T45 Reaches Milestone

The T-45 Goshawk training jets at NAS Meridian scored a milestone Wednesday, reaching the mark of 100,000 hours of flight.

The newest jet trainer in the Navy was first introduced at Meridian in late 1997. The commander of Training Squadron-7 made the historic flight.

"My instructors and students, the finest Navy and Marine Corps instructors in the world, are making the finest Navy and Marine Corps aviators in the world out here," said Commander Mark Kinnane, commanding officer of Training Squadron 7.

"It translates into a lot of aviators training to go to the fleet and man our aircraft carriers and conduct the War on terrorism we're engaged in today," said Capt. Mark Needler, commanding officer of training Air Wing 1. "The other significant part that needs to be emphasized is that this is 100,000 hours of major-mishap-free flight."

NAS Meridian gets a new $24 million Goshawk every month. Currently, the base has 73 of the aircraft, but will eventually have 90.