US Navy and Marine Corps Training Air Wing 2 Pilots Train for Wings of Gold

U.S. Navy and Marine Corps student naval aviators detached from Training Air Wing 2, Naval Air Station (NAS) Kingsville, Texas, are conducting strike pilot training in T-45C Goshawks at Naval Air Facility (NAF) El Centro, April 19 – May 5. Learning the basics of air to ground bombing with the blue Mk 76 while flying solo and with multiple jet configurations provides vital experience and bolsters confidence. Training at NAF El Centro is a critical component of aviator production fleet aviators.

The strike detachment will train students to learn how to tactically employ the aircraft, which includes dropping practice bombs, low level, section low level, and road reconnaissance flights.The mission of Naval Air Facility El Centro is to support the combat training and readiness of the Warfighter. This includes air operations support to operational fleet and training squadrons as well as squadrons from other services (USMC, USA, USAF) and allies.

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US Navy McDonnell Douglas T-45 Goshawk
U.S. Navy and Marine Corps student naval aviators detached from Training Air Wing-2, Naval Air Station (NAS) Kingsville, Texas conducts strike pilot training at Naval Air Facility (NAF) El Centro, April 19 – May 5, 2021. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Drew Verbis/Released)

The McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) T-45 Goshawk is the U.S. Navy variant of the British Aerospace Hawk aircraft. It is a tandem-seat, carrier capable aircraft used for intermediate and advanced portions of the tactical strike pilot training pipeline as well as advanced stages of naval flight officer training. With a glass cockpit and modern avionics suite, the T-45C is representative of jet aircraft aviators operate in the fleet after earning their Wings of Gold.

The strike detachment will train students to learn how to tactically employ the aircraft, which includes dropping practice bombs, low level, section low level, and road reconnaissance flights.
The mission of Naval Air Facility El Centro is to support the combat training and readiness of the Warfighter. This includes air operations support to operational fleet and training squadrons as well as squadrons from other services (USMC, USA, USAF) and allies.

US Navy McDonnell Douglas T-45 Goshawk
The mission of U.S. Naval Air Facility El Centro is to support the combat training and readiness of the Warfighter. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Drew Verbis/Released)
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