Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class David A. Cox
SOUTH CHINA SEA – Sailors from USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 marked a milestone May 5 with the deployment’s 5,000th arrested landing, or trap.
John C. Stennis and CVW-9 have worked hard together through a rigorous workup cycle and put their lessons learned into practice on this deployment.
“Five thousand traps is a huge accomplishment,” said Lt. Chris Jones, from Paintsville, Ky., the acting aircraft handling officer during the 5,000th trap. “It’s a testament to the hard work of the men and women on the flight deck putting in long hours day in and day out in the heat.”
Lt. Shane Brady, from Annapolis, Md., assigned to the Vigilantes of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151, piloted the F/A-18E Super Hornet that completed the 5,000th arrested landing.
“It was a series of fortunate events,” said Brady. “I didn’t even know I had made it until the maintenance guys told me the [commanding officer] had announced it.”
Master Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Jack Hudson, from Mexico, Mo., the leading chief petty officer for the air department aboard John C. Stennis, said the trap reflected the hard work put into ensuring the safe launch and recovery of aircraft.
“The crew has worked their butts off this deployment,” said Hudson. “They don’t have time to take a break … they’re highly energized and love what they do. It’s truly amazing.”
Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) Airman Andres Cardenas, from Orlando, Fla., took pride knowing he helped retract the arresting gear during the 5,000th trap.
“It is an honor knowing I helped to catch the 5,000th trap,” said Cardenas. “I do it out of love, sweat and tears, and it feels great. I’m happy to be a part of it.”
Providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, John C. Stennis is operating as part of the Great Green Fleet on a regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment.