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Nimitz Traps 300,000th Plane on Flight Deck

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS120816-02

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Robert Winn, USS Nimitz Public Affairs

At Sea (NNS) -- Lt. Sergio Armas and Lt. Cmdr. Dan Boyer, attached to Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 129, landed their E/A-18G Growler on the number three arresting gear bringing the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) to a monumental 300,000 traps.

Nimitz is one of only two active ships to achieve this milestone, the other being the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65). This comes just over a month after that same wire passed the 120,000 trap mark.

"A lot of work, maintenance and man hours went into this trap," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) 2nd Class Eric Gonzales. "A lot of different faces went into it. This will be something we remember for a long time."

Armas and Boyer, on board for fleet replacement squadron carrier qualifications, had no idea they would be here for such an event.

"I always thought an honor like this would go to a senior officer like the commanding officer," said Armas. "I'm quite surprised and flattered I was able to participate."

"We had no idea that Nimitz was this close to a huge milestone," said Boyer. "It's a great honor to have this unique opportunity."

Not expecting the trap at all due to the high placement of their indicator on the visual landing aid, Armas and Boyer were informed of their accomplishment by Nimitz Air Boss Cmdr. Charles Hayden over the flight deck public address system.

Primary flight controller of arresting gear Aviation Boatswain's Mate (equipment) 3rd Class Daniel Borja said he felt like a part of history.

"I was here for both 120,000 [on arresting engine 3] and now the 300,000th trap for the ship," said Borja. "It was really cool giving everyone the countdown to 300,000. I really felt a part of the event."

"I'll always remember I was a part of the 300,000th trap," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (equipment) Airman Nicholas Ortiz. "When the ship gets decommissioned with a number of traps greater than 300,000, I can tell everyone that I was on Nimitz operating engine three when this trap took place."

Gonzales said this milestone catch is a good way to remember Nimitz' long and proud history.

"Every trap was a different mission, from before desert storm through now," said Gonzales. "There's a lot of history and memories here and probably a lot more in the future."

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