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96th Test Wing
Published October 03, 2017
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The 96th Test Wing, Eglin AFB, Fla., is the test and evaluation center for Air Force air-delivered weapons, navigation and guidance systems, Command and Control systems, and Air Force Special Operations Command systems. The wing provides expert evaluation and validation of the performance of systems throughout the design, development, acquisition, and sustainment process to ensure the warfighter has technologically superior, reliable, maintainable, sustainable and safe systems. The 96th TW performs developmental test and evaluation across the complete system life cycle for a wide variety of customers including: Air Force Systems Program Offices, the Air Force Research Laboratory, logistics and product centers; major commands; other DoD services and U.S. government agencies (Department of Transportation, NASA, etc.); foreign military sales; and private industry.
Additionally the wing commander serves as the installation commander, supporting Team Eglin with traditional military services as well as all the services of a small city, to include civil engineering, personnel, logistics, communications, computer, medical, security, and all other host services. Critical to the success of Eglin's mission, the 96th TW provides a myriad of base operating support functions like material resources, mobility requirements, and meeting the needs of Eglin personnel.
The 96th TW executes developmental test and evaluation enabling the warfighter to put weapons on target in all battlespace media while also providing support for all other Team Eglin missions as the installation host wing. Eglin deploys combat ready forces while delivering full spectrum support to the DoD's second largest test and training complex.
Personnel and Resources
As Eglin's host wing, they lead more than 9,800 military, civilian, and contractor personnel providing essential base operating support and services for nine wings and wing equivalents, 10 operating locations, five detachments and 34 associate units. The wing executes an annual budget of more than $568 million.
There are seven distinct groups, including the Air Force Seek Eagle Office, and more than 30 squadrons and divisions; management of approximately 120,000 square miles of over water airspace, the Air Force's largest fire program, emergency services, explosive ordnance disposal squadron, and supply function. The wing is home to the Air Force's third largest hospital, which services more than 92,000 beneficiaries and operates the Air Force's only invisible wounds clinic. It is also home to the Air Force's largest transportation function in the continental U.S.; one of three Air Force combat-coded control and reporting centers and one of two Department of Defense units to achieve level five software engineering status. The Air Force Armament Museum also falls under the 96th Test Wing.
The 96th Operations Group conducts the wing's primary missions of developmental testing and evaluation of conventional munitions, command and control systems, F-15 and A-10 avionics, and navigation and guidance systems. The 96 TW manages 33 modified test aircraft maintained by the 96th Maintenance Group.
The 96th Mission Support Group provides Aerospace Expeditionary Force readiness, fuels, supply, transportation, security, personnel, education, family services, lodging, food service, recreation and logistics planning and deployment support to approximately 20,000 Team Eglin military and civilian personnel and 43,000 retirees. It deploys combat ready forces in support of worldwide contingency operations.
The 96th Civil Engineer Group, alongside the 96th Range Group, provides engineering forces to support global aerospace forces in peace and war. It operates, maintains, and protects the physical plant, infrastructure, facilities, systems, housing, environment, and 11.6 million square feet of physical plant and 3,256 facilities. The Eglin Gulf Test Range provides approximately 120,000 square miles of overwater airspace, covering the eastern third of the Gulf of Mexico from the Florida panhandle to the Florida Keys. The land range covers 724 square miles and contains 70 specific test and training areas, including an approved depleted uranium test range and the only qualified air-to-ground supersonic range east of the Mississippi River.
The full spectrum of the wing's test and evaluation capabilities provide a rich and diverse test environment capable of meeting the most demanding test requirements, to include:
· Nonnuclear munitions testing - to include ballistics, guidance and terminal effects
· Munitions ground testing -- including modeling, simulation and analysis
· Munitions seeker performance evaluation -- including EO, IR, MMW, RF, laser sensors
· Aircraft stores integration SEEK EAGLE certification recommendations
· Command, control and information testing
· Computer network attack
· Aircraft systems and electronic countermeasure evaluation
· Munitions and aircraft navigation and guidance systems
· Radar target signatures -- including very low observables and antenna pattern measurements
· Unmanned aerial vehicles
· Base intrusion and interdiction systems
To ensure its ability to meet the future testing requirements the 96th TW has developed a comprehensive technology infrastructure to support its DT&E mission. The wing's advanced facilities include:
· Guided Weapons Evaluation Facility (GWEF)
· Joint Preflight Integration of Munitions and Electronic Systems (J-PRIMES) Test Facility
· Santa Rosa Island Tower
· Large footprint weapon overwater test and training area - Gulf of Mexico
· Instrumented A-10C, F-15C, F-15E,
· F-16CG, F-16CJ, UH-1N
· Armament/C2 Systems Test Environment
· Multi-spectral Test and Training Environment (MSTTE)
· Air Force Liaison for all AF programs tested at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR).
(Current as of September 2017)