TOPGUN was established as the Navy Fighter Weapons School, out of VF-121 at Naval Air Station Miramar. Today, the facility is a key US Marine Corps station
Known as ‘Fightertown USA’ during TOPGUN’s heyday at the base, Naval Air Station Miramar was home to the Navy Fighter Weapons School from its inception in 1968 to its departure for NAS Fallon in May 1996. It has been at Fallon almost as long as it was at Miramar, but the association of Miramar, Fightertown USA, and TOPGUN will always be remembered thanks to the 1986 Top Gun movie.
A publisher originally owned the land, naming it ‘view of the sea’, or Miramar. It was placed under agricultural use with grazing cattle and citrus orchards until the military purchased the ranch area for infantry training in 1914. The army called its new base Camp Kearny when it opened in 1917, training soldiers and welcoming aircraft from NAS North Island. The facility closed in 1920.