96th Test Wing 2013 Year in Review

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. David Harris
  • 96 TW Commander
With 2013 behind us, I'd like to take the opportunity to highlight a few of the many outstanding accomplishments of the 96th Test Wing.

We earned impressive awards to include the Air Force Materiel Command Commander-In-Chief Installation Excellence Award and the Medical Group's award for the top AFMC hospital. Altogether, your efforts garnered nine Air Force and 72 AFMC individual awards, with the tally not yet complete.

We provided exceptional base operating support to Team Eglin by completing a housing privatization project that will give us 747 new homes within the next five years. We also partnered with the public and private sector to acquire conservation easements that will protect the eastern approach to the Eglin range.

We made significant improvements to our medical facilities including a new hybrid operating room, a new emergency department and dialysis service. The Food Transformation Initiative delivered a new campus dining option, a completely renovated dining facility and new food truck to improve quality of life for more than 1,000 Airmen.

Our staff agencies stood up a new integrated Inspector General Inspections and Evaluations Office while besting AF IG case time by 725 percent. The Information Protection Office boasted the busiest foreign disclosure program in the command, while our legal team supported the acquisition community with 4,858 contract actions.

In a year that saw sequestration impact us all, our comptroller squadron and financial management shops provided outstanding support and innovative solutions to keep programs and pay checks on schedule.

Our Operations and Range Groups contributed to the historic first flight of an unmanned QF-16, giving our Air Force a 4th generation threat representative target for use in air-to-air weapon system test programs. We completed the Air Force Chief of Staff's number one priority weapons program by successfully testing the massive ordnance penetrator. Our maintainers kept our fleet flying safe and effectively, producing 3,706 sorties, for a total of 5,518 flight hours.

Another historic milestone in testing was reached when the Range Group performed the 2,000th sled test mission at the Kinetic Energy Munitions Test Facility and continued support of fuze development for the Hard Target Void Sensing Fuze Program.

Taking warfighter support to a new level, the Test Group at Holloman AFB, N.M., organized and executed the first-ever warfare festival to provide multiple customers a low-cost GPS-denied and emerging threat test environment at Red Flag not previously available anywhere. They also set a world-record on their magnetic-levitation test track while testing a new high-speed free stream air test capability.

The Air Force Seek Eagle Office planned and executed small diameter bomb certification with ground and air testing involving more than 25 specialist personnel and nine organizations from across the Air Force Test Center, significantly enhancing the load configurations for the F-16 fleet.

Finally, I want to offer my personal congratulations to all of you for an outstanding year. While 2014 will bring an array of opportunities and challenges, we will continue to test and evaluate state-of-the-art weapons for the warfighter and provide superior installation support to all associate units while serving as responsible stewards of our resources.

I truly appreciate all the significant and valuable work you have done and continue to do to make the 96 TW the most agile, responsive, and cost effective test and support organization.