Only The Fourth Carrier To Reach That Milestone
An F/A-18F Super Hornet from the Red Rippers of Strike Fighter
Squadron (VFA) 11 became the 400,000th aircraft to land on USS
Enterprise's (CVN 65) flight deck May 24. Lt. Matthew L. Enos and
Weapon System Officer Lt. Cmdr. Jonathan Welsh manned the Super
Hornet for the historic landing. Enos said he is honored he was the
pilot to put Enterprise on the short list of aircraft carriers with
"This is a day I will never forget," said Enos. "This has been a
great deployment even without this feat. Being able to do this is
just the icing on the cake."
Enterprise is only the fourth Navy aircraft carrier to have more
than 400,000 carrier landings, and is the only carrier still in
commission to surpass the number. Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1,
Enterprise's embarked air wing, was honored to be a part of this
great achievement. "I'm glad we were able to be here to pull this
off," said Capt. Jeffrey L. Trent, commander of CVW-1. "I give
thanks to everyone involved in this landing. Many people don't
understand how many people are involved in landing a jet on a ship.
This made everyone's day."
Below the flight deck, Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) 3rd
Class Joseph R. Naval was manning the number two arresting gear
engine when the 400,000th arrested landing was made. "It's a great
feeling to be able to say you had a hand in making the history
books," said Naval. "It's not a big surprise though, working on a
ship as old as Enterprise means all of us on board are making
Enterprise's achievement falls on a historic year for naval
aviation. 2011 marks one hundred years since the birth of naval
aviation, only eight years after the Wright brothers flew their
historic flight. "U.S. naval aviation has been at the forefront of
our national destiny, and has become an unrivaled maritime force,"
said Rear Adm. Ted Branch, commander, Naval Air Forces Atlantic.
"Our forces are doing amazing work every day, around the world, and
they are making a crucial difference in the ongoing
In her 50 years of service, Enterprise has wowed many people and
set many records. She is the first nuclear-powered carrier and the
first nuclear carrier to transit the Suez Canal. Enterprise was the
first carrier to fly F-14 Tomcats and is the longest warship in the
world. This achievement of 400,000 landings is one more record
added to the list. "I think it's only fitting that a squadron with
the impressive history of the 'Red Rippers' is the one to make this
landing," said Capt. Dee L. Mewbourne, commanding officer of
Enterprise. "We are witnessing history."
The other three carriers with more than 400,000 traps are USS
Lexington (CV 16), USS Independence (CV 62) and USS Kitty Hawk (CV