A new 96th TW Cyber detachment activates at Edwards

  • Published
  • By Giancarlo Casem
  • 412th Test Wing Public Affairs

Detachment 1, 47th Cyberspace Test Squadron, 96th Cyberspace Test Group, 96th Test Wing, was officially activated during a ceremony at Edwards Air Force Base, California, Nov. 19.

The detachment provides the Air Force Test Center with a secure avionics cyber test laboratory and fields cyber test capabilities to evaluate the Air Force’s premiere weapons systems.

“This event is a milestone in the history of the Air Force Test Center that’s been years in the making,” said Lt. Col. Ever Zavala, Det. 1, 47th CTS commander. “Today, we announce there’s a world-class cyber test team here at Edwards Air Force Base, and we’re ready to ensure that the United States Air Force will fly, fight and win in a cyber-contested environment.”

The 47th CTS traces its heritage to the 46th Electronic Combat Test Squadron, and then eventually the 46th Test Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The squadron was responsible for testing command and control systems. In 2015, the 46th TS activated Operating Location Bravo at Edwards to conduct developmental test and evaluation of aircraft, weapons and to support systems’ cyber-vulnerability assessments.

In October 2017, an organizational change saw the activation of the 96th CTG, headquartered at Eglin, and the 47th CTS, headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas. Operating Location Bravo, under the 47th CTS, was then converted to Detachment 1 in May 2019.

“Lt. Col. Ever Zavala is absolutely the right choice to lead the team, he’s been instrumental in the events culminating in today,” said Lt. Col. Corey Beaverson, 47th CTS commander. “He’s the one who led the organizational change request that put the detachment on the map; changed the detachment from an operating location to a detachment.”

Beaverson also talked about some of the accomplishments Zavala has had in his time leading the new organization.

“He’s been a key stakeholder in standing up the lab activity in partnership with the 412th Electronic Warfare Group, bringing a laboratory environment that allows us to create test capabilities that just do not exist right now,” Beaverston said.

After officially taking command of the detachment, Zavala thanked the personnel who he cites as helping the unit be successful.

“You’re the ones who execute the cyber test mission, you’re the ones who develop cutting-edge cyber test capabilities, and you’re the ones who will ensure that our warfighters will win,” Zavala said. “I’m truly honored to serve as your commander, and in this capacity I will do my best to maintain an environment where you are free to explore, innovate, collaborate and take risks.”