USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS) -- The Vigilantes of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151 were named as the Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 Top Hook squadron for carrier landing performance aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), April 20.
Top Hook is awarded to the squadron with the highest landing grade average during a line period. The Vigilantes had a landing grade average of 3.527 and a boarding rate of 96.6 percent for the third line period.
Each pass, or landing attempt, is graded by the landing signal officers (LSOs) of CVW-2. An LSO's primary responsibility is to safely and efficiently land all fixed wing aircraft aboard an aircraft carrier. An LSO's secondary purpose is to grade each pass, which is debriefed to every pilot for learning and trend analysis purposes. Over time, these grades have become a source of pride and competition among air wing pilots, leading to increased carrier aviation safety.
Vigilante pilot Lt. Jaime Moreno was separately recognized as a top five "nugget" with a 3.380 landing performance and a 96 percent boarding rate. Other VFA-151 pilots recognized in the air wing top 10 include Cmdr. Robert Loughran (3.742 landing grade average/100 percent boarding rate), Lt. Cmdr. Jason Dalby (3.75/100 percent), Lt. Cmdr. David Whitmer (3.762/100 percent) and Lt. Cmdr. Mike Strong (3.833/100 percent).
"The competition was incredibly fierce this line period," said Lt. Ted Reeves, VFA-151's senior LSO. "It definitely feels good to earn this award considering how many top-notch ball flyers there are in CVW-2."
VFA-151 is one of nine squadrons deployed as part of CVW-2 aboard Lincoln, the flagship for Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9. CSG 9 also includes guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George (CG 71) and Destroyer Squadron 9, comprised of guided-missile destroyers USS Momsen (DDG 92) and USS Sterett (DDG 104). CSG 9 is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and combat flight operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
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