14 inch solid wood plaque hand carved and painted.
The use of naval aviation insignia is a modern form of heraldry that dates back to the early period of naval aviation in the 1920’s and captures many proud moments of its history. The practice fosters a sense of pride, unit cohesion and contributes to high morale, esprit de corps and professionalism within the community. It also serves as an effective means of preserving a command’s tradition, continuity of purpose and recognition, as traced through its lineage. The following rules are provided to ensure that all command insignia and slogans are in keeping with the highest traditions of the proud naval aviation heritage.
Training Squadron NINE (VT-9)is the third naval squadron to be designated VT-9. The first VT-9 was commissioned in 1927 as a torpedo squadron, flying the Curtis T-3M Convertible Land/Seaplane. The second VT-9 was commissioned on December 15, 1961 at McCain Field, U.S. Naval Air Station, Meridian, Mississippi. On August 2, 1971, the VT-9 “Tigers” branched off to form its “sister” squadron, designated VT-19 “Frogs”, and both squadrons then assumed the intermediate jet training role at Meridian. Training Squadron NINE was disestablished in July 1987 and consolidated with Training Squadron NINETEEN. On October 1, 1998, Training Squadron NINETEEN was re-designated as Training Squadron NINE and the “Tigers” were again reborn. In June 2004, the squadron completed the last Student Naval Aviator flight in the T-2C “Buckeye.”
Presently, VT-9 is under the command of Commander Charles Paquin, USN. Its mission is to safely train Student Naval Aviators for the United States and other International Navies in the air strike mission. The squadron has trained International students from Spain, France, Brazil, and Italy.
Training Squadron NINE currently operates the Boeing T-45C “Goshawk”. Civilian maintenance contractors maintain the 89 T-45C aircraft flown by VT-9. Fidelity Technologies Corporation operates the T-45C flight simulator for the squadron.
Student Naval Aviators and International Military Students are aboard VT-9 for approximately nine to twelve months and are trained in all of the fundamental stages of strike aviation. Many initial flights and simulators are devoted to Instrument training, which eventually culminates in an instrument rating. Sixteen day and four night flights are then devoted to the Familiarization stage. Here, students learn basic aircraft maneuvering, aerobatics, and carrier landing skills. Twenty-three Formation flights provide students the sound skills in both two and four plane Formation flying. These flights lay the foundation required during later tactical events. In the Weaponry stage, students learn fundamental ground weapon delivery procedures. Four Night Formation flights are followed by 10 flights focused on the basics of Air Combat Maneuvering. Finally, the students fly Field Carrier Landing Practices (FCLPs) in preparation for carrier qualifications, which consist of 4 touch-and-go landings and 10 carrier-arrested landings aboard a carrier at sea. Following this, the students receive their “Wings of Gold”.
Training Squadron NINE’s unprecedented safety record has culminated in ten Chief of Naval Operations Aviation Safety Awards. In 2005, the squadron was awarded the CNO Safety “S” from CNATRA. Training Squadron NINE’s other recent awards include two Secretary of the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation awards in recognition of exceeding the established goals of safety, quality, and projected training rates.