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Bethel native earns aviation honor

March 1, 2018

BETHEL — A Bethel native recently recently received the flight officer insignia known as “Wings of Gold” after completing naval flight school.

Matthew Correnty, a Bethel High School graduate, accepted the award during a ceremony at Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Milton, Fla.

This insignia is awarded to naval aviators who have qualified as naval flight officers based on successful flight training.

Correnty earned this honor while serving with Helicopter Training Squadron 18, the “Vigilant Eagles,” a command with Training Air Wing Five. The squadron aims to transition student aviators through basic and advanced rotary wing pilot training. During basic training, students develop skills in flying helicopters and visual navigation and tactics. In advanced training, students complete an intensive curriculum of basic and radio instruments, advanced tactics, and shipboard landings.

Correnty accepted the award during a ceremony at Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Milton, Fla. The Whiting Field’s mission is to train the military’s best “Aviation Warfighter.” The field produces 1,200 pilots a year.