WADS Air Battle Manager Newest U.S. Navy TOPGUN Graduate

  • Published
  • By Kimberly D. Burke, Western Air Defense Sector Public Affairs

An air battle manager from the Western Air Defense Sector graduated from the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN), held at the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center (NAWDC) on Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada, April 19, 2024.

1st Lt. Micah Slifer, 225th Air Defense Squadron air battle manager, completed the U.S. Navy’s Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor (SFTI) Air Intercept Controller (AIC) Course which is one of four elements of the TOPGUN program.  He is only one of three Air National Guardsmen to receive the coveted TOPGUN patch.

The NAWDC is recognized as the center of excellence for Naval Aviation Training and Naval Aviation tactics, techniques, and procedures development. “TOPGUN AIC consists of 13-weeks of grueling academics, sims, and live fly events culminating in a multi-MDS integration event,” explained Lt. Col. Peter Hickman, 225th Air Defense Squadron commander. “The course included over 100 hours of academic events, 90 hours of mission briefs and debriefs, simulated mission events, and 14 tactical events resulting in 50 live fly sorties.”

Slifer will now train 225th ADS members in the most up-to-date tactics employed by naval aviation in the joint environment. Slifer sets the groundwork for continued Joint Force engagement and collaboration between the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy.