October 14, 2011
The United States Navy first recognized its aviation component in 1911 when the Navy bought its first aircraft, a Curtis A1 biplane. Over the last century, Naval Aviation has been key component of our nations three Sea Services, the Navy, the Marine Corps and the Coast Guard. Naval Aviation has been a major force component in all of our nation’s 20th and 21st Century armed conflicts, implementing its core competency – the projection of combat power around the globe whether at sea from a flight deck or land at forward base.
Vice Admiral “Wally” Massenburg is the President of the Association of Naval Aviation, a professional advocacy group for the aviation forces of our three Sea Services. Admiral Massenburg will entertain the Colloquium audience on the rich heritage and history of Naval Aviation’s contribution to maritime warfare from the coastal air stations in France and Belgium during World War I to the carrier decks and expeditionary air fields used now in the War on Terror. Perhaps more importantly, Admiral Massenburg will state how the first century of Naval Aviation was defined by the men and women who earned their Wings of Gold and whose gallantry and yes, “swagger,” influenced major events throughout a century marked by conflict and despotism. Vice Admiral Massenburg was the Commander, Naval Air Systems Command from 2003 to 2007. His 38-year Navy career includes duty as a maritime patrol aircraft pilot, squadron commander, major acquisition program manager and program executive officer.