North Santa Rosa

Vigilant Eagles Celebrate 40 Years

HT-18 to Celebrate 40Years of “Vigilant Eagles”

 Helicopter Training Squadron EIGHTEEN will celebrate its 40th anniversary on Thursday, March 1.  The “Vigilant Eagles” – students, instructors, civilians, and alumni of HT-18 – will gather at squadron spaces to mark the occasion, enjoy refreshments, and share their memories of four decades of training military helicopter pilots.

Highlights of the ceremony will include an address from Training Air Wing FIVE Commodore Col. James Grace and the presentation of original documents from the squadron’s commissioning.  The ceremony will be followed by a cake-cutting and social hour in the squadron ready room.

HT-18 Commanding Officer Cmdr. Jeffrey D. Debrine expressed pride in the accomplishments of his students and staff on the eve of the occasion.  “HT-18 has always stood for excellence, and we are proud to continue that tradition,” Debrine declared.

Debrine and HT-18 Executive Officer Lt. Col. Robert S. White are long-time “Vigilant Eagles,” having earned their naval aviator designations with the squadron in 1994 and 1996, respectively.  Under their direction, HT-18 has continued to extend its U.S. military rotorcraft record as the squadron with the most flight hours completed without a Class A mishap.

HT-18 was established in 1972 as one of the first two helicopter training squadrons under TRAWING-5 at Naval Air Station Whiting Field.  Since its inception, 13,216 designated military aviators have earned their “wings of gold” with the squadron.  HT-18 continues to produce approximately 180 aviators per year while training personnel from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, and allied nations.

Posted by on Feb 27 2012. Filed under Military. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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