- The Washington Times - Friday, March 7, 2014

The U.S. Navy wants to churn out the “Maverick” of the seas.

A San Diego-based “Top Gun” school is launching that will put officers through the wringer to ready them for modern warfare.

Vice Adm. Tom Copeman, the program’s creator, conceived of the idea to teach officers how to “fight in a more complicated threat environment than we’ve been used to.”

“It’s a much broader look than just, ‘What can my ship’s weapons systems do?’” Adm. Copeman, told the San Diego Union-Tribune.

When the curriculum is fully developed by a new 120-person command in San Diego — two courses are up and running — “weapons tactics instructors,” mostly comprised of lieutenants and lieutenant commanders, will teach the classes, the Union-Tribune reported. Everyone who teaches the course will be former students who are assigned the position after having a couple “high-level sea tours” under their belt.

“From 1992 until the last couple years, there has not been a compelling threat to U.S. Navy superiority at sea,” Adm. Copeman told the Union-Tribune. “But the advancement of anti-ship cruise missiles and how small and capable they can be and who can obtain them, it’s changing the threat world we live in.”

Eventually, it’s predicted that up to 25 percent of the Navy’s young ship officers may go through the program during the course of their career, the Union-Tribune reported.

An anti-submarine weapons class is currently being taught at Point Loma Naval Base in San Diego, and another class on integrated air and missile defense is taking place in Dahlgren, Va.

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