U.S. Navy’s surface warfare officers will learn to track and target air threats in a planned Aegis combat system simulator that will be built Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center at Naval Air Station Fallon, Nev., the head of the Navy’s new surface warfare training outfit told USNI News last week.
“TOPGUN has a facility and we’re going to add a piece to it and surface officers are going to Fallon to train,” said Rear Adm. James Kilby, the new commander of the Naval Surface Warfighting Development Center.
“It’ll be within the next two years, we’re looking to do that.”
In addition to the fighter weapons school — TOPGUN — Fallon is also home to the E-2 Hawkeye and E-2D Advanced Hawkeye training school — TOPDOME.
Seems like something of a no-brainer. And it appears they’ll be able to simulate most of the interface, as opposed to having to actually build an Aegis/SPY-1 system there.
Air warfare is more than just dogfighting. A key part has always been setting the stage before the fight, right from first detection, to facilitate victory. From the days when Gerald Ford served as a fighter director officer, surface control of the airborne assets has been a key to success. Integrating the surface Navy with the E-2 and fighter communities this way is relatively inexpensive, but also adheres to the mantra “fight as you train.”