report by: Harry Morrow
Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center (NAWDC) at Naval Air Station Fallon is the center of excellence for naval aviation training and tactics development. NAWDC provides service to aircrews, squadrons and air wings throughout the United States Navy through flight training, academic instructional classes, and direct operational and intelligence support. The command consists of more than 120 officers, 140 enlisted, 50 civilians, and 250 contract personnel. NAWDC flies and maintains FA-18C/D Hornets, FA-18E/F Super Hornets, EA-18G Growlers, F-16 Fighting Falcons and MH-60S Seahawk helicopters.
Prior to June 2015, NAWDC was known as Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC) which was the consolidation of three commands into a single command structure on July 11, 1996. NSAWC was comprised of the Naval Strike Warfare Center (STRIKE “U”) based at NAS Fallon since 1984, and two schools from NAS Miramar, the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) and the Carrier Airborne Early Warning Weapons School (TOPDOME). NAWDC is the Navy’s center of excellence for air combat training and tactics development. NAWDC trains naval aviation in advanced Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTP) across assigned combat mission areas at the individual, unit, integrated and joint levels, ensuring alignment of the training continuum; to set and enforce combat proficiency standards; to develop, validate, standardize, publish and revise TTPs.
The Information Warfare Directorate at NAWDC is responsible for ensuring command leadership and personnel are provided the full capabilities of the Information Warfare Community (IWC) to support combat readiness and training of Carrier Air Wings and Strike Groups. The Directorate is comprised of four areas of focus: Air Wing Intelligence Training, the Maritime ISR (MISR) Cell, Targeting, and Command Information Services (CIS). The Air Wing Intelligence Training Division is responsible for training CVW Intelligence Officers and Enlisted Intelligence Specialists in strike support operations.
NAWDC Operations department (N3) is responsible for the coordination, planning, synchronization, and scheduling for the operations of the command, its assigned aircraft, and airspace and range systems within the Fallon Range Training Complex (FRTC). NAWDC’s Joint NAWDC’s Joint Close-Air Support (JCAS) Division continues to answer the needs of current theater operations with increased production of Joint Terminal Attack Controllers Course (JTACC). NAWDC JCAS primarily trains Naval Special Warfare and Riverine Group personnel, but has this year also trained U.S. Army Special Operations, U.S. Marine Corps Air and Naval Gunfire Liaison Officers, international personnel, as well as U.S. Navy Fixed and Rotary Wing Forward-Air Controller (Airborne) personnel.
Carrier Airborne Early Warning Weapons School (CAEWWS), also referred to as TOP DOME, is the E-2 weapon school and responsible for Airborne Tactical Command and Control advanced individual training via the Hawkeye Weapons and Tactics Instructors (HEWTIs) class. CAEWWS is also responsible for development of community Tactics, Technique and Procedures and provides inputs to the acquisition process in the form of requirements and priorities for research and development (R&D), procurement, and training systems.
In 1969, the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) was established to develop and implement a course of graduate-level instruction in aerial combat. Today, TOPGUN continues to provide advanced tactics training for FA-18A-F aircrew in the Navy and Marine Corps through the execution of the Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor (SFTI) Course. TOPGUN is the most demanding air combat syllabus found anywhere in the world. The SFTI Course ultimately produces graduate-level strike fighter tacticians, adversary instructors, and Air Intercept Controllers (AIC) who go on to fill the critical assignment of Training Officer in fleet units.
Only the NAWDC fighters were present in NAS Oceana during summer 2018, but it was a great chance for us to be able to make a report about this event.