NAS Fallon, NV Image 1
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    NAS Fallon, NV History

    NAS Fallon was established in 1942, as part of a US defense network, intended to counter an expected Japanese invasion, which is why a Naval station is over two hundred miles inland. Fallon was originally an auxiliary air station, under the Western Defense Program. Once this concern dwindled, Fallon NAAS became an aviation training center until the end of the war. As the war went on, NAS Fallon became a weapons testing and training center, and improved its facilities, adding 24 units of housing, a gymnasium, a commissary, and a swimming pool (sounds nice, and great for cooling off, but also for swimming skills - these are Navy aviators). A few months after the station construction was complete, the war ended, and the station was quickly placed on standby.

    After five years in the care of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (which used the station for keeping pigs), the Navy determined a need to reactivate NAAS Fallon, under NAS Alameda, for training jet aircraft for missions in the Korean War. Jet training, ground target and bombing training, and electronic warfare training for Navy and Marine aviators followed in the next twenty years, and the base expanded considerably, with additional housing, hangars, ramps, and runway improvements. In 1958, the main field was renamed Van Voorhis Field, after Lt. Cmdr. Bruce Van Voorhis, recipient of the Medal of Honor in World War Two; Lt. Cmdr. Van Voorhis executed a mission of destruction against Japanese forces during the Battle of the Solomon Islands, destroying a great many enemy ground assets and four enemy aircraft.

    In the 1980s NAS Fallon expanded facilities again, adding the Strike Warfare Center, and in the 1990s gaining the Naval Fighter Weapons School TOPGUN, following a relocation from NAS Miramar, soon combined with other programs, including the TOPDOME program, to make the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC), dedicated to tactical weapons systems excellence.