NAS Fallon operates as the leading training ground for naval air warfare. Their slogan, “train the way you fight; fight the way you train” represents their aim to ensure mission readiness for all Carrier Air Wings. This large-scale training exercise focuses on specific missions the wing may be asked to accomplish underway. Air Wing Fallon is a part of the Navy’s optimized fleet response plan (OFRP) which outlines maintenance, training, deployment and sustainment operations. Completing Air Wing Fallon is a necessary phase for all carrier air wings to obtain the required qualifications to deploy.
“Our sailors have worked hard on their qualifications and this is their opportunity to be a fully integrated air wing accomplishing a mission as a cohesive unit. Air Wing Fallon is the culminating event before joining the strike group on the composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX),” said CVW-2 Commander, Capt. Matt Thrasher.
CVW-2 is the first carrier air wing to incorporate the Lightings and the newest Hawkeyes. This is the first time in naval history that the F/A-18E/F, EA-18G, F-35C, and E-2D have been integrated together for an operational deployment. With the integration of organic 4th and 5th generation information, survivability, and airborne electronic attack capacity these aircraft will significantly increase the lethality of the Navy’s next generation air wing. Additionally, with a robust logistical support platform, CVW-2 is pioneering the future of naval aviation, proving the flexibility and resilience needed for the success of carrier operations.
Over the past few years, the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center (NAWDC) and TOPGUN have been working to develop the skill-sets, curriculum and experienced instructors required to execute a syllabus that fully integrates F-35C tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP’s), while using the latest capabilities provided by the E-2D.
“Instead of focusing on very narrow problem sets and objectives, Air Wing Fallon now takes those early looks of integrated TTP’s that we’ve worked on and puts it on a broader and larger scale against an entire air defense system” said Deputy Air Wing Commander, Capt. Tommy Locke.
This syllabus was used at Air Wing Fallon to improve interoperability and unit cohesion within CVW-2.
This upcoming deployment with Carrier Strike Group (CSG) ONE aboard USS CARL VINSON (CVN -70), will be the first operational deployment for the F-35C Lighting II. This aircraft complements the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and E/A-18G Growler capabilities and enhances the flexibility, power-projection, and strike capabilities of CVW-2. The F-35C was designed with stealth technology, making it a critical addition to the CSG’s integrated warfighting package. The ability of this aircraft to penetrate threat envelopes, detect and fuse information from many sources, and link that fused picture to other strike group aircraft, ships and decision-makers makes it an unparalleled addition to the Carrier Strike Group.
CVW-2 currently consists of three F/A-18E/F squadrons (VFA-2 “Bounty Hunters”, VFA-113 “Stingers”, and VFA-192 “Golden Dragons”), one E/A-18G squadron (VAQ-136 “Gauntlets”), one F-35C squadron (VFA-147 “Argonauts”), one E-2D squadron (VAW-113 “Black Eagles”), one CMV-22B Osprey squadron (VRM-30 “Titans”), and two MH-60 helicopter squadrons (HSC-4 “Black Knights” and HSM-78 “Blue Hawks”). With a total of nine well-trained squadrons, CVW-2 is prepared to face any challenge that may come their way.
MC1 Larry S. Carlson
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