USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH, At Sea (NNS) -- USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) reached an aviation milestone Aug. 23, completing the 20,000th arrested landing since the ship's commissioning in 2009.
The event occurred in the Arabian Sea while Bush was conducting flight operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Lt. Cmdr. Chris R. Swanson, from Carrier Air Wing 8, landed an E-2C Hawkeye assigned to Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 124 at 7:42 p.m. to reach the milestone.
Swanson made the historic trap just one month before he transfers to instructor duty.
"For it to happen was really a surprise," said Swanson. "I was just the right guy at the right place at the right time."
Swanson added that the credit for the accomplishment starts with the many Sailors on and beneath the flight deck who make each trap possible.
"They've done 20,000 safe arrestments, and I'm pretty sure this ship is going to do 200,000 more," he said. "It's just a small step in where the ship is going."
Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) 3rd Class Santiago Garcia, from Air Department's V-2 Division, was one of the Sailors from the arresting gear crew who stood the engine room operator watch, monitoring the arresting gear wire engine below the flight deck. For Garcia, a native of Bogota, Columbia, who gained his citizenship through the Navy, being a part of the 20,000th trap was a unique experience.
"I have been here since the first trap and to be here for the 20,000th trap is something incredible," Garcia said. "It has been a long three years, hard work and countless maintenance to get here."
Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) (AW/SW) Antonio A. Blanco, leading chief petty officer for V-2 Division's arresting gear workcenter, said teamwork and commitment contributed to quickly and safely achieving the milestone.
"There is something unique about this crew," Blanco said. "I've never seen one gel this fast. Twenty-thousand traps is definitely something to be proud of."
USS George H.W. Bush is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility on its first operational deployment conducting maritime security operations and support missions as part of Operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn.
For more news from USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn77/.