Naval Air Station Fallon or NAS Fallon is the United States Navy’s premier air-to-air and air-to-ground training facility. It is located southeast of the city of Fallon in western Nevada in the United States. Since 1996, it has been home to the Naval Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN), and the surrounding area contains 84,000 acres (34,000 ha) of bombing and electronic warfare ranges. It is also home to the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC), which includes TOPGUN, the Carrier Airborne Early Warning Weapons School (TOPDOME) and the Navy Rotary Wing Weapons School. Navy SEAL Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) training also takes place here.
The base is named Van Voorhis Field in honor of Lieutenant Bruce Van Voorhis (1908-1943) who was awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor
FALLON NAVAL AIR STATION / VAN VOORHIS FIELD HISTORY
The airfield at NAS Fallon was originally built in 1942 as part of a defensive network to repel a feared Japanese invasion of the west coast. It was soon taken over by the Navy for training use and has been used as such ever since with the exception of the period of 1946 to 1951, during which it was used by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. During the years prior to 1972, the base was known as Naval Auxiliary Air Station and was heavily used during the Vietnam War by various squadrons that rotated through the base before deploying to carriers headed for Vietnam. During these same years prior to 1972, many ground troops were temporarily assigned to N.A.A.S. Fallon for their hot weather training (during the summer months) and cold weather training (during the winter months). On January 1, 1972, the Navy recognized NAS Fallon’s importance to naval aviation by upgrading the base to a major command. While NAS Fallon provides training for visiting Carrier Air Groups, the Strike Fighter Squadron 127 (VFA-127), the “Desert Bogeys”, was the air station’s only permanently based squadron from October 1987 until it was disestablished on March 23, 1996.
The Navy relocated its Navy Fighter Weapons School, or TOPGUN, from NAS Miramar to NAS Fallon in 1996, following the transfer of NAS Miramar to the Marine Corps and its redesignation as MCAS Miramar. This move resulted in the construction of a new ramp, hangars and academic buildings. The new command, the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC), was established on July 11, 1996 and was a unification of TOPGUN, Strike University (Strike U), the Naval Strike Warfare Center, and TOPDOME, the Carrier Airborne Early Warning Weapons School. In addition to transferring the NSAWC squadron, a Navy Reserve adversary squadron, Fighter Squadron Composite THIRTEEN (VFC-13), the “Saints,” was also permanently relocated from its former base at NAS Miramar to NAS Fallon. As a result, VFC-13 replaced the disestablished VFA-127 in the fighter adversary role.
FALLON NAVAL AIR STATION / VAN VOORHIS FIELD LOCATION
FALLON NAVAL AIR STATION / VAN VOORHIS FIELD FACTS
Elevation: 3,934 ft.
Runway length available: 07/25 7004×154 ft. :: 13R/31L 14005×201 ft. :: 13L/31R 11079×200 ft.