Pilots Receive Their Wings of Gold


Meridian Naval Air Station, Miss. A naval winging ceremony was held at Naval Air Station Meridian Friday.

Ten pilots earned their wings of gold and earned the title of naval aviator. The class went through rigorous training to earn that designation.

One of the aviators received the Golden Stick Award, which is presented to the top graduate of each winging class.

"It's a tremendous honor, but honestly, it was a product of everyone that I went through the program with," said Marine First Lt. Jonathan Rix. "We all started together. We all worked really hard together. I was fortunate enough to receive it, but it's really everyone's award."

Now that the aviators have learned to fly, the next step for them is to learn how to use the airplane as a weapons system.

Those earning "Wings of Gold" include:
First Lt. Carlo Bonci, USMC, who was selected as VT-9's Student of the Month for December 2012. He earned five Navy "E's" for bombing accuracy during Advanced Jet Flight Training and carrier qualified in the T-45C on board the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) on April 27. Bonci completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Nine;
First Lt. Evan Bottorff, USMC, who earned two Navy "E's" for bombing accuracy during Advanced Jet Flight Training and carrier qualified in the T-45C on board the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) on April 27. Bottorff completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Nine;
Lt. j.g. Christopher Burke, USN, who earned two Navy "E's" for bombing accuracy during Advanced Jet Flight Training and carrier qualified in the T-45C on board the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) on April 26. Burke completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Nine;
Second Lt. Pierrick Chavy, French air force, who carrier qualified in the T-45C on board the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) on July 19. Chavy completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Seven;
Lt. j.g. James Corrin, USN, who was named to the Commodore's List during Primary Flight Training and was VT-9's Student of the Month for November 2012. He earned four Navy "E's" for bombing accuracy during Advanced Jet Flight Training and carrier qualified in the T-45C on board the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) on June 9. Corrin completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Nine;
Capt. Kyle DeFranceschi, USMC, who was selected as VT-7's Student of the Month for June 2013. He earned three Navy "E's" for bombing accuracy during Advanced Jet Flight Training and carrier qualified in the T-45C on board the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) on June 10, when he was named VT-7's "Top Hook" for that carrier qualification evolution. DeFranceschi completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Seven;
First Lt. Dennis Habecker, USMC, who was named to the Commodore's List during Primary Flight Training and was VT-9's Student of the Month for February 2013. He earned three Navy "E's" for bombing accuracy during Advanced Jet Flight Training and carrier qualified in the T-45C on board the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) on June 10. Habecker completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Nine;
First Lt. Jonathan Rix, USMC, who was named to the Commodore's List during Primary Flight Training and was VT-9's Student of the Month for October 2012. He was designated a CNATRA Distinguished Naval Graduate and made the Commodore's List with Distinction. He earned one Navy "E" for bombing accuracy during Advanced Jet Flight Training and carrier qualified in the T-45C on board the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) on April 27. Rix completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Nine;
Lt. j.g. Neil Tublin, USN, who earned six Navy "E's" for bombing accuracy during Advanced Jet Flight Training and carrier qualified in the T-45C on board the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) on April 26. Tublin completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Nine; and
Lt. j.g. Jonathan Williams, USN, who was named to the Commodore's List during Advanced Flight Training. He earned four Navy "E's" for bombing accuracy and carrier qualified in the T-45C on board the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) on April 26. Williams completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Nine.


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