Graduate Robert Pierce standing in front of planes.

2008 Hayes Freedom graduate Robert Pierce.

Posted: September 8, 2016

A 2008 Hays Freedom High School graduate and Camas, Washington, native participates in the lengthy and rigorous training process that transforms new U.S. Navy Officers into Naval Aviators.

Ensign Robert Pierce is a student naval aviator with the “Rangers” Training Squadron (VT-27), based in Corpus, Christi, Texas, that operates the T-6B Texan II aircraft. As a student, Pierce is responsible for learning to fly both multi-engine and land based aircraft both effectively and efficiently to become one of the finest aviators in the Navy.

“One of the highest points for me here at this command is the people, I’ve never met a more professional and motivated group of peers in my life,” said Pierce. “When you have individuals this great around you, you can accomplish anything.”

The T-6B Texan is a training aircraft that is powered by a 1,100 shaft horsepower, free-turbine, turboprop single-engine, four-bladed propeller, with a cruising speed of 310 mph.

VT-27’s primary mission is to train future naval aviators to fly as well as instill leadership and officer values, Navy officials explained. Students must complete four phases of flight training in order to graduate, including aviation pre-flight indoctrination, primary flight training and advanced flight training. After successfully completing the rigorous program, naval aviators earn their coveted “Wings of Gold.”

Read the full story here.