Clarke County native earns Wings of Gold

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NAS MERIDIAN (WTOK) -- Five U.S. Navy aviators and one from the U.S. Marine Corps, received their Wings of Gold on board NAS Meridian. One of the honorees is a native of east Mississippi.

LTJG Ethan Ray Williams earns Wings of Gold (Photo Source: WTOK-TV)

Five U.S. Navy aviators and one from the U.S. Marine Corps, received their Wings of Gold on board NAS. Meridian. One of the honorees is a native of east Mississippi.

Lieutenant Junior Grade Ethan Ray Williams is one of the newest aviators for the United States Navy. The Enterprise native and graduate of Mississippi State University says he's realized a dream with the help of a lot of family members.

"To have my family here all along from day one, it's been a great support," said Williams. "A lot of these guys come from all over the country, from as far as Washington state. They don't have the support system like i have. It's real important to have my wife at home. She's a big part of this as well as all my extended family. "

The Naval Aviator Designation Ceremony marks the culmination of nearly two years of specialized training which has prepared these officers for the rigorous demands of aerial combat and carrier operations, earning them the title of Naval Aviator and the right to wear the coveted "Wings of Gold".

Now, Williams gets ready for his next phase of training.

"It will be probably six months of training initially just learning to fly the Superhornet out there," said Williams. "It's a lot to learn coming up, not only how to fly it but how to put bombs on the ground where they're supposed to be."

Here are the other honorees.

Lt. j.g. Michael Stephen Fuller Jr., USN, 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 onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) May 6. Fuller completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Seven

Lt. j.g. Cory Gaetano Giczweski, USN, carrier qualified in the T-45C onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) May 6. Giczweski completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Seven.

Capt. Michael Even Hauer, USMC, earned one Navy "E's" for bombing accuracy during Advanced Jet Flight Training. He carrier qualified in the T-45C onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) May 6. Hauer completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Seven.

Lt. j.g. Sean Zhang Laughlin, USN, earned three Navy "E's" for bombing accuracy during Advanced Jet Flight Training. He carrier qualified in the T-45C onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) May 6. Laughlin completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Seven.

Lt. j.g. Daniel Andrew Ryan, USN, earned one Navy "E" for bombing accuracy during Advanced Jet Flight Training. He carrier qualified in the T-45C onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) May 5. Ryan completed Advanced Jet Flight Training with Training Squadron Seven.