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Minden man earns wings of Gold

by Minden Press-Herald


Lieutenant Junior Grade Caleb H. McGraw

Lieutenant Junior Grade Caleb H. McGraw received his Navy “wings of gold” on September 19, at a naval aviator designation ceremony at Naval Air Station Meridian, Missouri. Caleb is a 2008 graduate of Glenbrook High School and a 2012 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

Following graduation from the Academy, then-Ensign McGraw reported to NAS Pensacola, Florida in July 2012 for basic ground school and water survival.

In November, he proceeded from Pensacola to NAS Corpus Christi, Texas assigned to training squadron (VT) 27. With the VT-27 Boomers, he flew the T-34C Torbomentor propeller-driven primary trainer. McGraw completed primary flight training in June 2013 and was selected for the intermediate jet syllabus and assigned to the VT-9 Tigers of NAS Meridian, Missouri in August 2013, flying the T-34C Goshawk jet trainer.

In April, he completed intermediate jet and was slected for the Advanced Strike syllabus, still with VT-9. In the advanced syllabus, students learn foundation of tactical flying in the T-45 to include low level attack, bombing, tactical formation and air-to-air combat.

His flight training culminated with carrier qualification by making 10 arrested landings, four touch-and-go landings and 10 catapult takeoffs as a solo student aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt from August 21-22.

LTJG McGraw’s next duty is to report to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 122 at NAS Lemoore, California to train in the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet. The Super Hornet is the mainstay of carrier-based strike aviation, adept at both air-to-air and air-to-ground combat.

Upon completion of the syllabus at VFA-122, McGraw will serve in a fleet strike fighter squadron, flying either the single-seat F/A-18E or the two-seat F/A-18F.

Caleb is the son of Lee and Natalie McGraw of Minden. He is the grandson of Randall and Betty McGraw of Minden; Frank and Pam Ivy of Minden and the late Nelda Ivy.

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