The bells have rung once again here at NAS Meridian for six new Naval aviators that are set to go into their next phase of their military career. Today, a winging ceremony was held for these men who are a part of Training Squadron Seven.
“It’s amazing to train these young men because they’re so motivated and they’re so energetic. It brings back that spark that I used to have when I was coming through as a young aviator. So, to have six new Naval aviators come here, it’s an incredible feeling, and it’s that part of my job that makes it worthwhile and rewarding is this day today where we get to introduce six new Naval aviators and Marine Corps aviators back to the fleet.” -CDR Steven E. Vitrella, USN
While most of these men are from different parts of the country, one is from Enterprise Mississippi. Ethan Williams is a 2010 graduate of Enterprise High School and a 2014 graduate of Mississippi State University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering.
“After getting here and seeing the world class instructors that we have, it’s just been amazing to see the quality of pilots and weapons that come out of here. There’s countries like France, Italy, Spain, and sometimes the Royal Navy; they send their pilots here to be trained because they know it’s the best instruction in the world right here in Meridian.” -LT. j.g. Ethan Williams, USN
During his Advanced Jet Flight Training he earned two Navy “E’s” for bombing accuracy. Williams says he is lucky to have had his family close by during this entire experience.
“It’s been a really difficult process for me, you know, the most challenging thing I’ve ever done in my life. There were times in the program where I was just struggling, and I just wasn’t sure I was going to make it. I would come to these ceremonies of my friends that were graduating ahead of me and just think I’m not sure I’m going to make it, but here I am today and today is the day. I’ve been validated, and it’s just huge.” -Williams
Williams will now be heading to NAS Oceania in Virginia Beach where he will learn to fly the Super Hornet.