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53rd Wing

The 53rd Wing, headquartered 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 is comprised of four groups, numbers more than 2,800 military and civilians at 23 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 53d Test and Evaluation Group (TEG) is responsible for delivering safe and effective capabilities and tactics that enhance the Combat Air Force's (CAF) lethality and survivability.  The group manages and executes ACC's operational test & evaluation (OT&E) and tactics development for A-10, F-15C/E/EX, F-16, F-22, F-35, MQ-9, HH-60G/W, HC-130J, and Guardian Angel weapons systems. Additionally, the group supports foreign military exploitation and advanced technology demonstrations, as well as manages the evaluation of all air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons, mission planning systems, aircrew flight equipment, and agile combat support systems.

The 53d TEG is composed of highly trained aircrew and a diverse range of support personnel based at Nellis, Creech, Davis Monthan and Eglin Air Force Bases.  Key partners include numerous test units across Air Force Materiel Command, as well as Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Command. 

The 53d TEG prides itself on its role in providing Airmen and Combatant Commands with the latest in software, hardware, weapons and tactics techniques and procedures to win America's wars.

The 28th Test and Evaluation Squadron is responsible to ACC for the planning, execution and reporting of Operational Tests across the spectrum of airpower to include air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons, mission planning systems, aircrew flight equipment, and agile combat support systems to include chemical and biological defense. In addition, the squadron evaluates the operational effectiveness and suitability of systems through engineering and analytical methods. Finally, the squadron develops tactics for weapons and supports systems in operationally representative environments.

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, HH-60W, HC-130J aircraft and the Guardian Angel Weapons System.

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-10C, F-15C, F-15E, F-16CM, F-22A, and F-35A 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 and 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, is a selectively manned unit responsible for managing and executing Operational Test & Evaluation and Tactics Development & Evaluation for the U-2 and RQ-4 High Altitude Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance weapon systems. It provides operational, maintenance, and technical expertise to USAF, DoD, and industry in the development of weapon system concepts, sustainment, and employment techniques. Det 2 works alongside AFMC and AFOTEC personnel to develop and tests new tactics, techniques and procedures for the 9th and 319th Reconnaissance Wings.  Results and conclusions support DoD deployment and employment decisions. 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.

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.

The F-15 & F-16 Operational Flight Program Combined Test Force (OFP CTF) at Eglin AFB is composed of active/reserve military, civilian, and contractor personnel from the 53rd Test & Evaluation Group and the 96th Operations Group.  OFP CTF personnel test F-15 & F-16 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 & F-16 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 $60.1 million and evaluates multi-year acquisition programs valued at more than $25 billion.


The 753rd Test and Evaluation Group, headquartered at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, and part of the 53rd Wing, consists of nine squadrons and one detachment at eight installations across the United States:  the 15th TES, 29th TSS, 31st TES, 49th TES, 53rd CSS, 72nd TES, 337th TES, 410th TES, 417th TES, and 753rd TEG Det 1.

The group’s operational test and evaluation mission directly supports Air Force Global Strike Command and Air Combat Command. The 753rd TEG serves as the premier test organization for seven different weapon systems, multiple flight simulators and training systems, and operational test support networks.

The 753rd TEG's mission is to deliver lethal, survivable and effective combat capability to our nation's warfighters at the speed of relevance.  We are a focused, efficient, integrated and operations aligned team executing world class Operational Test and Tactics Development needed by the Warfighter to Compete, and if needed Defeat our nation's enemies.


The 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group is an Air Combat Command tenant organization located at Tyndall AFB FL consisting of five squadrons and two detachments across three geographically separated locations throughout the United States: the 53rd Test Support Squadron, 81st Air Control Squadron, 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron, and 83d Fighter Weapons Squadron, all located at Tyndall; 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron, located at Hill AFB, UT; Det. 1, 82 ATRS, located at Holloman AFB, NM; and Det. 1, 86 FWS located at Eglin AFB.

Under CAF Plan 53 the 53rd WEG supports ACC WSEP and under COMACC Plan 001 and AFGSC/CC Plan 001 supports Nuclear WSEP.  It also supports Weapons Instructor Course (WIC) air-to-air formal training syllabi under COMACC Plan 92. Unit personnel provide all USAF aerial target support for DoD and international partners in the Eglin-Gulf ranges and full-scale targets for Title 10 testing on White Sands Missile Range near Holloman.

Constantly improving Joint-Coalition Weapons Systems, the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group’s mission is to lead the evaluation of multi-domain precision weapons for combat aircraft and provide threat-representative targets for weapons optimization. We are a talented team of patriotic Airmen, Civilians, and Contractors, synergistically increasing Joint/Coalition lethality and survivability.