Top Gun titles go to pair in Civil Air Patrol

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Top Gun titles go to pair in Civil Air Patrol

Denton Record-Chronicle

Published: 11 January 2015 11:49 PM

Two members of the Civil Air Patrol Squadron in Denton were recently awarded the “Top Gun” designation for an April exercise.

Maj. Arno Leuthardt and Maj. Steve Robertson will have their names inscribed on the “Top Gun” trophy and will receive individual U.S. Army National Guard Air Defense Artillery challenge coins in recognition of their performance in the Falcon Virgo Exercise, according to a news release from Col. Frank Buethe, commander of the Civil Air Patrol Southwest Region.

Every 10 months, Civil Air Patrol pilots from Arizona, Arkansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas gather at El Paso for 10 days to help train members of an Army National Guard Air Defense artillery unit.

“It’s what we like to call a real-world mission as opposed to just exercises that you have in the wings,” Buethe said in the release. “This is not practice.”

The CAP aircraft fly as “Red Team,” or potential bad guys to be detected, tracked, identified and sometimes intercepted by military units, officials said.

To be awarded the “Top Gun” designation, Leuthardt and Robertson had to be the best at being on time, on target and on speed and have perfect navigation for the specific assignment. They flew more than 30 hours over the 10 days of the exercise, according to the release.