100th Anniversary Of Naval Aviation Included In Final NASA Shuttle Mission


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100th Anniversary Of Naval Aviation Included In Final NASA Shuttle Mission

By Eddy Metcalf

August 19, 2011 - 2011 marks the 100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation. This momentous anniversary is being celebrated across the country throughout the course of the year by paying tribute to the amazing progress and achievements of United States Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Aviation.

In recognition of the enormous contributions made by all elements of Naval Aviation, the 100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation Foundation will independently support the year-long celebration by working to generate national awareness of this historic milestone and producing the official Centennial Kick-Off and Closing Events.

In support of the Foundation's efforts, STS-135 Commander Chris Ferguson and Pilot Doug Hurley carried the Foundation's Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard coins into space on the final shuttle mission and presented a special Centennial Message while docked to the international space station.

The support from these two Naval Aviators has helped to highlight the great accomplishments made over the past 100 years and increased awareness of the legacy of United States Naval Aviation.

Attired in training versions of their shuttle launch and entry suits, these four astronauts take a break from training to pose for the STS-135 crew portrait. Pictured are NASA astronauts Chris Ferguson (center right), commander; Doug Hurley (center left), pilot; Rex Walheim and Sandy Magnus, both mission specialists.

The STS-135 Centennial Message has been viewed by many on websites, including YouTube; the official websites of the US Navy, Coast Guard and NASA; the STS-135 Wikipedia Page; and the Facebook page for Naval Air Systems Command.

Since the Centennial Kick-Off held in San Diego, CA this past February, events have been organized across the country in celebration of this anniversary. At the closing of the Centennial year, the 100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation Foundation will assemble the men and women who have shaped the legacy of Naval Aviation in a celebration fitting of this occasion.

The culminating event, The Centennial of Naval Aviation Commemorative Gala will be held on December 1, 2011 at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC. In addition to the Commemorative Gala, the Foundation will organize a public wreath laying ceremony in honor of the Centennial of Naval Aviation during the afternoon of December 1, 2011 at the United States Navy Memorial.

National Sponsors of the Centennial of Naval Aviation Commemorative Gala include: The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Breitling, Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems, GE Aviation, General Atomics, Rockwell Collins, Sikorsky and Pratt & Whitney. Local Sponsors include: DRS Technologies, MBDA Missile Systems, FedEx, ITT Defense (the future ITT Exelis), USS Midway Museum, RC Baker Foundation, Huntington Ingalls Industries, and ANA Washington-Anacostia Squadron.


The Foundation's mission is to raise national Naval Aviation awareness and honor a century of mission-ready men and women throughout the 2011 Centennial of Naval Aviation. As a result of regionally-based events and educational displays, the Foundation will recognize unique Naval Aviation achievements and provide resources for national involvement in the Centennial of Naval Aviation.

The 100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation Foundation is a publicly supported, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization working independently to support the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard with their 2011 Centennial Celebration. The Foundation will orchestrate the production of the official Centennial of Naval Aviation Kick-Off and Closing Events as well as support the 2012 Marine Aviation Centennial Celebration.

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