USS RONALD REAGAN, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) reached an aviation milestone Oct. 18, successfully completing 20,000 arrested landings since the ship was commissioned in 2003.
The event occurred off the coast of Southern California while conducting training squadron carrier qualifications (CQ) with naval aviators from the "Tigers" of Training Squadron (VT) 9.
Completing the milestone recovery was Lt. j.g. Robert Prince, who has been in the naval aviation training program for the past 18 months.
"After we landed, they told me I had to go and see the ship's commanding officer," said Prince. "I thought I was in trouble."
Prince joined Capt. Terry B. Kraft, Ronald Reagan's commanding officer, in cutting a ceremonial cake to mark the aviation milestone. He was also presented with the Ronald Reagan commanding officer's coin.
"The entire experience aboard the carrier was great," said Prince. "Capt. Kraft even took the time to show me around. I had no idea I would be making the 20,000th arrested landing aboard Ronald Reagan."
Kraft said he was proud of his crew and the aviator's accomplishments.
"Being able to safely launch and recover 20,000 planes successfully just goes to show the outstanding work that our dedicated air and deck departments have done," said Kraft. "Those Sailors, along with the rest of the hard working crew members of Ronald Reagan, are the reason why the ship has been so successful."
Kraft continued, saying that Ronald Reagan can achieve high results whether they are in a combat or training environment.
"The fact that a student pilot was able to get the 20,000th trap showcases Ronald Reagan's ability to not only perform well during combat operations, but also to perform efficiently and successfully during training evolutions, as well," said Kraft.
For related news, visit the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn76/.