NAS Lemoore Community
Strike Fighter Weapons School, Pacific
From its inception in 1973 until today, the mission of the Strike Fighter Weapons School, Pacific, has expanded from the simple, yet critical task of teaching ordnance-loading procedures to providing formal, standardized graduate-level training through curricula covering every aspect of F/A-18 weapons employment.
The Strike Fighter Weapons School, Pacific, is dedicated to guaranteeing the combat readiness of the strike fighter community by providing the best possible training in mission planning, tactics, weapons systems and ordnance handling to ensure every squadron is prepared to enter any combat contingency and win.
Thirty weapons and tactics courses for strike fighter aircraft are taught on a continuing basis to fleet squadrons, reserve squadrons and naval air stations. The amount of ordnance uploaded in courses offered at the school totals more than 2.5 million pounds annually.
When first established on Oct. 15, 1973, at NAS Lemoore, the Light Attack Weapons School, Pacific, was commissioned to further improve the quality and safety of weapons operations within the Pacific Fleet light attack community.
In actuality, the history of the school dates back to 1963 when the Weapons Training Center was first established in support of the Lemoore fleet training syllabus. Under the co-management of Attack Squadron 122 and Attack Squadron 125, the center gained the respect and admiration of the light attack community.
With the advent of the A-7 aircraft and the intensified tempo of fleet operations, training requirements expanded. A change in operations control in 1969 to Commander, Fleet Air Lemoore (presently Commander, Strike Fighter Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet) brought added responsibilities.
Growth and sophistication in attack weaponry and delivery systems established a requirement for the formation of the Light Attack Weapons School, Pacific, as a parallel training vehicle devoted solely to training weapons-training officers of fleet squadrons in the effective employment of assigned airborne weapon systems.
Under Fleet Air Lemoore guidance, the Weapons Training Center grew into a conglomerate of exceptional expertise in the weapons training field.
The chief of naval operations had earlier recognized the need for postgraduate weapons training and had expressed the desire to create a commissioned unit. The stated goal was that “eventually all pilots and every career aviator should have specialized training in weapons.”
With the groundwork laid, Commander, Light Attack Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet, formally commissioned the Weapons Training Center as Light Attack Weapons School, Pacific, a permanently shore-based command at NAS Lemoore in 1973.
The Light Attack Weapons School, Pacific, was redesignated Strike Fighter Weapons School, Pacific, on July 1, 1988, in recognition of the expanded capabilities of Lemoore-based squadrons.
In August 1996, the Intelligence Department of the Strike Fighter Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet, was incorporated into the weapons school, significantly enhancing the strike planning and support training for fleet squadrons.
Currently, Strike Fighter Weapons School, Pacific, is staffed with 21 permanently assigned officers, 25 enlisted personnel and eight civilians. Its mission continues to be critically tied to increasing the combat readiness of Pacific Fleet strike fighter squadrons.