Famously known as Top Gun, the Navy Fighter Weapons School was critical to mission success. This involved quickly revamping close-in-air combat training for flight crews being deployed to Vietnam. And Captain Kevin Smith, a Sonic Warrior who operated fighter planes above the speed of sound, helped lead the way to solving one of aviation’s great challenges. Smith’s The Sonic Warrior offers a riveting inside look at his role in the launch of Top Gun. The memoir is also an inspiring study in leadership and critical thinking, providing Smith’s valuable insight into optimizing human performance in any high-stakes, intense operation.
Captain Kevin Smith was a Top Gun training pioneer during his distinguished twenty-five-year career in the United States Navy. Smith’s squadron provided advanced close-in-air-combat training for the initial deployment of the F-14 Tomcat aboard the USS Constellation. Captain Smith’s awards and commendations include a Seventh Fleet Citation. After retiring from the Navy, Captain Smith headed up the Advanced Qualification Program initiative to redesign airline pilot training, now utilized by every US airline; consulted with Lockheed on the design of the F-22 Raptor crew station; and worked as a commercial airline pilot. He is also a speaker and author, specializing in critical thinking.