Insights from a real TOPGUN instructor

Retired US Navy CDR Jim ‘Jambo’ Ray shares some of his experiences as a TOPGUN instructor with Dr Kevin Wright

A VF-101 F-14 Tomcat formates on an NFWS F-5E. TOPGUN gave US Navy and Marine aviators the chance to train with dissimilar aircraft that simulated potential real-world adversaries.
LT Dave Baranek/US Navy

The US Navy’s relatively poor air-to-air combat performance in Vietnam and its apparent inability to capitalise on its technological advantage over the enemy required action. A detailed report by CAPT Frank Ault led directly to the creation of the Navy Fighter Weapons School (NFWS) on March 3, 1969.

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