Historica Wiki

TOPGUN patch

The United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor Program, also known as TOPGUN or Top Gun, was a school for selected naval aviators and naval flight officers of the US Navy, based at the Miramar Airbase to the north of San Diego, California, United States. In 1996, it was merged into NSAWC in Nevada.


The United States Navy Fighter Weapons School was founded on 3 March 1969 at Naval Air Station Miramar in California on the West Coast of the United States. The A-4 Skyhawk and T-38 Talon aircraft were trained to mirror the Soviet Union's MiG-17 and MiG-21, but in the 1970s and 1980s the F-14 Tomcat and the F/A-18 Hornet became the two major planes of the US Navy's aviation wing. Select recruits from the US Navy and naval flight officers were chosen to attend the school, nicknamed "Top Gun", to test their skills and to make them fly with the best of the best. Air-to-air combat was simulated between cadets at the academy, and the people who attended Top Gun were trained to value teamwork and to become effective pilots. In 1996, when Miramar was transferred to the US Marine Corps, Top Gun was merged with NSAWC in Fallon, Nevada.