USS JOHN C. STENNIS, At sea (NNS) -- The "Golden Hawks" of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 112 celebrated their 40th anniversary April 18, starting with an award ceremony held on the fo'c'sle aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), followed by a cake-cutting ceremony in the Golden Hawks' ready room.
VAW-112 Commanding Officer Cmdr. Michael Davis invited the most junior member of the squadron, Aviation Electronics Technician Airman Martin Gudino, to cut the cake.
"It's different," said Davis about celebrating this milestone at sea. "It's nice; you've got everyone here. This is something we can all do together."
The squadron was happy to celebrate their anniversary together and take a break from the fast-paced operational tempo.
"The celebration provided a little levity for us," said Lt. Cmdr. Patrick Boyce, the squadron's administration officer. "This is a chance for everybody to come together, build camaraderie, have some fun, eat some cake and just enjoy the day. It's good timing."
The celebration also offered VAW-112 the opportunity to recognize the hard work and dedication of its Sailors.
During the ceremony, the Golden Hawks presented awards to their Sailors of the month, Sailors of the quarter and recognized new arrivals to the squadron and those Sailors who earned their air warfare qualifications.
"I worked hard to get my pin presented today -- the same day that we celebrate our 40th Anniversary," said Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 2nd Class (AW) Jose Fernandez. "It's an honor."
Davis was pleased with the job the squadron has been doing during this cruise. Their hard work has allowed them to complete 99 percent of the sorties thus far through deployment.
"The whole command does a fantastic job, and we're doing it day in and day out," said Davis. "We're not a big command, at least in the number of aircraft, so every airplane that is down maintenance-wise is of huge significance to us. The fact that they get up there, and they get those aircraft to work, it takes a high level of performance every day."
VAW-112 is currently deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet's area of operations as part of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 aboard Stennis.
"VAW-112 has been affiliated with CVW-9 for most of its storied 40-year history," said CVW-9 Commander Capt. Sterling Gilliam. "Having served as a junior officer in a CVW-9 sister squadron and later as a member of the CVW-9 staff, I have had the unique opportunity to observe the Golden Hawks' contribution to naval aviation firsthand over three decades. They have been impressive. There has been no finer E-2 squadron in the U.S. Navy."
For more news from USS John C. Stennis, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn74/.