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Training Air Wing 2 Marks 500,000th Training Hour

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070619-06
Release Date: 6/19/2007 11:58:00 AM

By Jon Gagne, Training Air Wing 2 Public Affairs

NAS KINGSVILLE, Texas (NNS) -- Training Air Wing (TW) 2 at Naval Air Station (NAS) Kingsville marked its 500,000th training hour in the T-45 Goshawk aircraft June 10.

Lt. Cmdr. Dave Anderson and student aviator Marine 1st Lt. Philip Buckhahn recorded the milestone during a return flight from Cecil Field in Jacksonville, Fla., where they had been conducting carrier qualifications off the Florida coast along with 30 other instructors and students from Training Air Wings 1, 2 and 24.

“The instructor pilots assigned to Training Air Wing 2 have the serious responsibility of shaping the future of naval aviation,” said TW-2 Commander Capt. Mike Warriner. “They rely on the T-45 Goshawk to train nearly 200 student naval aviators (SNA) that are assigned [here] for training at any one time and who represent the bright future of naval aviation."

Warriner went on to say that together, Training Air Wing 2 and the T-45 Goshawk have trained close to 3,000 naval aviators since 1992.

"Surpassing 500,000 flight hours is just the most recent of many milestones Training Air Wing 2 has accomplished during the 15-years the Goshawk has been used to train student naval aviators,” he said.

Anderson and Buckhahn flew "side-number-284" from Cecil Field in to NAS Kingsville, and logged the historic milestone along the flight route. Anderson, who is assigned to Training Squadron (VT) 21 as operations officer, is responsible for the robust training scheduling of the T-45 aircraft on a daily basis.

Buckhahn, a student aviator who is nearing the completion of nearly 13 months of training, is assigned to VT-22 and is the newest soft-winged Marine Corps aviator in the command. The two aviators were returning from Jacksonville having just completed carrier qualifications on board USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75).

When “side-number-284” came to a stop after landing at NAS Kingsville, the pair was greeted by a host of TW-2 personnel who congratulated them on their accomplishment. In addition to Warriner, the welcoming party included TW-2 Chief Staff Officer Cmdr. Tim Carr; VT-21 Executive Officer Cmdr. Bill Bulis; Boeing Aircraft Co. representative Dick Nelson; and multiple officers and family members of each command.

The occasion was marked by photographs and Nelson presenting each crew member with a commemorative Boeing T-45 Goshawk T-shirt to mark the occasion.

“The teamwork of man and machine is critical to Naval Aviation,” Warriner said. “The machine in Training Air Wing 2 is the T-45. The Goshawk is a remarkable airplane exceptionally well-suited to teaching the multiple and varied disciplines associated with carrier aviation.”

Introduced to TW-2 in 1992 as a replacement for the T-2C “Buckeye” and ultimately the TA-4J “Skyhawk,” the T-45 is a stable and highly capable aircraft with an enviable safety record. The Goshawk is part of the T-45A Total System (TS) developed by McDonnell Douglas, and later owned and led by the Boeing Aircraft Company. As a cost-effective aircraft and overall training system, the Goshawk represents a trailblazing initiative in support of the goals of the Naval Aviation Enterprise to deliver the right readiness…at the right cost now and in the future.

In 2004, TW-2 received its first T-45C “Charlie.” This variant of the Goshawk upgraded the analog instrumentation and legacy navigation of the T-45A. The T45 “Charlie” incorporates a digital cockpit with multi-function displays, GPS navigation, and a fully-functional heads-up display. It provides the Navy and Marine Corps with a technologically compatible training platform well-suited to transition new Naval aviators to sophisticated Navy and Marine Corps fleet aircraft. Training Air Wing 2 currently instructs in both variants of the T-45.

VT-21 was the first squadron in the Chief of Naval Air Training Command (CNATRA) to transition to the new T-45 Total System. The transition began in February 1992 and the first SNAs began training in the new system in January 1993. When introduced, the Total System concept represented the newest technologies and teaching techniques, and included state-of-the-art visual simulators, a computer classroom, and the best and newest training aircraft in the world. It still does. VT-22 transitioned to the T-45A Goshawk in September 1993.

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