USS JOHN C. STENNIS, At Sea (NNS) -- The flight deck of USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) tallied it's 100,000th arrested landing with the trap of an F/A-18F Super Hornet from the "Black Knights" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 154 on June 15.
The next morning, a ceremony was held on the aft mess decks and commemorative plaques containing a piece of the arresting gear wire were given to key Stennis and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 leadership.
"It's amazing, with just 11 years of service Stennis has already achieved this impressive milestone," said Commanding Officer Capt. Brad Johanson. "It's a great credit to the crew for supporting such a fast-paced operating tempo, both by spending so much time at sea and in maintaining the ship at the peak of material condition."
Stennis' arresting gear system is maintained and operated by the ship's V-2 division of Air Department, but Johanson said the effort came from many different departments on board the ship that assist in keeping the process of safely recovering aircraft in top condition.
"Black Knights" Executive Officer Cmdr. Clark Troyer and pilot Lt. John Young successfully completed the arrested landing after returning from a close-air-support mission over Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
"It's been very busy around here, and this milestone shows we're doing what we're supposed to be doing," Troyer said. "This is a great achievement for the ship, and it shows just how much they've operated and how much support they have provided throughout the world."
Troyer said his trap was coincidental and he had no idea he was going to record an historical trap. While being a major milestone for Stennis, he added, his squadron will also remember they accomplished Stennis' 100,000th trap during its 2007 deployment.
Stennis recovered its first fixed-wing aircraft in 1996 and its 100,000th trap milestone comes after five deployments and numerous workup cycles while hosting a variety of aircraft.
"Milestones are a measure of experience," said Commander, CVW-9 Capt. Sterling Gilliam. "One arrested landing is an impressive feat -- all that needs to go into it and all the teamwork that has to happen to make a successful sortie -- when you multiply it by 100,000, it really goes to show that in aggregate, we really do some heroic stuff."
With this accomplishment, Stennis adds another notch to its belt of achievements during its 2007 deployment. Stennis left on deployment Jan. 16, and arrived in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations Feb. 19. Since arriving in the Middle East, Stennis and its embarked air wing have supported Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom with coalition partners and have participated in three major exercises.
For more news from USS John C. Stennis, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn74/.