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franklin county times

Boyington stresses defense importance
of Naval air training

By Staff
EMBDC EVENT Lamar McDonald, left, Rear Adm. John E. Boyington and Bill Johnson discuss local issues today at the Business Before Hours breakfast meeting. Photo by Paula Merritt / The Meridian Star
By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
May 14, 2002
The head of the Navy's Air Training Command said today NAS Meridian's mission to train Navy pilots is far too valuable to lose.
In comments to reporters after he spoke to local business leaders, Rear Adm. John E. Boyington, chief of Naval Air Training, said NAS Meridian is a critical element in the nation's defense.
Boyington is in his second year in a position that oversees five air training wings at five Naval air stations including Training Wing 1 at Naval Air Station Meridian.
Boyington, speaking to the East Mississippi Business Development Corportaion's members, also talked about other training wings and displayed photos of Navy's different aircraft.
Lamar McDonald, chairman of the Navy Meridian Team, introduced Boyington and told him how much Meridian supports NAS Meridian.
Boyington said the Meridian base could become a "master strike base" in the future.
Boyington is a Pensacola, Fla., native and received his bachelor's degree from the University of West Florida. He received his master's degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Naval Post Graduate School and a master's degree in National Resource Management from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
He is also a graduate of the Defense Systems Management College and the Naval Test Pilot School.
Boyington began his career as an Army warrant officer flying helicopter gun ships during the Vietnam War and received his "Wings of Gold" in December of 1973.
He has flown more than 600 armed combat missions in Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Bosnia and Kosovo.

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