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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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First F-35C Pilots Graduate from TOPGUN

Two F-35C pilots are the first naval aviators to graduate from the TOPGUN course flying the fifth-generation Joint Strike Fighter, the Navy announced.

Marine Maj. Derek Heinz and Navy Lt. William Goodwin are among the latest graduates of the Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor course, run at Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center at Naval Air Station Fallon, Nev. Heinz is a member of the “Rough Raiders” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 125, and Goodwin is a member of the “Argonauts” of VFA-147, both F-35C Lightning II squadrons based at NAS Lemoore, Calif.

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