May 27, 1996 in Nation/World

Navy’s Top Gun School Moving Out To The Desert

Associated Press

The Top Gun school for elite Naval pilots who fly fighter jets off aircraft carriers is moving deep into the desert, almost 300 miles from the nearest ocean.

Aviators from the Naval Fighter Weapons School will make their final flight from Miramar Naval Air Station on Wednesday, flying their jets to the Navy’s base at Fallon in west-central Nevada. Moving trucks were loaded up last week.

The school, which served as the basis for the 1986 Tom Cruise movie “Top Gun,” was established in 1969 after the Navy realized it was losing one fighter jet for every three it shot down in Vietnam.

“It’s much more serious than what was depicted in the movie,” said Lt. Warren Christie. “There’s not a lot of screaming and yelling they were doing in the movie.”

Now it’ll be a longer flight out to the fleet. The Fallon Naval Air Station is nearly 300 miles from the nearest salt water in San Francisco Bay.

© Copyright 1996 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email