Published July 15, 2020
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.
The 53rd Test Management Group 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 TEG.
The 53rd Test and Evaluation Group 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 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group, headquartered at Tyndall AFB, is exclusively responsible for the evaluation of combat aircraft employing precision air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons. It is tasked to annually execute the Combat Air Force's Weapons System Evaluation Programs, known as COMBAT ARCHER and COMBAT HAMMER. It is also the Department of Defense's sole provider of full-scale aerial targets as well as threat-representative subscale targets. These unique operations, along with the WEG's many other functions, directly enhance Joint and Coalition airpower and improve overall warfighting capability.