The Saints are also instrumental in supporting the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center during the carrier air wing training detachments in the Fallon Range Training Complex and are the lead unit for the TSW in support of SFARP in Fallon.
We support everyone from the newest pilots training with fleet replacement squadrons seasoned pilots flying SFARP, TOPGUN, COMPTUEX, and JTFEX.
VFC-12's training officer Lieutenant Commander Paul Ratkovich explained, "A single SFARP flight requires a six-to eight-hour evolution with the brief, flight and post-mission analysis.
The SFARP requires the use of Level 4 adversary instructors and not all of our pilots are at this level at one time," Ratkovich continued.
Gregory Gusinde of VFC-12 noted, "The qualification matrix for pilots fighting as Blue Air during SFARP is much different than acting as adversary pilots.
After we conclude an intensive SFARP, we get feedback directly from the pilots about the lessons they learned.
Three and a half years have passed, but it seems like yesterday: briefing an SFARP
division self-escort hop into B-17, then walking out of the hangar.
We were in the middle of the best training I'd ever had: an air-wing SFARP
with dedicated bandit support, live ordnance, and best of all, three weeks on a tropical Pacific island.
My squadron had just gotten underway from Guam, after a successful SFARP
det and a few days off.