CNATRA NEWS | 2019

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09 DEC 2019 | First Navy Accession Osprey Pilot Earns Wings of Gold at NAS Corpus Christi

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy's first new accession CMV-22B Osprey pilot graduated from flight school after earning his naval aviator designation at Naval Air Station (NAS) Corpus Christi Dec. 6.

Lt. j.g. Caleb Nicholson completed flight training with Training Air Wing (TRAWING) 4 and received his Wings of Gold during a ceremony at the Catalina Club on base...

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22 NOV 2019 | Training Squadron 86 Holds Aerial Change of Command at NAS Pensacola

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- The "Sabrehawks" of Training Squadron (VT) 86 held a change-of-command ceremony at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Nov. 14.

Cmdr. Eric "Cheese" Reeves relieved Cmdr. Joshua "WITS" Fuller as commanding officer during the ceremony held in VT-86's hangar...

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24 OCT 2019 | Student Naval Aviators Inspire Texas Junior ROTC Cadets

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (NNS) -- Navy and Marine Corps officers served as judges for the annual Navy Junior ROTC Drill Meet at Flour Bluff High School in Corpus Christi, Oct. 19.

The officers, mostly student naval aviators assigned to Training Air Wing (TW) 4 and Marine Aviation Training Support Group 22 at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, volunteered to participate in the event to help inspire students and answer questions about active-duty military life...

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07 OCT 2019 | Training Squadron 28 Holds Aerial Change-of-Command Ceremony

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (NNS) -- Cmdr. Ahren "Swacket" Thornton relieved Cmdr. John "Crank" Kollar as commanding officer of the "Rangers" of Training Squadron (VT) 28 during an aerial change-of-command ceremony above Naval Air Station (NAS) Corpus Christi, Oct. 3.

Kollar led the formation of two T-6B Texan II aircraft before a crowd of squadron members, friends, and family below until he passed command of the Rangers to Thornton, who took lead as the new commanding officer. Kollar will retire after 20 years of honorable naval service...

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09 SEP 2019 | Training Squadron 27 Conducts Change of Command aboard USS Lexington Museum

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (NNS) -- CDR David Wegmueller relinquished command of the "Boomers" of Training Squadron (VT) 27 to Cmdr. Jeffrey Shanahan during a ceremony aboard the USS Lexington Museum on the Bay (CV 16) in Corpus Christi, Sept. 6.

Capt. Kevin Delano, commodore of Training Air Wing (TW) 4, presided over the ceremony, attended by staff and family members...

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04 SEP 2019 | First Naval Aviators Graduate USAF Pilot Training Next

SAN ANTONIO (NNS) -- The first two student naval aviators graduated from the U.S. Air Force's Pilot Training Next (PTN) program at Randolph Air Force Base (AFB) just outside of San Antonio, Aug. 29.

The PTN program is a course of instruction designed to train military pilots at a lower cost, in a shorter amount of time, and with a higher level of proficiency leveraging emerging technologies to create a dynamic training environment...

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23 AUG 2019 | Chief of Naval Air Training Hosts Production Alignment Conference

SAN ANTONIO (NNS) -- More than 300 personnel from across the Naval Aviation Enterprise met for a semi-annual Production Alignment Conference in San Antonio, Aug. 20-22.

Hosted by the Chief of Naval Air Training, the three-day conference brought together personnel from Chief of Naval Air Training, fleet replacement squadrons, and Navy Personnel Command to align training tracks for fixed wing and rotary aircraft to deliver the right number of aviators, naval flight officers, and naval aircrewmen to the fleet at the right time...

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09 AUG 2019 | First Marine to Begin F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter Training

KINGSVILLE, Texas (NNS) -- Marine 1st Lt. Catherine Stark earned her Wings of Gold as a Marine Corps aviator with Training Air Wing 2, Naval Air Station Kingsville, Aug. 2 and is now preparing to begin training on her assigned fleet aircraft: the F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.

Stark, currently attached to the "Fighting Redhawks" of Training Squadron (VT) 21, has been in training since early 2016. She completed training as Marine Corps officer aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, and reported for flight training aboard NAS Pensacola, Florida. After more than two years of flight training in the T-6B Texan II primary flight training aircraft and...

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29 JUL 2019 | Dwyer Takes Command as Chief of Naval Air Training

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (NNS) -- Rear Adm. Gregory "Hyfi" Harris relinquished command as Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA) to Rear Adm. Daniel "Dozer" Dwyer during a ceremony aboard Naval Air Station (NAS) Corpus Christi, July 26.

The aerial change of command took place with both Dwyer and Harris flying in T-45C Goshawk jet aircraft from Training Air Wing 2 in Kingsville, Texas...

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15 JUL 2019 | CNATRA Selects 2020 Blue Angels Executive Officer

Corpus Christi, Texas (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Air Training Rear Adm. Greg Harris announced Cmdr. Todd Royles as the incoming executive officer of the 2020 Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels.

A native of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, Royles attended Pennsylvania State University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in administration of justice and received his commission in May 2001...

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25 JUN 2019 | Marine Aviation Training Support Group 22 University Gives Student Pilots the Tools to Succeed

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (NNS) -- Marine Aviation Training Support Group (MATSG) 22 has been enhancing its MATSG-22 University (22-U) program, which prepares student pilots for Primary Flight Training before they even begin the training pipeline.

The flight-training syllabus is extremely challenging, and is physically and mentally demanding. Student pilots go through Initial Flight Screening (IFS) and Aviation Preflight Indoctrination (API) in Florida before they spend any time in their Primary Flight Training aircraft, the T-6B Texan II. Due to limited class sizes and instructor availability, students are not always able to begin Primary immediately after they finish API. Marine Col. Carlton Hasle, prior commanding officer of MATSG-22, created 22-U to best utilize the time that Marines aboard Naval Air Station (NAS) Corpus Christi have while waiting to start Primary Flight Training...

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24 JUN 2019 | Training Air Wing 2 Changes Command

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (NNS) -- Training Air Wing 2 held a change of command ceremony June 21 onboard Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas.

Capt. Brett "Ned" Lassen relieved Capt. Richard "Gash" Rivera as commodore of Training Air Wing 2...

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03 JUN 2019 | Chief of Naval Air Training Recognizes Aviation Training Excellence

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (NNS) -- Each year Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA) recognizes distinguished aviation training squadrons, as well as individuals, for their outstanding performance while supporting CNATRA's mission training new naval aviators.

This year, CNATRA recognized the "Shooters" of Training Squadron (VT) 6 (primary) and the "Stingrays" of VT-35 (advanced) for training excellence...

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03 JUN 2019 | Making Our Mark: Naval Aviation Trademark Program

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (NNS) -- The day a Navy or Marine Corps aviator receives their Wings of Gold is a day they will never forget. It's the culmination of months of rigorous training. From their very first solo flight, to water survival training, and all the way through advanced training – those wings are truly earned.

A single fouled anchor, surmounted by a shield with 13 stripes, centered on a pair of wings. Those distinctive Wings of Gold represent proficiency and professionalism. They personify Naval Aviation, and that's why they, along with various other symbols, are protected by the Naval Aviation Trademark Program (NATP)...

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21 MAY 2019 | Helicopter Training Squadron 8 Honors Fallen Marines at Penascola's Veterans Memorial Park

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (NNS) -- Marines from Training Air Wing 5's "Eightballers" of Helicopter Squadron (HT) 8 at Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Florida, honored fallen U.S. Marine Corps aviators during the Memorial Placement Ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park in Pensacola, May 17.

Hosted by the Veterans Memorial Park Foundation of Pensacola, the ceremony marked the unveiling of 158 newly inscribed granite memorial bricks commemorating the lives of 311 Marines and other service members, including 210 heroes who have lost their lives since 9/11...

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20 MAY 2019 | Marines Make Virtual Training Reality for Naval Aviators

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (NNS) -- The dream of becoming jet pilots was almost within their reach. Self-confessed mechanical engineering geeks, the Occhipinti brothers commissioned as second lieutenants in the United States Marine Corps in 2013. What they didn't know was how challenging the training would be and how success or failure would hang in the balance. They knew they had to make changes and fast.

By October 2017, the Occhipinti brothers were on the verge of flunking out of the Intermediate phase of flight school. Determined to succeed, they got to work and after moving to the Advanced phase of jet training, they built a system that would not only save their careers, but would help their classmates and future students too. Their story is emblematic of perseverance and ingenuity, and a symbol of today's Navy, one in which junior personnel play a vital role in identifying and addressing a broad range of issues...

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17 MAY 2019 | Navy Performs Final Flyover to Honor Decorated Vietnam-Era Naval Aviator

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (NNS) -- Two Navy T-45C Goshawk aircraft performed a flyover above Barrancas National Cemetery aboard Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Florida, May 16 as a tribute to a fallen Vietnam War-era naval aviator.

Retired Cmdr. Ralph Ellis Gaither Jr. was laid to rest surrounded by family, friends, and fellow service members Thursday morning...

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10 MAY 2019 | Minor Injuries Reported After T-45 Training Jet Crash at NAS Kingsville

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (NNS) -- A Navy T-45C Goshawk aircraft crashed at Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas, at 2:38 p.m. Friday, May 10.

The two pilots, an instructor and a student, suffered minor injuries and were transported to a local medical treatment facility for care...

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08 MAY 2019 | Navy Jet Flyover Kick Starts NASCAR Gander RV 400

DOVER, Del (NNS) -- Two Navy T-45 Goshawk trainer jets flew over Dover International Speedway to help kick off the NASCAR Gander RV 400, May 6, in honor of National Military Appreciation Month.

The jets screamed over the 1-mile concrete oval race track just as the national anthem came to a close to the delight of thousands of cheering spectators below...

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23 APR 2019 | Naval Air Training Command Announces Winners of Inaugural Civilians of the Year Program

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (NNS) -- Naval Air Training Command (NATRACOM) distinguished two individuals as the inaugural Civilian and Senior Civilian of the Year, April 12.

Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA) Rear Adm. Greg Harris presented the NATRACOM awards to Patricia Mumford for Civilian of the Year and Rick Weaver for Senior Civilian of the Year...

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23 APR 2019 | Training Air Wing 4 Unveils Heritage Wall

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (NNS) -- Training Air Wing Four unveiled its new Heritage Wall showcasing Naval Air Station Corpus Christi's rich aviation history April 8.

The floor-to-ceiling display consists of a video presentation of the base's founding and interviews with aviators and aircrew who were stationed at the base in the past along with photographs depicting the wing's aircraft and personnel. Footage includes an in-depth interview with the City of Austin's former Mayor Lee Leffingwell, a naval aviator who earned his "Wings of Gold" in 1964...

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10 APR 2019 | CNATRA Helps Kick Off South Texas Special Olympics Spring Games

CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS (NNS) -- South Texas Special Olympics athletes performed the opening ceremony for the 2019 Spring Games alongside the Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA) in the Flour Bluff area of Corpus Christi, April 6.

More than 400 athletes arrived at Flour Bluff High School Saturday morning to compete in the games, escorted by friends and family, and local Sailors and Marines from Training Air Wing (TW) 4...

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22 MAR 2019 | Chief of Naval Air Training Headquarters Recognizes Civilians of the Year

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA) headquarters recognized its top civilians for superior job performance and contributions to the command mission, Feb. 14.

CNATRA Rear Adm. Greg Harris named Anne Owens and Wilfred Merkel Civilian, and Senior Civilian of the Year, respectively...

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08 MAR 2019 | Navy Pilots Educate, Inspire Texas A&M NROTC Students in College Station

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (NNS) -- Approximately 200 Texas A&M University Navy ROTC students got a firsthand look at Navy aircraft during a static display event at Easterwood Airport in College Station, March 5.

Aircraft from across the U.S. flew in to support the event, which gave students a chance to talk to pilots about career opportunities within Naval Aviation...

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08 FEB 2019 | Chief of Naval Air Training Ambassadors Represent Navy at School Career Day

CORPUS CHRISTI (NNS) -- Three Navy officers assigned to Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA) in Corpus Christi, Texas, helped broaden future career prospects of students at a local school, Jan. 31.

The group visited Incarnate Word Academy (IWA) in Corpus Christi as part of an annual career day designed to showcase a range of workforces from police and environmental scientists to pilots and naval parachutists...

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29 JAN 2019 | Chief of Naval Air Training Reserve Component Holds Change of Command at National Aviation Museum

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA) Reserve Component held a change of command ceremony at the National Naval Aviation Museum at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, Jan. 25.

Capt. William L. "Wilbur" Angermann relieved Capt. Robert T. "Sideshow" Carretta as commanding officer during the ceremony and CNATRA Rear Adm. Gregory "Hyfi" Harris served as the guest speaker...

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22 JAN 2019 | Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron Pilot Makes Emergency Landing at NAF El Centro

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (NNS) -- A pilot attached to the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, made an emergency landing at Naval Air Facility El Centro, California, Jan. 22, with no injuries.

The mishap occurred when the F/A-18 Hornet's main landing gear did not extend on approach to the airfield following a training flight...

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14 JAN 2019 | Secretary of the Navy Experiences Naval Air Training's High-Velocity Learning in South Texas

CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer got a first-hand look at how the Navy trains aviators during a visit to Naval Air Stations Corpus Christi and Kingsville, Texas, Jan. 9-10.

Spencer met with Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA) staff, student naval aviators, and instructor pilots at both sites and toured the bases during his visit...

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