Central Florida’s modeling, simulation and training (MS&T) community is in mourning for the death of retired Navy Rear Adm. James “Jim” Robb, president of the National Training and Simulation Association (NTSA).


Robb was a beloved member of the MS&T community and a passionate advocate for the work accomplished by the industry and the advances it made. To his NTSA colleagues, he was “known for his tireless advocacy, kindness and ability to bring together diverse groups toward a common goal; he played a pivotal role in advancing the interests of our warfighters and enhancing national security.”


He served his country as a naval aviator (call sign: “Rookie”) in a storied career that spanned 34 years, from 1972 to 2006. His extensive experience piloting multiple aircraft totaled over 5000 hours in the sky, over 1000 carrier landings, and nine deployments that included Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Robb led sailors as the commanding officer of multiple units, to include the famed Navy Fighter Weapons School, popularly known as “Top Gun.”


Despite a busy military career, he also managed to marry Judy, the “best gal in the world” on June 2, 1979.


Throughout his time in the military, Robb sometimes couldn’t help but to be a pioneer, with a career that included some notable “firsts” for the Navy, such as his selection as one of the first six pilots to join the F-14 “Tomcat” fleet introduction directly out of training command, becoming the only pilot to recover an F-14 from a fully developed flat spin, and he was the first Navy flag officer into Kabul after its fall in December 2001. In Kabul, he mission-coordinated allied and Afghan operations to stabilize Afghanistan and reopen the U.S. embassy, and he led the mission that negotiated the International Security Assistance Force’s creation.


Robb became a recognized expert in training and simulation in the Navy, having dedicated a significant amount of his career to teaching fighter tactics and threat simulations. After retiring from the Navy, Robb focused his energies into a second career in the MS&T industry.


He founded Robb and Associates, Inc. in 2006, and later became NTSA president in 2012 where he continued to promote the MS&T community, and he championed the application of modeling and simulation beyond military training, into fields as diverse as healthcare and engineering.


“Admiral Robb was a tremendous leader and it’s a sad day for all of us in the MS&T community,” said George Cheros, president and CEO of the National Center for Simulation (NCS). “During my conversations with him, his dedication and concern for our industry always came through loud and clear. The NCS team joins our colleagues at NTSA in mourning his passing and my thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time.”


To the Robb family, Team Orlando News offers our condolences – and to Rookie, we wish fair winds and following seas.


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