Taken on Jan. 18, 2018 the main image of this article shows Capt. Tom Barber, Commander, Carrier Air Wing 2 (CVW-2) and Commander Jason Hutcherson, CO (commanding officer) of VFA-2, aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) completing their 1,000th trap on a carrier on a “Bounty Hunters” F/A-18F.
As reported by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Rebecca Sunderland in the article Carl Vinson Aviators Complete 1000th Trap, since naval aviation began in 1911, only less than 360 pilots and 120 NFOs have achieved the milestone of 1,000 traps. Its rarer that two people accomplish this on the same flight.
“I hope that they recognize that getting 1,000 traps isn’t just me,” said Hutcherson, a naval flight officer (NFO). “It’s the ship, it’s the maintainers, and it’s all the supporters that we have as aviators.”
After Hutcherson joined the elite group of NFOs, he said he understood the honor wasn’t earned alone.
“It was great to see everybody from my squadron and the air wing up on the flight deck,” said Hutcherson. “I was a department head of VFA-2 a couple of years ago and then to come back as the XO (executive officer), and now as CO, and to get 1,000 traps with the same squadron, it’s been pretty rewarding.”
Barber said he was honored to complete the historic flight with Hutcherson and thanked the squadron and Hutcherson for allowing him to fly their aircraft named “Bullet 100.”
“It was very special that two people were able to fly and reach this milestone together,” said Barber. “This would not have been possible if it wasn’t for all the hard work of the Sailors of Carrier Air Wing 2 and USS Carl Vinson. Thank you.”
For many who witnessed the 1,000th trap, the feat meant more than just an impressive number.
“I think it’s reassuring to know that we are being led with experience,” said Lt. John Cushing, a pilot with VFA-2. “Especially moving forward into this deployment, it helps to know the guys leading the way have literally done it a thousand times before.”
The Carl Vinson Strike Group is currently on a regularly scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific. The strike group includes Carl Vinson, CVW 2, guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), and guided-missile destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) and USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) from Destroyer Squadron 1.
Photo credit: Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Eleanor D. Vara and Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Ronald A. Dallatorre / U.S. Navy
Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.com
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