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LAS VEGAS – Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday traveled to Nevada and California, Sept. 8-13, to visit local commands, meet with Sailors, and attend conferences.
Gilday visited Naval Air Station Fallon, Naval Air Station Lemoore, and Reno, Nevada.
He first visited Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center in Fallon, Nevada for the Aviation and Surface Warfare Commander’s Symposium, where he spoke.
“We need to continue to ensure tactical aviation readiness and improved ground forces training can meet the demands of today and the threats of tomorrow,” said Gilday. “NAS Fallon and the Fallon Range Training Complex is the nation’s premier training environment comprised of airspace and challenging ranges… it’s a true center of warfighting excellence where our air wings are preparing to win high-end conflict.”
He then traveled to Reno, Nevada, for Tailhook Association’s Hook ’22, a three-day event that featured presentations and panels with leaders from across naval aviation. At the symposium, he met with Sailors, attended a winging ceremony for three new aviators, and was the guest of honor at the Tailhook Banquet, where he provided remarks.
“The aircraft carrier and its unmatched weapons system, the embarked air wing, represents what is and what will remain the centerpiece of naval combat power,” said Gilday. “The carrier has been a versatile platform for more than a century and will continue to be so because we have adapted the air wing to a changing world and its capabilities to a changing threat spectrum.”
“The carrier is the world’s most lethal and flexible military machine and the most effective tool for sea control and power projection ever created,” he added. “The aircraft carrier, naval aviation, and our Navy, have a great legacy and an even greater future thanks to our people.”
The symposium was a chance for junior officers, senior leaders, aircrew, Navy civilians, retirees and industry partners to gather and talk about items of interest to naval aviation, such as the Air Wing of the Future, unmanned capabilities, readiness, maintenance, training, and manning.
Following Hook ’22, Gilday travelled to Naval Air Station Lemoore, California, for F/A-18 and F-35 program updates and to meet with Sailors.
“The men and women here are shaping the future of our force,” said Gilday. “Advanced capabilities help to ensure our Navy will maintain warfighting advantages against increasingly competitive adversaries,” said Gilday.
“Going forward, we will continue investing in the Next Generation Air Dominance Family of Systems, manned and unmanned aircraft, netted sensors and weapons, and in our aircraft carriers,” the CNO said. “The last 100 years of carrier aviation has been impressive and we will continue to adapt and carry on that adaptation and warfighting ethos… the carrier is here to stay.”
The Navy recently deployed its first Navy F-35C and CMV-22B as part of the USS Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group. Additionally, the first Marine Corps F-35Cs deployed with the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group. The USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) will deploy for the first time later this year.
The F-35C is an aircraft that redefines the multi-role fighter. It is a 5th generation aircraft that integrates advance stealth technology, providing unprecedented situational awareness to the pilot, as well as lethality and survivability.
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