Green Bay native supports TOPGUN while serving with Naval Air Station Fallon
By Jeffery Tilghman Williams
Chief Mass Communication Specialist
FALLON, Nevada – Petty Officer 3rd Class Jack Delsart, a 2018 Green Bay West High School graduate, is serving with Naval Air Station Fallon supporting TOPGUN aviators at the Navy’s premier tactical air warfare training center.
“My mom taught me to respect rank while growing up,” Delsart said. “That has helped me with both structure and discipline in life.”
He said these lessons have helped him while serving in the U.S. Navy.
Today, Delsart serves as a master-at-arms on board the Naval Air Station (NAS) Fallon, Nevada.
“I joined the Navy for a fresh start and an opportunity to grow, both personally and professionally,” he said.
Fifty-two years ago, TOPGUN was introduced with the mission of reducing casualties of naval aviators sustained during the Vietnam War.
Within a year, this goal was reached, with the U.S. having one casualty for every 12 enemy deaths.
Since then, TOPGUN continues to train naval aviators, and has inspired a 1986 blockbuster movie, with a sequel planned for release this month.
Vice Adm. Kenneth Whitesell, commander Naval Air Forces, said today’s U.S. Naval Aviators possess the professionalism, tactical skills, innovative mindset and understanding of advanced technologies to succeed against adversaries.
Whitesell said like those seen in the movie, they are disciplined, critical thinkers who excel in challenging environments.
“I am extremely excited about the impact this movie will have,” he said “Much like the trend that followed the original film, I am confident that Top Gun: Maverick will have a tremendous impact on our Navy recruiting efforts, which will greatly increase the numbers of brave and talented sailors among our ranks.”
Navy officials said as the movie portrays, TOPGUN is a prestigious program only open to the top 1% of naval aviators.
The mission of NAS Fallon and its officers on board, like Delsart, is to support carrier air wings prior to deployment, as well as other units during training and exercises.
This goal is achieved through 300 clear flight days a year, four bombing ranges, an electronic warfare range and many other training facilities.
The base is also home to a 14,000-foot runway, which is the longest in the Navy.
NAS Fallon provides aviators the unique opportunity to train in realistic battle scenarios while including every element of an air carrier wing.
It is the only facility in the world with this ability.
The aircraft stationed at NAS Fallon support aircraft carrier missions around the world.
This year, the Navy is celebrating the centennial of the aircraft carrier and its importance to naval aviation.
When the air wing is embarked on an aircraft carrier, the ship contains more than 70 attack fighter jets, helicopters and other aircraft, all of which take off from and land aboard the carrier at sea.
Delsart is one of more than 5,000 sailors serving aboard these ship-aircraft carriers are self-contained mobile airports.
“The aircraft carrier is our U.S. Navy’s centerpiece, our flagship and a constant reminder to the rest of the world of our enduring maritime presence and influence,” Rear Arm. James P. Downey, USN, program executive officer Aircraft Carriers, said. “These ships touch every part of our Navy’s mission to project power, ensure sea control and deter our adversaries.”
Serving in the Navy, Delsart said, means he is part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“The Navy is beneficial because it demonstrates power globally,” Delsart said.
With more than 90% of all trade traveling by sea, and 95% of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through underwater fiber optic, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the U.S. is directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.
Delsart, and the sailors he serves with, have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.
“Converting into the master-at-arms rating and deploying to Egypt have been my most memorable experiences in the Navy so far,” he said.
Delsart said as he, and other sailors, continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their nation in the United States Navy – noting the future of U.S. aviation depends on the Navy’s ability to achieve their vision for defeating tomorrow’s air threats with the support of the ground crews and aviators.
“Serving my country means being a part of something bigger than myself,” he said.