Home Military Aviation Highway to the danger zone – First two F-35C pilots graduate from Topgun

Highway to the danger zone – First two F-35C pilots graduate from Topgun

by Dario Leone
Highway to the danger zone – First two F-35C pilots graduate from Topgun

Maj. Derek Heinz from the VFA 125 Rough Raiders  and Lt. William Goodwin, III from the VFA 147 Argonauts successfully completed the 13-week Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor course at the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center at Naval Air Station Fallon, Nev.

F-35C pilots Maj. Derek Heinz and Lt. William Goodwin are the first two Lightning II drivers to graduate from the 13-week Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor (SFTI) course.

“Maj. Derek Heinz from the VFA 125 Rough Raiders Home of the F35 and Lt. William Goodwin, III from the VFA 147 Argonauts successfully completed the 13-week Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor (SFTI) course at the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center (NAWDC) at Naval Air Station Fallon, Nev. The SFTI course, otherwise known as TOPGUN, is an individual-level training course loaded with classroom lectures and labs, as well as simulated and live-fly events that are focused on the newest advanced tactical recommendations, and designed to create newly-minted tactics instructors who are ready to return and train the Fleet,” Hanford Sentinel reports.

According to Alert 5.com, instructors at NAWDC gradually develop the curriculum for F-35C by integrating the stealth fighter’s tactics into the training curriculum for previous classes.

For the first time in U.S. naval aviation history, radar-evading stealth capability comes to the carrier deck. The F-35C carrier variant sets new standards in weapon system integration, lethality, maintainability, combat radius and payload that bring true multimission power projection capability from the sea.

The F-35C combines lessons learned from previous aircraft with technology breakthroughs to produce a fighter that retains its stealthy advantage with minimal low observable maintenance, even in the harshest shipboard conditions.

The F-35C matches 5th generation survivability with major advances in network-enabled mission systems, reliability and interoperability. It is a first-day-of-the-war fighter with the capability to dominate adversaries in the air or on the surface, while surviving the most formidable threat environments.

The 5th generation F-35 Lightning II integrates advanced stealth technology into a highly agile, supersonic aircraft that provides the pilot with unprecedented situational awareness and unmatched lethality and survivability. While each F-35 model (A, B and C) is uniquely designed to operate from different environments, all three variants set new standards in network-enabled mission systems, sensor fusion and supportability. The F-35 redefines the multirole fighter.

Highway to the danger zone – First two F-35C pilots graduate from Topgun
This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. F-35C Lightning II VFA-125 Rough Raiders, NJ406, 169160 / 2018

Photo credit:  Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Manuel Tiscareno / U.S. Navy

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