How the US Navy is enhancing TOPGUN training

With the spotlight on the silver screen for Top Gun: Maverick earlier this year, Nate Leong details ongoing changes to enhance training for the US Navy’s own Top Guns at NAS Fallon

During these times of budget constraints, the US Navy has, in an effort to make every dollar stretch further, started to realign some of their reserve squadrons into a more supportive role for the active-duty squadrons. Supplementing the reserve squadrons, the Navy also has increased civilian-contracted red air flying, in line with other branches of the US armed forces.

Its ambition is to emulate the US Air Force (USAF) by increasing the number of adversary assets it has at its disposal for training aircrews in the realm of air-to-air combat. The US Air Force allocated several older Lockheed F-35As to the 65th Aggressor Squadron at Nellis AFB, Nevada to replicate the current threats that Russia and China pose. However, as the US Navy doesn’t have the luxury of surplus fifth generation fighters for that role, it has turned to the US Air Force and Air National Guard for assistance.

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