NAS Meridian holds winging'
special to The Star
Oct. 5, 2002
A Naval aviator designation ceremony was held Friday, at 3:30 p.m., in the chapel at Naval Air Station Meridian.
The Naval aviator designation ceremony is not required by regulations, but has emerged as a U.S. Navy tradition.
It marks the culmination of nearly two years of specialized training, which has prepared these officers for the aerial combat and carrier operations earning each the title of "Naval aviator" and the right to wear the coveted "Wings of Gold."
The guest speaker was Cmdr. Mark Kinnane, commanding officer of Training Squadron 7.
The class carrier-qualified Sept. 29 in the T-45C "Goshawks" and T-2C "Buckeyes" on board the USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-67) and earned Navy "E for Excellence" designations for bombing accuracy during Advanced Strike Training.
Nine U.S. Navy and Marine Corps pilots received their wings:
Lt. j.g. John Ciganovich, USNR, who served in the Navy as an aviation electrician's mate with VFA-147 in Lemoore, Calif., before his commissioning;
Lt. j.g. Luke Davis, USNR;
Lt. j.g. Page Felini, USNR, who earned one Navy "E" for bombing accuracy during Advanced Strike Training;
Lt. j.g. Bennett Gibbs, USNR;
Lt. j.g. Ryan Merrell, USNR;
Lt. j.g. Nicholas Osburn, USNR, who was a 2000 graduate of the Navy Post Graduate School, where he earned his master's degree in aeronautical engineering. He earned one Navy "E" designation;
Lt. j.g. Keith Schroeder, USNR, who earned VT-9's "Top Hook" honors for his superior performance during carrier qualifications;
1st Lt. Ryan Welken, USMCR, who earned one Navy "E" designation; and
Lt. j.g. Nicholas Wyzewski, USNR, who was named to the commodore's list during Primary Flight Training. He earned three Navy "E" designations.