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Visiting the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center (NAWDC): July 2020

The US Navy is in the throes of reworking its capability to prevail in the high-end fight while ensuring its ability to engage in full spectrum crisis management.There is no clearer proof of this judgment than the latest efforts at the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center (NAWDC).

Most people know this as TOPGUN and envisage Tom Cruise-type characters preparing for air combat somewhere in global conflict.

But today’s NAWDC is focused not simply on training for the integrated air wing, but the integratable air wing engaging in leveraging and enhancing fleet-wide operations and working closely with joint and coalition force partners.

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An Update on the Integratable Air Wing: A Discussion with the US Navy’s Air Boss

Last February, I visited San Diego and met with Vice Admiral Miller, the US Navy’s Air Boss. During that meeting, we discussed a shift from what I call the integrated to the integratable air wing and its impact on innovation for the fleet and the joint force.

During that discussion, I learned about the introduction of the MISR WTIs or the Maritime ISR Weapons and Tactics Instructors (WTIs), who are specially trained officers and enlisted, to the ranks as well as of the coming of the Osprey to the carrier force in the near term and the MQ-25 unmanned air tanker to the fleet in the mid-term.

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