Detachment at Edwards joins rest of Navy in welcoming new chief petty officers Published Sept. 21, 2016 By Kenji Thuloweit 412th Test Wing Public Affairs EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- U.S. Navy bases and ships around the world held ceremonies Sept. 16 to welcome the Navy’s newest chief petty officers. Chief petty officer, enlisted grade E-7, is the first rank of the senior noncommissioned officer corps for the Navy. At Edwards, a ceremony was held by Air Test and Evaluation Squadron NINE Detachment Edwards, designated VX-9 Det. Edwards, at the base theater. The "Vampires" watched as three of their own donned their new khaki uniforms and pinned on their anchors to officially become CPOs. Richard Crapser, Lawrence Borba and Justin Sexton were introduced as VX-9’s newest chiefs. The ceremony concluded CPO 365 Phase II, a training period that began following the announcement of the Navy’s CPO advancement results Aug. 3. During the last six weeks the chief selectees were put through a series of trials by senior leadership in order for them to learn how to think and act like a chief. Although on a U.S. Air Force base, the ceremony was carried out in traditional Navy fashion with the new chief selectees entering the theater marching and singing the Navy Song, “Anchors Aweigh.” After introductory speeches, the chief selectees stepped forward individually to have their gold fouled anchors pinned on their collars by family members and the combination covers of a chief petty officer placed upon their heads. On Friday, 4,765 Sailors across the Navy pinned on the rank of chief petty officer. VX-9 Det. Edwards has approximately 120 Sailors and is charged with the testing and evaluation of the Navy’s F-35C Lightning II and its related systems in direct support of the United States Naval Aviation Fleet.