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Military news: Smrz earns 'Wings of Gold'

11:26 AM, Oct. 11, 2013  |  Comments
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Navy Ensign Matthew L. Smrz earned his coveted "Wings of Gold" recently while serving at Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas.

Smrz completed advanced Jet/Strike training with Training Squadron 22 (VT-22) flying the Boeing T-45 Goshawk. Jet/Strike training at NAS is broken down into two phases during a 53-week period. During phase one, students receive ground school training in instrument flying, and T-45 flight simulator training in formation flying, day formation flying, and airways navigation. In phase two, students are trained in night flying, low-altitude flying, air-to-ground training, tactical formation flying, air combat maneuvering, and air-to-ground weapons in the T-45 Goshawk. The final evolution of the training syllabus takes the students out to an active aircraft carrier for carrier landing qualifications, where they will actually make 10 landings and six traps on board the ship.

Once students successfully complete the Jet/Strike syllabus, they are designated as Naval Aviators and presented their coveted "Wings of Gold."

A son of Margaret and Leo Smrz of Plover, Smrz is a 2005 graduate of Stevens Point Area Senior High. He joined the Navy in May 2012.

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