His First Carrier-Arrested Landing Was In 1988
Deputy Commander, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, Capt. Daniel S.
Cave, made his 1,000th carrier-arrested landing Oct. 22, joining
the ranks of a select group of naval aviators.
USS George Washington File Photo
The landing is commonly referred to as a “trap,” and
after the landmark achievement on the flight deck aboard USS George
Washington (CVN-73) (GW), a cake-cutting ceremony was held in the
“Diamondbacks” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 102
ready room. Cave was congratulated by the George Washington Carrier
Strike Group Commander, Rear Adm. Dan Cloyd, Commander of CVW-5,
Capt. Ross Myers and GW’s Executive Officer, Capt. Daniel
Grieco. “It’s an honor to be given the opportunity to
fly around the aircraft carrier,” said Cave. “But the
credit goes to the pilots I’ve flown with and the maintainers
that have maintained the aircraft throughout the years.”
It has been 22 years since Cave’s first trap and he said
it is a privilege to reach this career milestone, but has never
considered himself to be a milestone chaser. In his career, Cave
has been attached to numerous squadrons, instructed pilots and even
acted as the Navy aid for the Commandant of the Marine Corps. His
first tour was with the “Tophatters” of Strike Fighter
Squadron (VFA) 14 on board USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) during
Operation Desert Shield.
“It’s been a long time since my first trap,
I’m older now and I’ve got grey in my hair, but I hope
I haven’t changed too much,” said Cave. “Catching
the arresting wire can still be scary at times, especially if the
flight deck starts slipping, but I think that the moment it stops
being scary, it’s time to hang it up.”
USS George Washington F/A-18 File Photo
Cave’s current responsibilities are to support the
commander of CVW-5, by assisting in administrative work while
Myers’ main focus is on the operations side of the house.
“He’s a really good guy to work for,” said Cmdr.
Mark Tankersley, the CVW-5 operations officer, who has known Cave
for six years. “He takes care of his people in more than one
way, he takes care of a lot of things on his level so we
don’t get overwhelmed and he’s been around so long he
can answer any questions we have; everyone respects him for
Cave is scheduled to take Myers’ position as commander,
CVW-5, Feb. 3, 2011. Once he finishes his tour on GW, Cave said he
could possibly go to Washington D.C. but isn’t sure what the
Navy has in store for him. “This is deployment seven and it
doesn’t get any easier, but my family understands and
they’re always there for me,” said Cave.
Tankersley said he is looking forward to working for him when he
gets promoted. “Knowing him from my last command, I was very
interested to work for him again,” said Tankersley.
“I wasn’t the only person who was trying to work
for him, but he helped me to get the position.”
Cave said he enjoys being an aviator and will not be giving up
on it any time soon. “I’m not quite ready yet, but in
the future, I would like to retire on a lake,” said Cave.
“I can see myself sitting on a dock, fishing, maybe getting
visited by the grandkids.”
CVW-5 is embarked as part of the George Washington Carrier
Strike Group. GW is currently underway helping ensure security and
stability in the Western Pacific Ocean.
ANN Salutes Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Marcos