MIRAMAR, Calif. (KGTV) - As political tensions rise worldwide, critical training ensuring the U.S. and it's allies are ready runs straight through San Diego.
MCAS Miramar hosts everyone from the Canadian Air Force, to NASA. On Wednesday, a NASA research jet took off from the flight line.
Part of why Miramar is so critical is it's location. Colonel Charles Dockery, the Commanding Officer at MCAS Miramar, said due to air congestion over land, Miramar's location close to the ocean alleviates that complication.
"Within one flight's distance from Miramar, we are within 66% of the training air space in the Continental U.S." he said. Some of their training, mimicked in Top Gun.
"Not only to take down an adversary or an airplane, but also defend ourselves from their aircraft trying to attack us," he said.
Right now, MCAS Miramar is working to remain competitive with nations overseas.
"We have four major nation state competitors out there, Russia China, North Korea and Iran," Col. Dockery said.
If the need arises, he said troops would deploy from Miramar to support the effort to defend the U.S.
He said if Miramar didn't exist, it would mean millions of tax-payer dollars to conduct the same training.
"When you talk about the amount of fuel burned to get there, just when you talk about the amount of time to get there," he said.
Col. Dockery said the base is constantly evolving, with four F-35s coming in January of 2020, and advanced helicopters following in the future.