Naval Air Station Fallon Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC)
The Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC) at Naval Air Station Fallon is the center of excellence for naval aviation training and tactics development. NSAWC provides service to aircrews, squadrons and air wings throughout the United States Navy through flight training, academic instructional classes, and direct operational and intelligence support. The command consists of more than 130 officers, 250 enlisted and 500 contract personnel. NSAWC flies and maintains F/A-18 Hornets, F-14 Tomcats and SH-60F Seahawk helicopters.
NSAWC consolidated three commands into a single command structure on July 11, 1996, to enhance aviation training effectiveness. The Naval Strike Warfare Center (STRIKE "U") based at N A S Fallon since 1984, was joined with the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) and the Carrier Airborne Early Warning Weapons School (TOPDOME) which both moved from N A S Miramar as a result of a (B R A C) Base Realignment and Closure decision in 1993.
NSAWC is the primary authority on training and tactics development. NSAWC provides training, assessment, aviation requirements recommendations, research and development priorities for integrated strike warfare, maritime and overland air superiority, strike fighter employment, airborne battle management, Combat Search and Rescue, Close Air Support, and associated planning support systems. The command is also responsible for the development, implementation, and administration of several courses of instruction while functioning as the Navy point of contact for all issues relating to the Air Combat Training Continuum. Additionally, NSAWC is the Navy point of contact for all issues related to the Fallon Range Training Complex.
NSAWC consists of nine departments. Personnel Resources (N1) oversees administrative functions, supply, security, automated information systems, and first lieutenant. The Intelligence Department (N2) provides support to air wing training in Fallon as well as to fleets and battle groups based all over the world. Operations (N3) manages scheduling for aircraft, aircrew, the training ranges, and keeps aircrew log books and records. The Maintenance Department (N4) maintains all NSAWC aircraft, including parts and supplies, manages the loading, unloading and storage of ordnance, and maintains aircrew flight equipment.
Plans, Programs and Tactics (N5) is involved in tactics development and assessment for tactical aircraft and SH-60 helicopters, program management and participation, mission planning, and inter/intra service liaison.
The C41/C2W Department (N6) provides graduate-level command, control, communication, and computer intelligence and battle management training to E-2 aircrew, and joint inter-operability training to naval warfare communities, U.S. Air Force, and NATO commands.
The Training and Standardization Department (N7) instructs graduate-level strike-fighter employment through the "TOPGUN" Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor (SFTI) course. It also conducts the Strike Leader Attack Training Syllabus (SLATS) and Senior Officers Course (SOC); and manages air wing power projection training.
The Range Department (N8) oversees and manages the usage, maintenance, and operation of equipment in the Fallon Range Training Complex (FRTC), including the Advanced Data Display System (ADDS). Finally, the Operational Risk Management/Safety Department (N9) manages air-and-ground related safety programs as well as medical training programs.
There are two distinct areas of NSAWC training using the FRTC extensively - carrier air wing (CVW) training and the "TOPGUN" SFTI course. Air wing training brings together all of an air wing's squadrons for four weeks, providing strike planning and execution training opportunities in a dynamic, realistic, scenario-driven simulated wartime environment.
Air wing training consists of power projection training in strike warfare, amphibious operations, joint battlefield operations, C A S, and C S A R. The SFTI course trains individuals in the art of air-to-air and air-to-ground superiority. It provides highly advanced tactical training in the F/A-18 and F-14, including tactics, hardware and threat training. Air wing training is conducted an average of four times per year, and the SFTI course is conducted five times a year. Additionally, NSAWC staff members augment "adversary" air support, or "bandit" presentations, to support airborne portions of the training. NSAWC also annually hosts a 10-day C S A R exercise providing all-service participation with one full week of exercise flying involved.
Concurrent with each SFTI course, NSAWC conducts an Adversary Training Course where pilots receive individual instruction in threat simulation, effective threat presentation and adversary tactics. Each class trains five to six Air Intercept Controllers in effective strike/fighter command and control.
In the classroom, NSAWC also conducts tactically oriented courses. The SOC addresses strategic and tactical issues at the battle group commander, air wing commander and squadron commanding officer level. SLATS introduces junior Navy and Marine Corps officers to all aspects of air wing, battle group and joint force tactics, planning and hardware. Another important course is the Advanced Mission Commander's Course (AMCC) which focuses on the airborne battle management, providing graduate-level command, control and communication training to E-2C mission commanders and other carrier aircraft plane commanders.
The Plans, Programs and Tactics (N5) department utilizes both NSAWC and fleet aircraft to develop the latest in airwing tactics. These are standardized and promulgated to the fleet via the Naval Warfare Publication 3-01 Carrier Airwing Tactical Memo, and updated bi-annually. The N5 department forms a core of expertise which functions to advise the Chief of Naval Operations on programmatic issues, and lends its support to real world operations as targeteers providing extensive liaison and standardization to other Naval and joint training agencies.
The FRTC encompasses more than 10,200 square miles of airspace east of N A S Fallon, including a vast array of electronic systems supporting squadron, airwing and SFTI training. The heart of this program is the Advanced Digital Display System or ADDS. This computer-supported real-time digital display allows monitoring of each training event as it occurs on the ranges and recording capability for debriefing. Information is transmitted instantaneously from each aircraft to large screen displays at NSAWC and recorded for playback to the aircrews for post flight analysis of procedures and tactics. This system also allows controllers and aircrews to view an event from several different aspects in three dimensions.
One of NSAWC's most interactive departments is N2 - Intelligence. Within this department are targeteers and weaponeering experts, assisted by enlisted intelligence specialists, who gather data on potential trouble areas around the globe where deployed naval forces might be called for presence or action. Inherent in the intelligence mission is preparation of aircrews for all circumstances they may face in combat. Another function of NSAWC's intelligence department is contingency preparation. When called upon, members will deploy, armed with the latest intelligence gathered, to assist commanders in theater.
NSAWC touches each Navy and Marine Corps aviator in many ways: providing quality and standardized training curricula; orchestrating large training exercises; and publishing a variety of technical and tactical publications authored by the staff. The ultimate goal of NSAWC is to ensure that excellence in training will lead to victory in battle. Central Nevada and the Fallon Range Training Complex offers our military services the very finest conditions in which to conduct this variety of critical training, making N A S Fallon and the associated Range Complex a true national treasure.