HomeAbout UsWing Fact Sheets

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.

53rd Electronic Warfare Group

The 53rd Electronic Warfare Group has the equivalent of eight squadrons and two detachments: 16th Electronic Warfare Squadron; 36th Electronic Warfare Squadron; 53rd Computer Systems Squadron, 53rd Computer Systems Squadron Det. 1, 87th Electronic Warfare Squadron, 68th Electronic Warfare Squadron; 453rd Electronic Warfare Squadron; 453rd Electronic Warfare Squadron Det.1, 513th Electronic Warfare Squadron, and the F-35 Partner Support Complex.

The 53rd EWG is responsible for providing operational, technical and maintenance electronic warfare expertise for the CAF and for systems engineering, testing, evaluation, tactics development, employment, capability and technology assessment. This includes the wartime responsibility for emergency reprogramming and dissemination of EW system mission data software for CAF aircraft. The group manages the Air Force COMBAT SHIELD Electronic Warfare Assessment Program for CAF aircraft EW systems. COMBAT SHIELD provides operational units a system-specific capability assessment for their radar warning receivers, electronic attack pods, and integrated EW systems. Additionally, the group is responsible for automating, sustaining, and operating wing communications and information systems activities including unclassified, collateral, and advanced program local area networks

The 16th EWS provides EW expertise and test facilities for mission data and EW systems test and evaluation for all aircraft allocated to Air Force Global Strike Command (B-1, B-2, B-52, and Advanced Programs). Squadron personnel assess the maintainability, reliability, suitability, and readiness of EW systems and support equipment, and perform test and evaluation of new EW concepts for fighter, bomber, and specialized EW systems. They monitor developmental testing conducted by acquisition agencies and assess the impact of these tests, providing critical expertise for EW avionics acquisition and modifications. The 16th EWS has more than $450 million in assets, including eight system integration laboratories and two mobile test facilities. These facilities are used to validate and verify mission data software, support foreign materiel exploitations, and verify operational technical order updates prior to fielding. Squadron personnel develop, fabricate and maintain aircraft and lab test instrumentation and perform acceptance tests of all new EW-related hardware and software, as well as provide expertise to support EW systems testing and training to maintenance and operational units worldwide.

The 36th EWS integrates technical and operational expertise providing unique support to build and maintain Air Combat Command’s (ACC) EW capability for fighters, and special-purpose combat platforms through test and evaluation, mission data reprogramming, exercise support, EW reach back, and emergency reprogramming. The squadron conducts operational tests of the EW systems on CAF aircraft in support of hardware and software fielding recommendations to ACC. The 36th EWS also conducts exploitation tests of foreign threat weapons radar systems against all CAF aircraft. Squadron members develop mission software used to program EW systems installed on US aircraft. This EW mission software directly impacts the success of Joint Chiefs of Staff operational plans and CAF combat missions. Included in this mission is a wartime commitment to rapidly reprogram CAF's EW mission software in response to threat radar changes. The squadron also develops and publishes EW system handbooks providing critical employment guidance to CAF and allied nation warfighters.

The 53rd Computer Systems Squadron is responsible for sustaining ACC's force development evaluation mission by providing communications and information systems for the wing's four groups. It is also responsible for automating, sustaining, and operating wing communications and information systems activities including unclassified, collateral, and advanced program local area networks. It operates the Combat Air Force Network Operations Center providing classified information services to the CAF worldwide. The NOC was designated by ACC as the interface between the Air Force Network Operations Center and other Special Access Program Information Technology network management nodes. The squadron provides network capability to fuse data from multiple test facilities into one coherent picture. It develops and maintains the computer systems required to support the development, test and dissemination of EW mission data, to include the Emergency Reprogramming Center and its contingency/wartime activations. It defines customer communications requirements and implementation plans. The squadron leads configuration management efforts for computer hardware and software usage. It provides advanced programs audiovisual support and operates and maintains a state-of-the-art video-teleconferencing capability. It manages and oversees the 53rd Wing's physical security and information assurance programs.

The 68th EWS improves EW effectiveness and directly supports the CAF and Allied nations through test and evaluation, mission data reprogramming, exercise support, EW reach-back, and emergency reprogramming. The EW operations support flight provides EW support to the warfighter and assures combat EW reprogramming to more than 2,100 CAF users globally. They oversee the development of web-based EW reach back tools and EW help desk operations providing 24/7 EW assistance to the CAF and Allied nations. The flight also evaluates contingency plans and the Multi-Service Data Distribution System network connectivity to assure off-site support for 24/7 EW reprogramming, and provides baseline threat emitter mode simulation to support all EWG US and FMS MD reprogramming testing. Additionally, the flight coordinates EW outreach programs providing aircrew training and support at RED FLAG, organizes EW agenda items for CAF tacticians and weapons officers at the CAF SEAD and EW / Weapons and Tactics Conferences and educates Air Force general officers during the Senior Leader EW Course. The squadron's intelligence flight provides the wing commander and subordinate organizations with specialized information support to include intelligence reporting on enemy doctrine, weapons development, tactics, and adversarial capabilities. The flight also produces command and control warfare products for the CAF, supports fighter and bomber electronic warfare reprogramming, assists wing test and weapons systems evaluation programs, and provides access to intelligence databases and systems to host and tenant units at Eglin. The conventional systems flight provides missionized software, ensuring aircraft survivability, for Foreign Military Sales and allied partner F-16, F-15 and E-3 EW equipment; and provides missionized software for FMS and allied partner EW training pods to simulate enemy threat electronic countermeasures for aircrew training and weapons evaluation. The flight also generates EW reprogramming mission data support, maintains emitter data files, develops integration and implementation documentation, and provides expert system training for all conventional EW FMS cases. The advanced systems flight provides FMS allied partners with advanced system program EW software development and reprogramming. It generates EW reprogramming mission data support, maintains emitter data files, develops integration and implementation documentation, and provides expert system training for all advanced EW FMS cases.


The 87th EWS provides technicians and equipment to direct, plan, execute, and assess all aspects of the Air Force’s lead Electronic Warfare (EW) Assessment Program (COMBAT SHIELD), which Provides EW (radio frequency and infrared) and cyber assessments and technical expertise to enable multi-domain mission readiness for combat air forces. The overall objective is to evaluate and report outcomes, findings, and trends to wings, major commands, and higher headquarters to foster prioritization of EW and cyber capabilities and processes.

The 453rd EWS provides a full spectrum of EW support to DoD and coalition warfighters. The 453 EWS provides EW support through four flights, operating together to create a foundation of EW knowledge, provide in-depth radio frequency and other electronic warfare analyses and create a realistic training environment for the warfighter. The 453 EWS products and services are utilized in a variety of areas, including mission planning, training, and exercises. The 453 EWS data flight provides the foundation of EW knowledge used by mission planners and the acquisition community through the development and maintenance of the Combat Support Database, Blue Airborne Target Signatures Database, US Electromagnetic Systems Database, Commercial Emitter Database, and the Next-Generation Electronic Warfare Integrated Reprogramming (EWIR) Database. The 453 EWS flagging analysis flight provides a 24/7 tactical comparison of "current expectations" to current reality to ensure the warfighter is prepared to deploy and operate effectively. Tactical monitoring of the worldwide threat environment is crucial to the detection and identification of new or changed threat radars that may impact the performance of aircraft EW systems. Flagging analysis provides the detection of anomalous threat operation and provides the trigger to energize the EWIR community. The 453 EWS Analysis Flight provides analyses of EW systems' performance in support of operational, acquisition, and training activities. The Improved Many-on-Many (IMOM) EW analysis tool is the most prominent part of the Analysis flight, supporting mission planners with comprehensive EW analyses, including radar detection, threat engagement, communications jamming, ISR collection, PSYOP broadcast, and passive detection capabilities. The 453 operations flight provides the constructive EW environment used in generating country-specific opposing force integrated air defense system threats. Additionally, the light provides constructive (computer-based) EW target sets and various other modeling and simulation-based training scenarios to meet a wide range of warfighter training objectives. The DMO approach to training provides flexibility with respect to scenario generation and realism. The inherent flexibility of DMO allows for endless potential with respect to integration across the entire Live, Virtual, and Constructive training spectrum. The 453 EWS is looking to the future and building key partnerships to provide comprehensive EW support to the joint warfighter community as well as coalition partner countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.

The 513 EWS is the sole, multi-service, F-35 Electronic Warfare Reprogramming squadron whose mission is to enable 5th Generation EW dominance by developing, testing, and fielding timely and accurate combat capable mission data to all Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps F-35 Lightning II aircraft. Combining the most up-to-date military intelligence with a robust virtual EW range to create operationally tested and verified mission data tailored to every Joint Strike Fighter variant. Maintains and sustains facilities to execute a wartime mission to provide urgent/emergency contingency EW reprogramming capabilities for the entire JSF fleet.

The F-35 Partner Support Complex developments, tests and fields mission data to enable combat capability for F-35 partner nations. Currently, the PSC supports Australia, Italy, Norway, the UK, the Netherlands, and has recently added Japan and South Korea as FMS customers. There are plans to support future growth to support additional partners and customers. In this capacity, the unit provides electronic warfare technical, operational and maintenance expertise, as well as the information technology expertise required to support a large number of networks at different classification levels. The unit supports each nation according to unique requirements, ranging from embedding with partner nations in a facility to providing a completed product for other nations.



The 53rd Test and Evaluation Group is located at Nellis AFB, Nevada. The group is made up of eight squadrons, two direct-reporting detachments, and an operating location across six stateside locations.

The 53rd TEG is responsible for the overall management of the wing's flying activities at Beale, Davis-Monthan, Duke Field, Edwards, Eglin, Nellis, 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, HH-60, HC-130, Guardian Angel 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 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 53d TMG, headquartered at Eglin AFB, FL, is comprised of six squadrons: 17th Test Squadron headquartered at Shriever AFB, CO; 28th Test and Evaluation Squadron at Eglin AFB; 29th Training Systems Squadron at Eglin AFB; 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron at Barksdale AFB, LA; 72d Test and Evaluation Squadron at Whiteman AFB, MO; and 337th Test and Evaluation Squadron at Dyess AFB, TX. The 53d TMG is responsible for operational test program management and execution, culminating in release and fielding recommendations; simulator certifications; tactics, techniques, and procedures; and advanced program network support; for Air Combat Command, Air Force Global Strike Command, the United States Space Force, and worldwide Combatant Commanders. The group’s test portfolio includes USAF fighters, bombers, combat search and rescue platforms, remotely piloted vehicles, aircrew training devices, space systems, and munitions.

The 17th Test Squadron is responsible for conducting Operational Test & Evaluation on space-focused assets. The squadron validates warfighting capabilities and ensures an independent assessment of space systems' performance. In addition, the 17 TS conducts integrated test planning, execution, and reporting on 34 major weapon systems worth over $21B as well as managing, executing, and reporting on the Weapon System Evaluation Program, COMBAT MACE. Finally, the 17 TS efficiently executes over 39 test activities on a $7M annual budget to support the USSF's & Combatant Commanders' operational acceptance, fielding & critical employment decisions.

The 29th Training Systems Squadron is the Combat Air Force's (CAF) sole test and evaluation organization for Aircrew Training Devices (ATD). The unit provides functional management and technical expertise for ATD acquisition, modification, sustainment and testing to include assessment of Synthetic Training (ST) enterprise capabilities. Additionally, the 29th TSS is responsible for the worldwide simulator certifications (SIMCERT) for 250 ATDs in ACC, AETC, AFGSC, PACAF, USAFE, AFRC and ANG. The 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron manages and executes ACC-directed Operational Test and Evaluation and Tactics Development and Evaluation for B-52H hardware, software and weapons upgrades to maximize combat readiness prior to release to operational units. Additionally, the unit is the lead reporting agency for Combat SLEDGEHAMMER, the USAF Nuclear Weapons System Evaluation Program. The 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron directly evaluates the B-52H, the Air Launched Cruise Missile, and the nuclear mission for United States Strategic Command.

The 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron, located at Edwards AFB, California, evaluates the operational effectiveness and suitability of advanced ACC weapon systems by providing operations, maintenance, and engineering experts that work alongside AFMC and Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center personnel. Additionally, the squadron provides early war-fighter insight and influence during developmental testing. The 31 TES is currently involved in in operational test and evaluation of the B-21, B-2, B-52, RQ-4 Global Hawk, and DCGS. Squadron personnel integrate live test results with modeling and simulation data to predict combat capabilities under realistic scenarios thereby setting the stage for tactical development in the Combat Air Forces. Results and conclusions support DoD acquisition, deployment, and employment decisions.

The 72d Test and Evaluation Squadron manages, executes, and assesses HQ ACC-directed Tactics Development and Evaluation, Operational Test and Evaluation, and survivability assessment programs for B-2 hardware, software and weapons. The unit also executes B-2 Nuclear Weapon System Evaluation Program (NucWSEP), validating strategic national capabilities. Provide tactical expertise to HQ USAF, DoD agencies and industries through the development of B-2 weapon employment.

The 337th Test and Evaluation Squadron manages, executes, and reports on HQ ACC-directed Operational Test & Evaluation and Tactics Development & Evaluation for B-1 hardware, software and weapons upgrades to maximize combat capabilities prior to fielding to operational units. Additionally, the unit provides tactical and technical expertise to DoD, USAF, ACC, systems group, agencies and industry in the development of B-1 weapon system concepts and employment techniques.


The 53rd WEG, headquartered at Tyndall AFB, FL, is comprised of five squadrons and two detachments: 53rd Test Support Squadron, 81st Air Control Squadron, 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron, and 83rd 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, 53 WEG located at Eglin. The group conducts the Air Force air-to-air and air-to-ground Weapon System Evaluation Programs, known as WSEP East (Tyndall AFB) and WSEP West (Hill AFB), under CAF Plan 53. It also supports Weapons Instructor Course air-to-air formal training syllabi under COMACC Plan 92. Unit personnel provide all USAF aerial target support for DoD users in the gulf ranges and full-scale targets for Title 10 testing on White Sands Missile Range near Holloman.  

The 53rd Test Support Squadron is responsible to the 53rd WEG for technical and staff functions in support of USAF air-to-air/ground operational test programs to include the WSEP and other DoD weapons tests. They also provide, technical, engineering, acquisition, data automation/local area network, system configuration control and strategic planning support for the 53 WEG, including program management of all gulf range air-to-air systems, range control systems, aerial targets (full-scale/subscale) systems and payloads, missile scoring and data analysis telemetry, and communications systems. It provides weapons and tactics, threat replication via emerging threat intelligence, aerial targets and electronic systems development, and plans/programs support to accomplish the 53 WEG mission. 

The 81st Air Control Squadron is responsible to the 53rd WEG and serves as ACC’s only battle management command and control (BMC2) squadron that is tasked to conduct live-fire operational testing and evaluation of air-to-air weapons systems against a myriad of full-scale and sub-scale threat-representative targets.  In addition, the 81 ACS delivers BMC2 and flight safety to over 1,500 WSEP sorties and 350 live-missile firings; ensuring management and sequencing of all WSEP aerial targets, as well as surveillance and deconfliction of air operations from civil aviation and maritime activities in the Gulf Coast Ranges while coordinating with all DoD branches, partner Nation Air Forces, and other Department of Defense weapons tests.  Finally, the 81 ACS provides BMC2 integration, adversary control, and realistic threat replication to large force exercises conducted in the Gulf Complexes for over 3,000 F-22/F-35/F-15/T-38/KC-135 combat training sorties conducted by Tyndall, Eglin, and FL ANG units in the gulf coast airspaces.

The 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron at Tyndall and Holloman AFB (Detachment 1) operates the Department of Defense's only full-scale aerial target program, maintaining an inventory of 24 modified QF-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft for this purpose. It also provides BQM-167 subscale aerial targets to gulf range customers at Tyndall AFB. Full and subscale aerial targets are provided to Air Force, Navy and Army customers for developmental and operational tests. The 82nd provides target support for the Air Force Weapon System Evaluation Program, the Air Force Weapons Instructor Course, and Combat Archer. The squadron also maintains three 120-foot drone recovery vessels and two smaller patrol vessels to recover aerial and support range safety and salvage operations. Squadron aircrew also operate the Air Force's only two DeHavilland E-9A "Widget" airborne surveillance/telemetry relay aircraft. These aircraft provide ocean surface surveillance and relay missile and target telemetry for over-the-horizon coverage of the Gulf Range and also support over-land telemetry missions for WSEP at Holloman AFB and the UTTR near Hill AFB, Utah. The squadron is a mix of highly experienced contract personnel and active-duty Air Force personnel. Detachment 1, 82 ATRS, Holloman AFB, New Mexico, operates and maintains a portion of the QF-16 full-scale aerial target fleet for use on the White Sands Missile Range. In addition to Air Force programs such as the F-22, AMRAAM, AIM-9X, and F-35 the detachment also supports Army surface-to-air programs and foreign military customers as well.

The 83rd Fighter Weapons Squadron conducts the USAF Combat Weapons System Evaluation Program (WSEP) East. The squadron evaluates the total air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons system including aircraft, weapon delivery system, weapon, aircrew, support equipment, technical data and maintenance actions. The squadron hosts 38 WSEP deployments annually at Tyndall. The annual firing of over 300 missiles evaluates all USAF air-to-air missile capabilities (AIM-120, AIM-7, AIM-9 and gun) and also provides live missile training for CAF crews as a secondary objective. Squadron personnel verify weapon system performance, determine reliability, evaluate capability and limitations, identify deficiencies, recommend corrective action, and maintain CAF-wide data. The squadron investigates missile envelopes and evaluates capabilities and limitations to determine future firing requirements. It provides liaison support for pre-deployment, employment and redeployment of ACC, USAFE, PACAF, ANG, USAFR, and foreign air forces participating in WSEP, William Tell and WIC missile firing programs. 

The 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron, Combat Weapons System Evaluation Program (WSEP) West, is the cornerstone of land air dominance.  The squadron manages Air-to-Ground and Air-to-Air Weapons System Evaluations, COMBAT HAMMER and COMBAT ARCHER, together known as Combat WSEP West.  The 86th is the single DOD agency charged with conducting predictive battle damage analysis of precision guided air-to-ground munitions (PGMs) using operational weapons, aircraft, maintenance personnel and aircrew.  The 86th also evaluates total air-to-air weapons systems including aircraft, weapon delivery system, weapon, aircrew, support equipment, technical data, and maintenance actions.  The squadron hosts an average of 25 evaluations annually, primarily out of Hill AFB, UT, and evaluates the reliability, maintainability, suitability, and accuracy of operationally fielded precision-guided and high-technology weapons against realistic targets protected by realistic enemy defenses.  WSEP West identifies weapons system and training deficiencies and provides recommendations for corrective action directly to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force.  Additionally, the squadron maintains the DOD’s comprehensive database on PGM performance and investigates capabilities and limitations of currently fielded PGMs.  Weapons assessed include: GBU-10, -12, -24, -27, -28, -31, -32, -38, -39, -49, and -54; CBU-103 and -105; EGBU-15; and AGM-130, -65, -86, -88, -114, -154 and -158.  Combat WSEP West provides liaison support for pre-deployment, employment, and re-deployment of ACC, USAFE, PACAF, ANG, and AFRES forces participating in the exercise and conducts investigative firings of air-to-ground PGMs to address CAF employment issues and support ongoing OT&E efforts.