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Early History of the Naval Strike Warfare Center
As a result of observed deficiencies in combat over Lebanon in 1983 and other driving forces, the Naval Strike Warfare Center (NSWC)was established by direction of the Secretary of the Navy, John Lehman, in May 1984.
Originally established at the Naval Air Station, Lemoore, CA, NSWC or STRIKE, commanded by then CAPT Joseph Prueher and a staff of 24, developed its core curriculum, the Strike Leader Attack Training Syllabus (SLATS). In September, 1984, STRIKE moved into renovated spaces at the Naval Air Station Fallon (NAS), Nevada and began training naval aviators in the intricacies of planning, briefing, and leading sea based power projection strikes.
In 1988, a new building was completed at NAS Fallon, including the installation of the Tactical Air Combat Training System (TACTS) and STRIKE expanded their training program to include training the Navy's 10 carrier air wings (CVWs) the art of integrated strike warfare. Each air wing deploys to Fallon for four weeks of intensive training in large force employment, suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD), close air support (CAS), combat search and rescue (CSAR) and command and control (C2). Over the years, this training has evolved into the Navy's premier tactical training program and, in July 1996, the Carrier Airborne Early Warning School (TOPDOME) and the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) were moved to Fallon to join with STRIKE to form what is known today as the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC). The last Commanding Officer of STRIKE was CAPT Dave Nichols and NSAWC stood up under the command of RADM Bernie Smith.
Today, NSAWC conducts the CVW Fallon Training Detachment three to four times a year. There are three phases of the detachment, Mission Level Training, Integrated Training, and Advanced Training. The training syllabus has been designed to improve specific skill sets for the entire air wing in an escalating pace throughout the detachment. Training begins with academics designed to broaden Strike Leader knowledge while simultaneously reinforcing current recommendations and procedures for junior aviators. One of the major goals of the academic week is to begin the process for the mission commander courses. The mission commander courses include Air Interdiction Mission Commander (AIMC) and Rescue Mission Commander (RMC) for F/A-18 strike fighter aircrew and Dynamic Strike Mission Commander (DSMC) for E-2 Hawkeye aircrew. The rest of the week is spent reestablishing proficiency in mission specific capabilities, marking the beginning of Mission Level Training (MLT).
MLT is the first major phase of flight training, beginning with the mission specific events and finishing with integrated strikes. The vast majority of the events are pre-planned by the NSAWC staff to allow the air wing to concentrate on flight execution.
following week ushers in the Integrated Training Phase (ITP) and Dynamic
Strike (DS) phase. ITP is a series of individual, stand-alone strikes
designed to test the air wing with a broad spectrum of threats and mission
objectives. Along with the varied missions, the strike planning teams
will now be responsible for mission planning, briefing, and flight execution.
DS events will occur between the day and night ITP strikes. These events
are pre-planned and are designed to improve the air wing's skills
in the Time Sensitive Targeting and Armed Reconnaissance environment.
ITP week culminates with a Dynamic Targeting / Defensive Counter Air
Interwoven into the MLT and ITP phases are several CAS events. These CAS events are designed to train the air wing in the execution of Joint CAS procedures in all threat levels. While it is designed to train the aviators of the air wing, the CAS events also support Special Operations Forces participating in the Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTAC) Course, resulting in 12 qualified JTACs per air wing detachment.
The Advanced Training Phase (ATP) is the culmination of the air wing's training detachment. This phase reinforces the skills learned during MLT and ITP while adding the responsibility of intel fusion throughout a week long campaign. The ATP war campaign consists of three phases. Phase I starts with Offensive Counter Air (OCA) and SEAD rollback missions, followed by integrated strikes tasked with destroying strategic targets. Phase II is a follow-on to the DS scenario accomplishing the preparation of the battle space for the ground scheme of maneuver. Phase III is the support of that ground scheme of maneuver.
Once the detachment is complete, the air wing is now proficient in all facets of strike warfare and is ready for deployment to wherever the National Command Authority deems necessary.