Joins Prestigious Ranks Onboard Carrier USS Ronald Reagan
The commander of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 14 joined the
prestigious ranks of the "1,000 trap" club aboard USS Ronald Reagan
(CVN 76) Thursday, joining a select few who can claim
Capt. Richard "Rhett" Butler achieved his 1,000th
carrier-arrested landing while flying an F/A-18E Super Hornet from
Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 115. He caught the Number 2 arresting
wire aboard Ronald Reagan at approximately 3:15 pm Thursday
"That first trap was a very long time ago," said Butler. "A lot
of work goes into 1,000 traps from all the folks down below that
make the ship run. Tons of people and man-hours go into each one of
those traps. I wish it was possible to thank every Sailor that
helped make 1,000 traps possible."
Butler's name will also now appear on a special plaque at the
Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, FL where naval aviation honors
those who have reached this significant accomplishment.
Butler, who joined the
Navy in 1983 while Ronald Reagan was in office, said making the
1,000th arrested landing aboard a ship named for the late president
had a special significance.
"President Reagan and the military buildup of the 1980s was one
of the reasons I decided to join the military," said Butler.
Capt. Terry B. Kraft, Ronald Reagan's commanding officer, called
the event a "career milestone" in his announcement of the special
occasion over the 1-MC system.
"It was a thrill watching him catch that 1,000th trap today,"
said Kraft. "This event symbolized all the deployments and time
away from home and is a great way to celebrate this major
A native of Lexington, KY, Butler graduated from the University
of Kentucky in 1983. He entered officer candidate school in 1983
and was designated a naval aviator in July 1985.
He assumed command of CVW-14 March 1, during an aerial change of
command ceremony. Butler was previously the deputy commander of
CVW-14, based out of Naval Air Station Lemoore, CA.
The squadrons of CVW-14 include the "Redcocks" of VFA-22, the
"Fist of the Fleet" of VFA-25, the "Stingers" of VFA-113, the
"Eagles" of VFA-115, the "Black Eagles" of Airborne Early Warning
Squadron (VAW) 113, the "Cougars" of Tactical Electronic Attack
Squadron (VAQ) 139, the "Providers" of Carrier Logistics Support
(VRC) 30, Det. 1, and the "Black Knights" of Helicopter
Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 4.
The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group departed San Diego on
January 27 on a surge deployment in order to fill the role of USS
Kitty Hawk (CV 63), the Navy's only permanently forward deployed
aircraft carrier, as it undergoes scheduled maintenance in Yokuska,
(ANN salutes Chief Mass Communication Specialist (SW/AW)
Donnie Ryan, USS Ronald Reagan Public Affairs)