NAS Winging Ceremony

Twenty-three U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aviators got their wings of gold in a Friday ceremony at Meridian Naval Air Station.

It follows two years of rigorous study and tactical aviation training.

NAS commanding officer, Capt. Charles Moore, says it's a huge accomplishment.

"The main point I'd emphasize is that these students are about to get their wings after two years of blood, sweat, and tears in the Navy aviation training pipeline and it's a significant achievement for all of them," said Moore.

Those earning their "Wings of Gold" include:
Lt. j.g. Michael Cassidy, 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 27. Cassidy completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Seven;
First Lt. Justin Charles, 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 March 25. Charles completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Nine;
First Lt. Dean Collins, USMC, who was named to the Commodore's List during Primary Flight Training and earned three Navy "E's" for bombing accuracy during Advanced Jet Flight Training. He carrier qualified in the T-45C on board the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) on April 28. Collins completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Seven;
First Lt. Donald Groves, USMC, who was named to the Commodore's List and was awarded the Academic Achievement Award during Primary Flight Training. In addition, he earned the "Top Gun" award for his class and was also designated a CNATRA Distinguished Naval Graduate during Advanced Jet Flight Training. He carrier qualified in the T-45C on board the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) on April 27. Groves completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Nine;
Lt. j.g. Philip Gurney, USN, who 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. Gurney completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Nine;
Lt. John Gustine, USN, who was winged as a Naval Flight Officer on April 21, 2006, and flew EA-6B Prowlers with VAQ-134 as an Electronic Counter Measures Officer from June 2007 to August 2010. He was named to the Commodore's List during Primary Flight Training. In addition, he earned the "Best Bomber" award for his class and earned three Navy "E's" for bombing accuracy during Advanced Jet Flight Training. He carrier qualified in the T-45C on board the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) on March 25. Gustine completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Nine;
Lt. j.g. Jake Harris, USN, who carrier qualified in the T-45C on board the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) on April 27. Harris completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Seven;
Lt. j.g. Charles Kennedy, USN, who was selected as VT-9's Student of the Month for December 2011 and earned one Navy "E" for bombing accuracy during Advanced Jet Flight Training. Additionally, he was named to the Commodore's List with Distinction and designated a CNATRA Distinguished Naval Graduate. He carrier qualified in the T-45C on board the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) on March 25 and was named VT-9's "Top Hook" for that carrier qualification evolution. Kennedy completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Nine;
Lt. j.g. Jordan Kennedy, USN, who was named to the Commodore's List with Distinction and earned two Navy "E's" for bombing accuracy during Advanced Jet Flight Training. He carrier qualified in the T-45C on board the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) on April 28. Kennedy completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Seven;
Lt. j.g. John Lape Jr., USN, who 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 April 27. Lape completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Nine;
Lt. j.g. Kyle Matson, 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 March 25. Matson completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Nine;
Lt. j.g. Jeffrey Mayer, USN, who was named to the Commodore's List during Primary Flight Training and carrier qualified in the T-45C on board the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) on April 28. Mayer completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Seven;
Lt. j.g. Brandon McNally, USN, who 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 28, when he was named VT-7's "Top Hook" for that carrier qualification evolution. McNally completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Seven;
First Lt. Stephen Moy, USMC, who carrier qualified in the T-45C on board the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) on April 28. Moy completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Seven;
Capt. Dylan Nicholas, USMC, who was named to the Commodore's List during Primary Flight Training and earned two Navy "E's" for bombing accuracy during Advanced Jet Flight Training. He carrier qualified in the T-45C on board the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) on April 28. Nicholas completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Seven;
Lt. j.g. Christopher Nicolet, USN, who was named to the Commodore's List during Primary Flight Training and carrier qualified in the T-45C on board the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) on April 28. Nicolet completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Seven;
Lt. j.g. Sean Noronha, USN, who was named to the Commodore's List during Primary Flight Training and was designated a CNATRA Distinguished Naval Graduate during Advanced Jet Flight Training. Additionally, he was selected as VT-7's Student of the Month for February 2012 and earned three Navy "E's" for bombing accuracy. He carrier qualified in the T-45C on board the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) on April 27. Noronha completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Seven;
Lt. j.g. Nicholas Petro, USN, who was named to the Commodore's List during Primary Flight Training, and was designated a CNATRA Distinguished Naval Graduate and earned two Navy "E's" for bombing accuracy during Advanced Jet Flight Training. He carrier qualified in the T-45C on board the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) on April 28. Petro completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Seven;
First Lt. Jesse Simmermon, USMC, who he 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 May 27. Simmermon completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Nine;
Lt. j.g. Anthony Smits, 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 March 25. Smits completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Nine;
Lt. j.g. Chase Strickland, USN, who was named to the Commodore's List during Primary Flight Training. During Advanced Jet Flight Training, he earned two 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 28. Strickland completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Nine;
First Lt. Andrew Thornberg, USMC, who was named to the Commodore's List with Distinction during Primary Flight Training. He was selected as VT-9's Student of the Month for November 2011 and earned two Navy "E's" for bombing accuracy during Advanced Jet Flight Training. He carrier qualified in the T-45C on board the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) on April 27. Thornberg completed Total Strike Training with Training Squadron Nine; and
Lt. j.g. Justin Wiley, USN, who was named to the Commodore's List during Primary Flight Training He was selected as VT-9's Student of the Quarter for First Quarter 2012. Additionally, he was designated a CNATRA Distinguished Naval Graduate and earned two Navy "E's" for bombing accuracy during Advanced Jet Flight Training. He carrier qualified in the T-45C on board the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) on March 24. Wiley completed Total Strike Training with Training Squadron Nine.


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