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USS Enterprise (CVN 65) -Wednesday June 8, 2011
Photo by MC3 Alex R. Forster
Wednesday June 8, 2011
VFA-11 weapon systems officer makes 1,000th trap By MC3 Jared M. KIng USS Enterprise Public Affairs
USS ENTERPRISE, At sea – A weapon systems officer assigned to the “Red Rippers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11 joined the ranks of a select group of naval aviators June 7, when he made his 1,000th carrier arrested landing, or “trap,” on the flight deck of the deployed aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65). Lt. Cmdr. Patrick J. Fernandes, a weapon systems officer assigned to the “Red Rippers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11, achieved the milestone. Landing in a 40-thousand pound aircraft traveling more than 120 miles an hour on such a small area once is an incredible feat; however, doing that same process 1,000 times is something to celebrate. Naval aviators and flight officers who achieve this are called members of the “Grand Club.” “I may have been in the jet, but it’s the maintenance crews, and the people who support what we do that really deserve the credit,” said Fernandes. After his trap, Fernandes thanked the crews of maintainers and specialists below the flight deck who made, and continue to make, air operations on Big ‘E’ possible. “I’ve never missed a sortie, and my plane is always ready to go. That’s the hard work of all the people on deck and below deck who deserve just
Photo by MC3 Alex R. Forster
Lt. Cmdr. Patrick J. Fernandes, a weapon systems officer assigned to the “Red Rippers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11, gets into his F/A-18E Super Hornet prior to flying. Fernandes joined a select group of naval aviators when he made his 1,000th carrier arrested landing, or “trap,” June 7.
as much recognition,” said Fernandes. Fernandes started out as an enlisted service member, climbed the ranks to Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class and soon after was selected for commissioning. During his time as an enlisted service member, Fernandes performed maintenance on tailhooks, which is the very same piece of equipment that allowed him to make his 1,000 traps. “Looking back, I went from maintaining tailhooks, to flying in the jets that use them,” he said. Fernandes’ first commissioned tour was
aboard the aircraft carrier USS Constellation (CV 64), where he made his first trap in early 2001. “Originally I was trained on the S-3 platform, but soon after that I transitioned to the Super Hornet,” said Fernandes. Since then, Fernandes has been stationed at mostly seagoing commands. “I’ve been on sea duty for a while, so I’d have to say that’s the major factor in reaching my 1,000th trap,” said Fernandes. “Usually commanding officers achieve this at that point in their career, so I think it’s a great honor.” Fernandes shared his moment with his maintainers
and the crew in the squadron’s ready room. Enterprise’s Commanding Office, Capt. Dee L. Mewbourne, also a member of the Grand Club, announced his achievement on the ship’s loudspeaker saying, “This is a great milestone for any naval aviator and is especially important for him as a Lt. Cmdr. since that milestone is usually not reached until much later in one’s career.” Fernandez is just the 10th Lt. Cmdr. to achieve this milestone. Since his first carrier arrested landing aboard Constellation, Fernandes has accumulated more than 3,140 flight hours.
Sailors of the Day
Legalman 2nd Class
Aviation Electrician’s Mate Airman
Erica Marie Keels- Palmetto, FL
Nicholas P. Werner- West Bend, WI
LN2 (AW) Keels, a non-judicial punishment clerk for Enterprise’s Legal Department, joined the Navy nine years and 11 months ago to “travel the world and see different cultures and religions, and I stayed because I enjoy serving my country.” To Keels, the most rewarding aspect of her job is “getting Sailors back on the right path.” Keels aspires to become a first class petty officer and earn her enlisted surface warfare specialist pin. When she returns from deployment, Keels plans to go to the beach with her kids and volunteer as a Pop Warner cheerleader coach.
Wednesday June 8, 2011
AEAN Werner, an F/A-18E Super Hornet plane captain for Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 136, joined the Navy two and a half years ago because he had always thought about joining the military. To Werner, the most rewarding aspect of his job is knowing that it helps those around him, adding “it’s just nice to make other people’s day.” Werner plans to earn a college degree in electricial engineering in the future. In his spare time, Werner likes to play basketball and “chill with my friends.”
Photos by MCSN Jesse Gonzalez
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Down 1 Type of discrimination 2 More agile 3 Skedaddle 4 Bitterly cold 5 “Damn Yankees” girl 6 Painter’s garb 7 City in Ohio 8 Devastation 9 Pub drink 10 Lull 11 Amended 12 Checked out 14 Expenditure 15 “Rabbit, Run” author 20 Always, in poetry 23 Mexican food 25 Like some professors 27 Attracts buyers 29 Starts to unravel 31 “The ___ is cast” 33 ___ Lingus 36 Italian car maker 37 Property recipient, at law 38 Earned after taxes 39 Coercion 40 Formal speech 41 Soup dishes 42 Appeared 44 Impair 46 Mixture 48 Contemptuous look 49 Transplant a seedling 52 Diminutive suffix 53 Unaltered 56 Perform in plays 58 Maiden name indicator
48 Beatle drummer 50 Be bold 51 Before, for a bard 52 Menu heading 54 One of the Kennedys 55 Sea cow 57 Droopy-eared dog 59 Put up 60 “___ To Watch Over Me” 61 Calorie counter 62 Itty-bitty