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20th Anniversary: Wing Walkers (virtual) Combat Squadron


WWSandMan
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~~Salute!~~

 

Just wanted to take a minute of your time and brag about a group of friends who have been flying flight simulations since 1992: The Wing Walkers (virtual) Combat Squadron.

 

It's been my distinct pleasure to be a member of the WW's for 99% of that time... While I wasn't one of the few who started the squadron, I was part of the first rounds of recruits to join a couple months later. I am also one of the few remaining from the 1992 era who is still actively part of the squadron.

 

Earlier this month the WW's had their 20th Anniversary "Get Together" in San Diego, California. The center-piece of the WW Get Together was enjoying the MCAS Miramar Air Show. Once I get our site's gallery issues figured out, I'll have links to hundreds of photos from the airshow and other events and venues we visited while in San Diego. For now, you can browse manually through the various contributor's folders on our web space here: http://www.wingwalkers.org/vault/2012_SanDiego_Gathering

 

I wanted to highlight a couple things... First, a group photo of the attending Wing Walkers members:

 

ww_20th_groupshot_1024.jpg

 

Back row, l-r: Tom "WWGeezer" Emme; Peter "WWPierre" Legere; Dan "WWPlague" Strayer; Monte "WWSandMan" Lewis; Ron "WWChunk" DeRespini

Front row, l-r: Jay "WWDubya" Stein"; Ron "WWSpardog" Street; Erik "WWFlybert" Aamot; John "WW8Ball" Fesler

 

Missing the "Get Together" after making plans and reservations, but real-life health, employment and/or family issues made it impossible for them to attend, Tom "WWHappy" Madron; Ian "WWWringer" Smuck; Brian "WBrian" Sawyer; Pat "WWTaco" Mesich.

 

~~~

 

Tom "WWHappy" Madron was awarded the prestigious "Art Stacy Memorial Award", commemorating the life and friendship of Art "WWKat" Stacy, who was the first WW member to have passed away. This award is given to the active WW member who best represents the ideals and philosophies of the Wing Walkers squadron. It is the highest honor amongst the WW squadron members to be presented with the Art Stacy Memorial Award. For WWHappy, it was a well deserved and well-earned honor.

 

We have a video of the award ceremony, such as it is, recorded during our visit to the 94th Aero Squadron Restaurant in San Diego. As a plug for the restaurant, if you have an interest in WW1 history (and of course in fine dining!) then this is a "must see" spot in San Diego.

 

Low quality .wmv file of presentation speech of the Art Stacy Memorial Award to WWHappy (in absentia) (I hope to get a high-quality version posted to YouTube soon)

 

~~~

 

A special part of the Get Together this year was meeting Chris "WWFalcon" Herr in person... Chris is an active duty U.S. Marine Corps RQ-7B operator. Chris first joined the WW's when he was 16, demonstrating a maturity level beyond his youthful age (the WW's generally don't consider applications from folks under 18). Chris was, and is, a very good combat simulation pilot... and we like to think that his success in the Marines as an RQ-7B operator was at least partially due to his time spent flying with us. Well, it sounds good any way... ;)

 

Here is Staff Sergeant Chris Herr, U.S. Marine Corps:

 

ssg_chris_herr.jpg

 

~~~

 

As a final note our current Commanding Officer, WWTharn (a musician at heart), put together a heart warming original musical tribute for the WW's 20th Anniversary... For any online gaming group/clan/squadron/unit who do most of their group activities via TeamSpeak, Ventrillo or any other real-time voice communications method, this song will certainly feel 'real'.

 

Friendly Voices, by WWTharn (.mp3 file)

 

Here's looking forward to the next 20 years of flight simulation! Cheers!

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Congrats to all of the Wing Walkers for reaching your 20 year Anniversary! It looks like you guys had an amazing time in San Diego!

 

We've been talking about doing something in JG1 to celebrate our 20 years. Nothing definite yet, but it should be fun.

 

Looking forward to flying with and against you guys for the next 20!

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  • 8 years later...
16 hours ago, WWSpardog said:

Time passes quickly.

Thanks for the bump!  I missed this post when it was originally put up.  I was a new father, probably quite busy with the 1 month old, at the time.

On 10/21/2012 at 12:25 PM, WWSandMan said:

A special part of the Get Together this year was meeting Chris "WWFalcon" Herr in person... Chris is an active duty U.S. Marine Corps RQ-7B operator.

@Karl Spackler and I trained both transitions from RQ-2 Pioneer to RQ-7 Shadow for VMU-1 and -2 in 2007/8.  If WWFalcon was there during that period, we definitely crossed paths. 

Small world. 

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1 hour ago, Britchot said:

Thanks for the bump!  I missed this post when it was originally put up.  I was a new father, probably quite busy with the 1 month old, at the time.

@Karl Spackler and I trained both transitions from RQ-2 Pioneer to RQ-7 Shadow for VMU-1 and -2 in 2007/8.  If WWFalcon was there during that period, we definitely crossed paths. 

Small world. 

Herr was definitely one of our students. Can't remember if he was a LCpl or a Cpl at the time. I saw his name on that Casmo podcast and had a wee chuckle.

The truth of the matter of success as a UAS operator is that it's easy to be successful: Utilize the system within specified parameters and maintain the aircraft properly. Follow the damn checklist, make solid calls and be reliable.

It takes a speshul person to be an unsuccessful UAS operator. Ignore system limits, fail to follow procedures, make questionable risk calls, and see yourself on the wall of shame of the faces and names that echo throughout eternity in the UAS world as being a dumb ass.

Success as a Marine, on the other hand, is quite a different thing. It has little to do with proficiency in your primary MOS (this is only a significant portion of your value for the first few years and first few ranks) and everything to do with your ability to navigate the Marine Corps and Marine Air Wing life, and to shepherd your junior Marines through at the same time. The simple fact that Chris has reached the Staff NCO tier of ranks speaks to those intangibles.

Congratulations on a great (in progress) career, brother!

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1 hour ago, Karl Spackler said:

Herr was definitely one of our students. Can't remember if he was a LCpl or a Cpl at the time. I saw his name on that Casmo podcast and had a wee chuckle.

Saved By The Bell Wow GIF - SavedByTheBell Wow Dafuq GIFs

I just made the connection between this thread and my discord PMs.

WWFalcon = Chris Herr = Chicken Simulations

Yes, we definitely came across at VMU-1 in 2007.  He got back from EP training to be transitioned to an automated system. 

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