Former TOPGUN leader tabbed as Naval Air Forces commander

Photo: Rear Adm. Dan Cheever.

Photo: Rear Adm. Dan Cheever.
Provided to the LVN

  • Discuss Comment, Blog about
  • Print Friendly and PDF

A former commander at the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center (NAWDC) will lead Naval Air Forces pending U.S. Senate approval.

Rear Adm. Dan Cheever, who will also be promoted to vice admiral, replaces Vice Adm. Kenneth Whitesell, the “Airboss” since 2020. Cheever also will become the commander of Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

In 2017, Cheever became the 14th commander of NAWDC where he oversaw naval aviation training and tactics development for carrier air wings, squadrons and weapons tactics instructors who train in Fallon.

Cheever, who graduated from Western Illinois University in 1986 with a bachelor of business degree, joined the Navy in 1988. Prior to that, he worked for a Fortune 500 company and studied at the University of Hawaii. His first tour to Fallon, however, didn’t occur until the mid-1990s.

Cheever, a native of Downers Grove, Illinois, spent two tours in Fallon before assuming command of NAWDC. Additionally, he was a flight instructor at the Navy Fighter Weapons School in Miramar, California, and the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center as an instructor with the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) in Fallon from 1995 to 1998.

A decade after Cheever left Fallon, he returned in 2008 as TOPGUN/STRIKE Department head, a position he held for three years until he served with Carrier Air Wing 8 on the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush.

During his tours in Fallon, Cheever had worked for retired admirals Mark Emerson, Mark Fox and John Miller. His time in Fallon was spent preparing for major combat fights and overseas contingency operations.

During his last tour in Fallon, he told the Nevada News Group “the high desert and the good weather make Fallon an ideal location for aircrew. The topography with the mountain ranges provides the training necessary for electronic warfare. The Fallon Range Training Complex is amazing … It’s the crown jewel of aviation training.”


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment