GULF OF OMAN-- Two aviators reached career milestones by achieving their 1,000th carrier arrested landing, or "trap," on the same day, while serving aboard the same aircraft carrier, USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Aug. 28. It's a rare event that two aviators would reach the career milestone of achieving their 1,000th carrier arrested landing, or "trap," on the same day, while serving aboard the same aircraft carrier.
The career highlight happened today while Capt. Rob Osterhoudt, deputy commander, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, and Cmdr. Robert Loughran, commanding officer, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 are embarked on board USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. Reaching this milestone, is something that both men agree, is the product of hard work, teamwork and dedication.
"The feeling is very special," said Osterhoudt. "It took a lot of hard work by a lot of people to make each and every trap happen. Everyone who works on an airplane, those who work on the flight deck and those who work in the tower work as a well-oiled machine to make every flight happen. It's awe-inspiring every day, and to be able to reap the benefits of that and land 1,000 times is pretty cool."
Loughran agrees that without a strong group of hard working individuals, an accomplishment like this would not have been possible.
"This occasion means that there have been a tremendous amount of individuals who have demonstrated an incredible amount of hard work," said Loughran. "Their work has allowed me to make it to this milestone. I've been very fortunate to work with a large number of individuals both on the flight deck and in the squadrons I have been assigned to, who've put in a lot of work to make sure I come back to the ship."
Both have operated aircraft aboard a combined 16 aircraft carriers, ranging from the USS Constellation (CV 64) to the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), but both men speak highly of the Sailors and Marines who serve aboard Nimitz.
"The Nimitz team is out of this world," said Osterhoudt. "In all the air wings I have been a part of, I have never seen a tighter group of individuals who are able to come together to form a team and execute missions as well as they have executed the mission on this deployment."
Loughran notes that it is the professionalism of the crew aboard Nimitz that shines through.
"The professionalism that I see every single day is amazing," said Loughran. "From the ship's company to all those who support flight operations, it is truly a pleasure to work on board Nimitz, and I look forward to continuing to do so as we continue through this deployment.
Osterhoudt reflects on reaching such a milestone with words for new pilots launching off of a flight deck for the first time.
"Have fun and enjoy it every single day," said Osterhoudt. "You never know when it may be your last flight. Make every flight the best flight of your life."
Loughran credits those who have supported him throughout the years.
"Carrier aviation is the ultimate team sport," said Loughran. "Without all of the people who live and work on this ship, there is no way I would have been able to execute the missions I have been fortunate enough to have been a part of."
Osterhoudt echoed those sentiments.
"I could not be more proud of the work the crew accomplishes on a daily basis," said Osterhoudt. "It inspires me to see how hard they're working and the gratification they get when they're able to get an airplane started, get it off the flight deck and bring it home safely."
The Nimitz Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions for Operation Enduring Freedom.