3 sailors killed in shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola will posthumously receive Wings of Gold
- Three sailors killed on Friday during a shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola were posthumously given the Wings of Gold on Tuesday.
- The designation usually signifies graduation from aviation training, as an emblem of their achievement and induction ito the community of Naval aviators.
- Acting Secretary of the Navy Thimas Modly designated Ensign Joshua K. Watson as a naval aviator, and Airman Mohammed S. Haitham and Airman Apprentice Cameron S. Walters as naval aircrewmen on Tuesday, according to a press release from the Navy.
- In the aftermath of the shooting, Saudi nationals currently training at US military installations are being subject to a safety and security stand down, Deputy Secretary of
DefenseDavid L. Norquist said Tuesday evening.
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Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly awarded Wings of Gold to three sailors killed during a shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Friday.
Modly designated Ensign Joshua K. Watson as a naval aviator, and Airman Mohammed S. Haitham, and Airman Apprentice Cameron S. Walters as naval aircrewmen on Tuesday, according to a press release from the Navy.
The three sailors were in a classroom building where the shooter, Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, opened fire. Modly has repeatedly said that they ran toward the shooting and prevented the gunman from claiming any more lives, Military.com reports.
"Although this authorization pales in comparison to their immense bravery in the line of fire, this winging represents the symbolic achievement of the coveted goal that all three came to Pensacola to accomplish: to join the long line of naval aviators, flight officers, and aircrewmen who have served the cause of freedom so valiantly for over a century," Modly said.
"Airman Haitham, Airman Walters, and Ensign Watson represent the highest virtues of naval aviation, and undoubtedly belong in that great fraternity of selfless service to our Navy, our Department, and our Nation," Modly continued.
Aviators typically earn their wings after graduating from aviation training, as an emblem of their achievement and induction into the community of Naval aviators.
"They each embody the warrior ethos we expect and require of all wingmen," Chief of Naval Air Training Rear Adm. Daniel Dwyer said. "There is no doubt in my mind they each would have led the charge in their respective Naval Aviation careers. We are deeply saddened by this tragedy and our hearts are truly with the families and friends of our Shipmates."
Since the shooter was revealed to be a Saudi Air Force lieutenant, the Pentagon has announced a safety and security stand-down, during which all Saudi students training at US military facilities will be limited to classroom training, Task & Purpose reports.
"With respect to specific training programs and personnel under their cognizance, the Secretaries of the Military Departments may take additional security measures as they see fit," Deputy Secretary of Defense David L. Norquist said Tuesday evening.