The T-34 Mentor is the Navy and Marine Corps primary flight training aircraft. The current version, the T-34C, has been in service since 1978. This aircraft provides basic pilot and NFO training for the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and selected Air Force candidates. In 1994, joint primary flight training became a reality with the exchange of Air Force and Navy/Marine Corps instructors in two primary squadrons, VT-3 at Naval Air Station (NAS) Whiting Field, FL and the 35th Flight Training Squadron (FTS) at Reese Air Force Base in Lubbock, TX.

To further enhance multi-service flight training, Naval Aviation and the Air Force have jointly developed the next generation primary flight trainer - the T6A Texan II Joint Primary Aircraft Training System (JPATS). JPATS includes state-of-the-art aircraft, full-motion simulators and computer-based systems training. The comprehensive syllabus has been designed to teach flight training basics to students from every service and will feed the pipelines to multi-engine, jet, and rotary-wing aircraft. The JPATS curriculum is scheduled to be introduced to the Training Command in 2001 and will satisfy all primary flight training needs well into the 21st century.


The T-2C Buckeye is the Navy's intermediate jet trainer used at NAS Meridian, MS, and is also used to train Naval Flight Officers at NAS Pensacola, FL. Advanced jet training is accomplished in the T/A-4J Skyhawk and the T-45A Goshawk. The TA-4J is in service at NAS Meridian, while T-45s fly from NAS  Kingsville, TX. In 1998, the T-45 will replace the TA-4J at NAS Meridian as well, and will be used for all advanced jet training. In 2003, the Goshawk will also replace the T-2C and will train all naval jet student pilots in a combined intermediate/advanced jet syllabus.

The Goshawk Training System combines academic, simulation, and flight phases into an integrated computer-based approach that greatly improves training efficiency and safety. The T-45A is an analog aircraft, while its follow-on Cockpit 21 is a digital aircraft that utilizes F/A-18-like HOTAS (Hands On Throttles And Stick) and Head-Up Display technology, including the military standard 1553 digital data bus.

Maritime intermediate/advanced propeller training is provided by the T 44A Pegasus aircraft at NAS Corpus Christi, TX and helicopter intermediate/advanced training is provided by the TH-57 Sea Ranger at NAS Whiting Field.


Naval Air Reserve and Marine adversary squadrons provide adversary training support to active duty squadrons. The Reserve squadrons dedicated to this mission employ the F-5E/F Tiger II and F/A-18A Hornets. Reserve F-14 and F/A-18 squadrons assigned to CVWR-20 play an adversary support role in addition to their regular mobilization training.