The 53rd Wing, located at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., serves as the focal point for the Combat Air Forces in electronic warfare, armament and avionics, chemical defense, reconnaissance and aircrew training devices. The wing is responsible for operational testing and evaluation of new equipment and systems proposed for use by these forces. Current wing initiatives include advanced self-protection systems for combat aircraft, aircrew life support systems, aerial reconnaissance improvements, new armament and weapons delivery systems, and improved maintenance equipment and logistics support.
The 53rd Wing, comprised of four groups, numbers more than 2,200 military and civilians at 22 various locations throughout the U.S. The wing reports to the United States Air Force Warfare Center at Nellis AFB, Nev., a direct reporting unit to Headquarters Air Combat Command.
53rd ELECTRONIC WARFARE GROUP
The 53rd Electronic Warfare Group is made up of four squadrons and two detachments: 16th Electronic Warfare Squadron; 16th Electronic Warfare Squadron, Det. 1; 36th Electronic Warfare Squadron; 68th Electronic Warfare Squadron; 453rd Electronic Warfare Squadron; and Det.1, 53 EWG.
The 53rd EWG is responsible for providing operational, technical and maintenance electronic warfare expertise for the CAF and for systems engineering, testing, evaluation, tactics development, employment, capability and technology assessment. This includes the wartime responsibility for emergency reprogramming and dissemination of EW system mission data software for CAF aircraft. The group manages the COMBAT SHIELD Electronic Warfare Assessment Program for CAF aircraft EW systems. COMBAT SHIELD provides operational units a system-specific capability assessment for their radar warning receivers, electronic attack pods, and integrated EW systems.
The 16th EWS provides EW expertise and test facilities for mission data and EW systems test and evaluation. Squadron personnel assess the maintainability, reliability, suitability, and readiness of EW systems and support equipment, and perform test and evaluation of new EW concepts for fighter, bomber, and specialized EW systems. They monitor developmental testing conducted by acquisition agencies and assess the impact of these tests, providing critical expertise for EW avionics acquisition and modifications. The 16th EWS has more than $450 million in assets, including eight system integration laboratories and five mobile test facilities. These facilities are used to validate and verify mission data software, support foreign materiel exploitations, and verify operational technical order updates prior to fielding. Squadron personnel develop, fabricate and maintain aircraft and lab test instrumentation and perform acceptance tests of all new EW-related hardware and software, as well as provide expertise to support EW systems testing and training to maintenance and operational units worldwide. The squadron also provides technicians and equipment to execute the COMBAT SHIELD Electronic Warfare Assessment Program. Det.1, 16 EWS located at Tyndall AFB, Fla, provides maintenance support and EW expertise for adversary electronic attack training pods. Used for air-to-air EW training, the pods are repaired and modified at Tyndall AFB and shipped to fighter units worldwide. Det 1, 16 EWS also maintains electronic attack payloads for full-scale and subscale drones in support of live-fire missile testing under the COMBAT ARCHER Weapon System Evaluation Program.
The 36th EWS integrates technical and operational expertise providing unique support to build and maintain the CAFs EW capability for fighters, bombers, and special-purpose combat platforms through test and evaluation, mission data reprogramming, exercise support, EW reach back, and emergency reprogramming. The squadron conducts operational tests of the EW systems on CAF aircraft in support of hardware and software fielding recommendations to ACC. The 36th EWS also conducts exploitation tests of foreign threat weapons radar systems against all CAF aircraft. Squadron members develop mission software used to program EW systems installed on US aircraft. This EW mission software directly impacts the success of Joint Chiefs of Staff operational plans and CAF combat missions. Included in this mission is a wartime commitment to rapidly reprogram CAF's EW mission software in response to threat radar changes. The squadron also develops and publishes EW system handbooks providing critical employment guidance to CAF and allied nation warfighters.
The 68th EWS improves EW effectiveness and directly supports the CAF and Allied nations through test and evaluation, mission data reprogramming, exercise support, EW reach-back, and emergency reprogramming. The EW operations support flight provides EW support to the warfighter and assures combat EW reprogramming to more than 2,100 CAF users globally. They oversee the development of web-based EW reach back tools and EW help desk operations providing 24/7 EW assistance to the CAF and Allied nations. The flight also evaluates contingency plans and the Multi-Service Data Distribution System network connectivity to assure off-site support for 24/7 EW reprogramming, and provides baseline threat emitter mode simulation to support all EWG US and FMS MD reprogramming testing. Additionally, the flight coordinates EW outreach programs providing aircrew training and support at RED FLAG, organizes EW agenda items for CAF tacticians and weapons officers at the CAF SEAD and EW / Weapons and Tactics Conferences and educates Air Force general officers during the Senior Leader EW Course. The squadron's intelligence flight provides the wing commander and subordinate organizations with specialized information support to include intelligence reporting on enemy doctrine, weapons development, tactics, and adversarial capabilities. The flight also produces command and control warfare products for the CAF, supports fighter and bomber electronic warfare reprogramming, assists wing test and weapons systems evaluation programs, and provides access to intelligence databases and systems to host and tenant units at Eglin. The conventional systems flight provides missionized software, ensuring aircraft survivability, for Foreign Military Sales and allied partner F-16, F-15 and E-3 EW equipment; and provides missionized software for FMS and allied partner EW training pods to simulate enemy threat electronic countermeasures for aircrew training and weapons evaluation. The flight also generates EW reprogramming mission data support, maintains emitter data files, develops integration and implementation documentation, and provides expert system training for all conventional EW FMS cases. The advanced systems flight provides FMS allied partners with advanced system program EW software development and reprogramming. It generates EW reprogramming mission data support, maintains emitter data files, develops integration and implementation documentation, and provides expert system training for all advanced EW FMS cases.
The 453rd EWS provides a full spectrum of EW support to DoD and coalition warfighters. The 453 EWS provides EW support through four flights, operating together to create a foundation of EW knowledge, maintain and update such knowledge, provide in-depth radio frequency and other electronic warfare analyses and create a realistic training environment for the warfighter. The 453 EWS products and services are utilized in a variety of areas, including mission planning, training, and exercises. The 453 EWS data flight provides the foundation of EW knowledge used by mission planners and the acquisition community through the development and maintenance of the Combat Support Database, Blue Airborne Target Signatures Database, US Electromagnetic Systems Database, Commercial Emitter Database, and the Next-Generation Electronic Warfare Integrated Reprogramming (EWIR) Database. The 453 EWS flagging analysis flight provides a 24/7 tactical comparison of "current expectations" to current reality to ensure the warfighter is prepared to deploy and operate effectively. Tactical monitoring of the worldwide threat environment is crucial to the detection and identification of new or changed threat radars that may impact the performance of aircraft EW systems. Flagging analysis provides the detection of anomalous threat operation and provides the trigger to energize the EWIR community. The 453 EWS Analysis Flight provides analyses of EW systems' performance in support of operational, acquisition, and training activities. The Improved Many-on-Many (IMOM) EW analysis tool is the most prominent part of the Analysis flight, supporting mission planners with comprehensive EW analyses, including radar detection, threat engagement, communications jamming, ISR collection, PSYOP broadcast, and passive detection capabilities. The 453 operations flight provides the constructive EW environment used in generating country-specific opposing force integrated air defense system threats. Additionally, the light provides constructive (computer-based) EW target sets and various other modeling and simulation-based training scenarios to meet a wide range of warfighter training objectives. The DMO approach to training provides flexibility with respect to scenario generation and realism. The inherent flexibility of DMO allows for endless potential with respect to integration across the entire Live, Virtual, and Constructive training spectrum. The 453 EWS is looking to the future and building key partnerships to provide comprehensive EW support to the joint warfighter community as well as coalition partner countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.
The 513 EWS is the sole, multi-service, F-35 Electronic Warfare Reprogramming squadron whose mission is to enable 5th Generation EW dominance by developing, testing, and fielding timely and accurate combat capable mission data to all Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and foreign partner F-35 Lightning II aircraft. Combines the most up-to-date military intelligence with a robust virtual EW range to create operationally tested and verified mission data tailored to every Joint Strike Fighter variant. Maintains and sustains facilities to execute a wartime mission to provide urgent/emergency contingency EW reprogramming capabilities for the entire JSF fleet.
53rd TEST MANAGEMENT GROUP
The 53rd Test Management Group, headquartered at Eglin AFB, Fla., consist of four squadrons, four direct reporting detachments, one combined test force and operating locations spanning eight states.
The 53rd TMG is responsible for planning, scheduling resources, developing support plans and agreements, monitoring and assisting in execution, gathering data, analyzing data, preparing and publishing reports, fielding recommendations and interim documents for Force Development Evaluations, Tactics Development and Evaluations and Operational Assessments within the 53rd Wing. The group is also responsible for training wing personnel in required test management skills, to include Design of Experiments, Project Manager, Test Team, Operational Suitability, and Mission Control Room Training. The group is the functional manager and technical expert for testing, modification, acquisition, sustainment and certification of all CAF' aircrew training systems. The group is the wing's single-point-of-contact with ACC, Air Force Materiel Command, Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center and other DoD and contractor test agencies for integrating Air Force test requirements with future and ongoing wing test and real-world efforts. The group is also the wing focal point for non-EW portions of the Foreign Materiel Exploitation program. Finally, the group monitors the ACC portion of all formal FME Quick Looks and operational evaluations conducted by the 53rd EWG and the 53rd TEG.
The 28th Test and Evaluation Squadron has personnel located at Eglin, Davis-Monthan AFB Ariz, and ANG Jacksonville, Fla. The squadron is responsible for the management of follow-on operational test and evaluation, tactics development and software management for all fighters and bombers in the CAF inventory. Additionally, the squadron manages OT&E of weapons and support systems in order to improve current and future Air Force combat capabilities. Squadron personnel direct operational test planning and execution, as well as data gathering, analyzing, and reporting for conventional and non-conventional air and ground munitions, avionics subsystems, electronic warfare systems, chemical warfare defense systems, aircrew flight equipment, munitions and avionics support equipment, and automated mission planning systems.
The 29th Training Systems Squadron has personnel located at Eglin AFB and 11 geographically separated units around the nation: Barksdale, Beale, Creech, Dyess, Hill, Offutt, Robins, Tinker, Tyndall, and Whiteman AFBs as well as an operating location in Mesa, Ariz. The squadron serves as the Combat Air Force's center of expertise for Aircrew Training Devices (ATD). Squadron personnel provide technical expertise on all aspects of ATD life-cycle management, including acquisition, modification, acceptance testing and certification testing for all A-10, B-1, B-2, B-52, E-3, E-4, E-8, EC-130, F-15C/E, F-16, F-22, F-35, HH-60, HC-130, MQ-1/9, RC-135, RQ-4 and U-2 ATDs. Unit personnel also manage the CAF Simulator Certification Program. The squadron's efforts incorporate ATD oversight and management from concept development and preliminary design review through sustainment and program deactivation. By keeping training devices concurrent, cost effective and viable, the 29th TSS guarantees training systems meet present and future warfighters' needs while supporting evolving training demands with modern technology.
The F-15 Operational Flight Program Combined Test Force at Eglin AFB is composed of active/reserve military, civilian, and contractor personnel from the 53rd Test Management Group and 46th Operations Group. OFP CTF personnel test F-15 software upgrades to enhance air-to-air and air-to-ground combat performance, improve weapons-avionics integration, and simplify aircrew displays and controls. The OFP CTF team develops test concepts, prepares test plans, manages test execution, analyzes data, and produces test briefings, reports, and recommendations on F-15 developmental and operational tests. The OFP CTF reports to its AFMC chain of command for developmental test issues and its ACC chain of command for operational test issues. The OFP CTF has a combined annual test budget in excess of $9 million and evaluates multi-year acquisition programs valued at more than $3.5 billion using 14 F-15C and 12 F-15E specially instrumented test aircraft.
The 53rd Computer Systems Squadron is responsible for sustaining ACC's force development evaluation mission by providing communications and information systems for the wing's four groups. It is also responsible for automating, sustaining, and operating wing communications and information systems activities including unclassified, collateral, and advanced program local area networks. It operates the Combat Air Force Network Operations Center providing classified information services to the CAF worldwide. The NOC was designated by ACC as the interface between the Air Force Network Operations Center and other Special Access Program Information Technology network management nodes. The squadron provides network capability to fuse data from multiple test facilities into one coherent picture. It develops and maintains the computer systems required to support the development, test and dissemination of EW mission data, to include the Emergency Reprogramming Center and its contingency/wartime activations. It defines customer communications requirements and implementation plans. The squadron leads configuration management efforts for computer hardware and software usage. It provides advanced programs audiovisual support and operates and maintains a state-of-the-art video-teleconferencing capability. It manages and oversees the 53rd Wing's physical security and information assurance programs.
The 59th Test and Evaluation Squadron, located at Nellis AFB, Nev., is responsible for the management of A-10, F-15C/E, F-16, F-22, HH-60, and Guardian Angel weapon system testing including force development evaluations, tactics development and evaluations, and software evaluations. Squadron personnel direct operational test planning and execution, as well as data gathering, analyzing, and reporting for the above systems operated by the CAF. Additionally, the squadron manages OT&E of weapons and support systems in order to improve current and future U.S. Air Force combat capabilities.
Detachment 1 of the 53rd TMG, located at Barksdale AFB, La., is responsible for the management of B-52H including force development evaluations, tactics development and evaluations, and software evaluations. Detachment personnel direct operational test planning and execution, as well as data gathering, analyzing, and reporting for the B-52H operated by the CAF. Results and conclusions support DoD deployment and employment decisions.
Detachment 2 of the 53rd TMG, located at Whiteman AFB, Mo., is responsible for the management of B-2 including force development evaluations, tactics development and evaluations, and software evaluations. Squadron personnel direct operational test planning and execution, as well as data gathering, analyzing, and reporting for the B-2 operated by the CAF. Results and conclusions support DoD deployment and employment decisions.
Detachment 3 of the 53rd TMG, located at Dyess AFB, Texas, is responsible for the management of B-1B including force development evaluations, tactics development and evaluations, and software evaluations. Detachment personnel direct operational test planning and execution, as well as data gathering, analysis, and reporting for the B-1B operated by the CAF. Results and conclusions support DoD deployment and employment decisions
Detachment 4 of the 53rd TMG, located at Creech AFB, Nev., is responsible for the management of MQ-1 and MQ-9 testing including force development evaluations, tactics development and evaluations, and software evaluations. Squadron personnel direct operational test planning and execution, as well as data gathering, analyzing, and reporting for the MQ-1/9 operated by the CAF. Results and conclusions support DoD deployment and employment decisions.
The 17th Test Squadron at Schriever AFB, Colo., conducts operational test and evaluation (OT&E) for space systems to enhance the military utility of space power to the warfighter. The 17 TS executes a wide range of OT&E missions tailored to the decision need. Along with its detachments and operating locations, the 17 TS is involved in 40-50 tests in some stage of early involvement, planning, execution or reporting at any time.
Detachment 1 of the 17 TS, also located at Schriever AFB, tests systems which enhance AFSPC's ability to achieve space superiority through space situational awareness, defensive counterspace and offensive counterspace activities.
Detachment 2 of the 17 TS, located at Cheyenne Mountain AFS, Colo., tests systems to support Integrated Tactical Warning and Attack Assessment (ITW/AA) capabilities for Cheyenne Mountain Ops Center, Alternate Missile Warning Center, ITW/AA forward users, and Joint Space Ops Center's space situational awareness operators.
Detachment 3 of the 17 TS tests space lift range modernization programs for both the Eastern Range at Patrick AFB, Fla.,(45 SW) and the Western Range at Vandenberg AFB, Calif. (30 SW).
Detachment 4 of the 17 TS is located at Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
Operating Location A of the 17 TS, located at Peterson AFB, Colorado provides test support to AFOTEC for MILSATCOM.
Operating Location C, located at Colorado Springs
53rd TEST AND EVALUATION GROUP
The 53rd Test and Evaluation Group is located at Nellis AFB, Nevada. The group is made up of eight squadrons, two direct-reporting detachments, and an operating location across seven stateside locations.
The 53rd TEG is responsible for the overall management of the wing's flying activities at Barksdale, Beale, Dyess, Edwards, Eglin, Nellis, Whiteman, and Creech AFBs. Members of the group execute operational test and evaluation and tactics development and evaluation projects for Headquarters ACC. Aircraft assigned to the group include test-configured F-35A, F-22, F-15C, F-15E, F-16, A-10, B-52, B-1, HH-60, HC-130, Guardian Angel, MQ-1 and MQ-9 aircraft with flying hours assigned to the B-2, RQ-4 and U-2 aircraft. The 53rd TEG also supports current AFOTEC efforts with the JSF, Airborne Laser and MQ-9.
The 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron is located at Edwards AFB, California. The squadron evaluates the operational effectiveness and suitability of advanced ACC weapon systems by providing operations, maintenance and engineering experts to work alongside AFMC and Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center personnel. The squadron also provides early war-fighter insight and influence during developmental testing. Weapon systems currently involved in operational test and evaluation include the F-35, B-1, B-2, B-52, RQ-4 Global Hawk, and MQ-9 Reaper. Squadron personnel integrate live test results with modeling and simulation data to predict combat capabilities under realistic scenarios thereby setting the stage for tactical development in the Combat Air Forces. Results and conclusions support DoD acquisition, deployment and employment decisions.
The 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, perfects lethality by executing conventional and nuclear Operational Test & Evaluation (OT&E), directing the Nuclear Weapon Systems Evaluation Program(NucWSEP), and developing tactics, techniques and procedures to maximize AFGSC/AFRC B-52 readiness, optimize CAF/Joint Force integration, and validate COCOM capabilities. The 49 TES executes OT&E to increase B-52 capabilities through improvements in sensors, weapons, communications, and navigation systems. The squadron also plans, executes, analyzes, and reports on ACC and AFGSC's $50 million annual bomber and fighter NucWSEPs (Combat Sledgehammer). Reliability data for nuclear capable aircraft (B-52, B-2, F-15 and F-16) and weapons (gravity bombs and cruise missiles) is reported to USSTRATCOM for inclusion in their annual strategic war plan update. The 49 TES is the Air Force's premier cruise missile test organization, launching approximately 7 conventional and nuclear cruise missiles each year.
The 72d Test and Evaluation Squadron at Whiteman AFB, Missouri, is the focal point for executing operational test and evaluation of the $44.6 billion B-2 weapon system. The squadron evaluates the ability of the B-2 weapons system to support all major requirements and reports weapon system capabilities. The unit provides experienced operations, maintenance, engineering, and analysis personnel who plan and conduct ground and flight tests, and analyze, evaluate, and report on the effectiveness and suitability of B-2 logistics support, tactics, survivability, foreign military exploitation, weapons, and mission planning. The squadron reports results and conclusions to support DoD acquisition, deployment, and employment decisions.
The 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron at Eglin AFB, Florida, is responsible for conducting operational test and evaluation, tactics development, and programs for F-15C, F-15E, and F-16CM aircraft. Utilizing specially instrumented aircraft, the 85th tests and evaluates current and future weapons, associated electronic warfare subsystems, the newest air-to ground munitions, air-to-air missiles, electronic warfare systems, and associated subcomponents and avionics. It provides operational fighter expertise to U.S. Air Force Headquarters, DoD agencies, and the aerospace industry in the development of future aircraft and employment techniques and concepts. The 85th's core competencies are air-to-air missile employment and tactics, suppression and destruction of enemy air defenses and lethal precision engagement.
The 88th Test and Evaluation Squadron, part of the Combat Search and Rescue Combined Test Force, is located at Nellis AFB, Nevada. It is one of only two integrated test units in the 53 WG. The CSAR CTF integrates Developmental Test and Operational Test units into a Combined Test Force comprised of personnel and resources from both AFMC and ACC. A benchmark in testing efforts, the CSAR CTF strives to shorten the acquisition process by integrating both DT and OT aircrew into as many tests as possible which allows for continuity and faster return time on test articles and TTPs. The CSAR CTF is currently the Responsible Test Organization for the HH-60G, HC-130N/P/J aircraft and the Guardian Angel Weapons System.
The 337th Test and Evaluation Squadron at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, conducts operational test and evaluation for all B-1 defensive/offensive systems and weapons upgrades to ensure B-1 systems are effective and suitable for the warfighter. The 337 TES also conducts tactics development and evaluation to exploit system capabilities and tactics as well as foreign military exploitation. In addition, they conduct field visits to familiarize operational units with new systems, and provide operational expertise to the acquisition community and aerospace industry in the development of future capabilities.
The 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron at Nellis AFB, Nevada, is a composite squadron that executes HQ ACC-directed operational test and evaluation for A/OA-10, F-15C, F-15E, F-16CM and F-22A hardware, software, and weapons upgrades prior to CAF release. The squadron conducts tactics development, foreign materiel exploitation, and special access programs to optimize system combat capability. The squadron also conducts field visits to instruct operational aircrews on new systems tactics.
The 556th Test and Evaluation Squadron at Creech AFB, Nevada, executes MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) OT&E and tactics development supporting ACC and AFSOC objectives. The 556 TES provides operational expertise for the test and evaluation of new sensors, hardware, weapons, and software upgrades for both airframes as well as critical RPA integration expertise in the intelligence community's processing, exploitation, and dissemination of data. Emerging technologies are rapidly evaluated and fielded to combatant commanders through capability-based testing to ensure success in RPA's expanding array of missions. Additionally, the 556 TES ensures operationally representative testing through inter-fly arrangements with combat RPA squadrons, takes part in early integration with AFMC developmental testing, and supports the Weapons School RPA squadron in the execution of its syllabus. Finally, the 556 TES is charged with anticipating future changes in warfare and credibly advocating where RPAs and their aircrew can continue to deliver decisive effects.
Detachment 2 of the 53rd TEG at Beale AFB, California, executes Force Development Evaluation of the U-2 and RQ-4 High Altitude weapon systems. They provide experienced operation, maintenance, engineering, and analysis personnel who plan and conduct ground and flight tests, analyze, evaluate, and report on the effectiveness, suitability and all related logistics, support, and training issues. Results and conclusions support DoD deployment and employment decisions. Det 2 develops and tests new tactics, techniques and procedures in conjunction with the 9th Reconnaissance Wing continuing to improve both RQ-4 and U-2 platforms.
Detachment 3 of the 53rd TEG at Nellis AFB, Nevada, is a representative for Air Combat Command's interest in USAF Foreign Materiel Exploitation. Detachment 3's primary mission is to ensure USAF combat aircrew personnel are prepared to fight with the latest knowledge available through FME.
The 53rd TEG also has an F-16 liaison office at the Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Test Center which is a tenant unit of the 162nd Fighter Wing, Tucson, Arizona. It is one of three principal ACC organizations responsible for planning, coordinating and accomplishing OT&E and TD&E. AATC's mission is operational testing of Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve unique systems, subsystems, modifications, tactics, techniques and procedures as well as other systems for which AATC has been designated as the lead test center. The goal of AATC is to improve the combat capability of the "mature" weapons systems flown by the Guard and Reserve through the use of low cost, off-the-shelf technologies which can be fielded in a timely manner. In the past, AATC initiatives include the Situation Awareness Data Link, night vision compatible aircraft lighting components, and the Electronic Warfare Management System. Current initiatives include Center Display Unit for F-16 and Helmet Mounted Integrated Targeting systems for A-10 and F-16.
53rd WEAPONS EVALUATION GROUP
The 53rd WEG, headquartered at Tyndall AFB, Fla., is comprised of five squadrons and two detachments: 53rd Test Support Squadron, 81st Range Control Squadron, 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron, and 83rd Fighter Weapons Squadron, all located at Tyndall; 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron, located at Eglin; Det. 1, 82 ATRS, located at Holloman AFB, NM; and Det. 1, 86 FWS located at Hill AFB, Utah. The group conducts the Air Force air-to-air Weapon System Evaluation Program, known as Combat Archer, under COMACC Plan 85, and the Air Force air-to-ground WSEP, known as Combat Hammer, under COMACC Plan 90. It also supports Weapons Instructor Course air-to-air formal training syllabi under COMACC Plan 92. Unit personnel provide all USAF aerial target support for DoD users in the gulf ranges and full-scale targets for Title 10 testing on White Sands Missile Range near Holloman.
The 53rd Test Support Squadron is responsible to the 53rd WEG for technical and staff functions in support of USAF air-to-air/ground operational test programs to include the WSEP and other DoD weapons tests. They also provide, technical, engineering, acquisition, data automation/local area network, system configuration control and strategic planning support for the 53 WEG, including program management of all gulf range air-to-air systems, range control systems, aerial targets (full-scale/subscale) systems and payloads, missile scoring and data analysis telemetry, and communications systems. It provides weapons and tactics, threat replication via emerging threat intelligence, aerial targets and electronic systems development, and plans/programs support to accomplish the 53 WEG mission.
The 81st Range Control Squadron is responsible to the 53rd WEG for all ground controlled intercept support of the USAF air-to-air Weapon System Evaluation Program. The squadron, home of "Wetstone Control," is the only ACC range control squadron supporting operational testing and evaluation of air-to-air weapons systems against a myriad of threat-representative targets. Each year, Wetstone Control provides "World-Class GCI" support to over 35 deployed and local flying units. The squadron is instrumental in the safe, effective employment and testing of over 330 missile firings and 3,000 combat training and test sorties annually.
The 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron operates approximately 50 full-scale QF-4 aircraft and 45 BQM-167 subscale targets to provide manned and unmanned aerial targets support for numerous USAF and DoD-directed programs. The squadron maintains three 120-foot drone recovery vessels and two smaller vessels to recover aerial targets and support range safety, patrol and salvage operations. Squadron members also operate the Air Force's only two E-9A airborne platform/telemetry relay aircraft that provide ocean surface surveillance and relay missile/target telemetry of missiles fired in over-the horizon profiles on the Gulf Range. The squadron executes an annual budget of $16 million to support three O & M contracts and more than 150 contract personnel.
Detachment 1, 82nd ATS, operates QF-4 full-scale aerial targets for use at the White Sands Missile Range. The squadron manages all contract operations of its QF-4 fleet as part of the overall O&M contract at Tyndall, AFB. It directs USAF operations of full-scale targets in support of DoD testing programs to include the US Army's Patriot system.
The 83rd Fighter Weapons Squadron conducts the USAF Air-to-Air Weapon System Evaluation Program. The squadron evaluates the total air-to-air weapons system including aircraft, weapon delivery system, weapon, aircrew, support equipment, technical data and maintenance actions. The squadron hosts 38 A/A WSEP deployments annually at Tyndall. The annual firing of over 300 missiles evaluates all USAF air-to-air missile capabilities (AIM-120, AIM-7, AIM-9 and gun) and also provides live missile training for CAF crews as a secondary objective. Squadron personnel verify weapon system performance, determine reliability, evaluate capability and limitations, identify deficiencies, recommend corrective action, and maintain CAF-wide data. The squadron investigates missile envelopes and evaluates capabilities and limitations to determine future firing requirements. It provides liaison support for pre-deployment, employment and redeployment of ACC, USAFE, PACAF, ANG, USAFR, and foreign air forces participating in WSEP, William Tell and WIC missile firing programs.
The 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron conducts the USAF Air-to-Ground WSEP, also known as Combat Hammer. The 86th is the single DoD agency charged with conducting predictive battle damage analysis of precision guided air-to-ground munitions (PGMs) using operational weapons, aircraft, maintenance personnel and aircrews. The squadron hosts 20 to 25 evaluations at Hill and Eglin AFBs, assessing weapon system performance, reliability, capabilities, and limitations in realistic combat scenarios against representative real-world targets. Combat Hammer identifies weapon system and training deficiencies and provides recommendations for corrective action to USAF leaders. Additionally, the squadron maintains the DoD's comprehensive database on PGM performance and investigates capabilities and limitations of currently fielded PGMs. The 86th EWS evaluates each and every air-to-ground PGM and PGM-capable fighter, bomber, and unmanned aerial vehicle type in the CAF. Weapons assessed include: GBU-10, 12, 24, 27, 28, 31, 32, 38, 39, 54; CBU-103 and 105, EGBU-15 and AGM-130, AGM-65, 86, 88, 114, 154 and 158. A/G WSEP provides liaison support for pre-deployment, employment, and re-deployment of ACC, USAFE, PACAF, ANG and AFRES forces participating in WSEP and conducts investigative firings of air-to-ground PGMs to address CAF employment issues and support ongoing OT&E effort.
Detachment 1, 86th FWS, provides a permanent presence at Hill AFB facilitating deployments in support of the Air Force Air-to-Ground WSEP, Combat Hammer. Squadron personnel provide liaison support for pre-deployment, employment and redeployment of ACC,USAFE, PACAF, ANG and AFRES forces participating in A/G WSEP, which assesses operational performance of fighter, bomber and unmanned aerial vehicle weapon systems employing precision guided munitions in realistic combat scenarios against first-look targets.
84th TES (Total Force)
The 84th Test and Evaluation Squadron, Eglin AFB, Fla., integrates Air Force Reserve Command personnel into the 53rd Wing to enhance its mission of "perfecting lethality" by providing long term continuity and credibility. Its mission is to organize, train, and equip AFRC personnel to support ACC's Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) missions for the Combat Air Forces through the 53rd Wing. This is accomplished under the Integrated Associate construct as part of Total Force Integration. The 84th Test and Evaluation Squadron integrates personnel into the Electronic Warfare Group (Combat Shield, 16 EWS and 68 EWS), the Test and Evaluation Group (85 TES), the Test Management Group (28 TES, 29 TSS, 53 CSS and OFP CTF), and the Weapons Evaluation Group (86 FWS).