. j.g. Jeffrey Willhite, USNR, who earned two Navy "E's."

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