83rd FWS executes joint WSEP with U.S. Navy
53rd Weapons Evaluation Group
/ Published July 27, 2020
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The 83rd Fighter Weapons Squadron and executed “WSEP East 20.09” from May 27 to June 12, 2020 with participants from the 53rd Wing, 325th Fighter Wing, 33rd Fighter Wing, and the U.S. Navy’s Carrier Air Wing Two.
“This event improved readiness of CVW-2 in preparation for real world tasking, support of Operational Test objectives, and gathered critical F-35A/C weapons employment data,” said Col Nicholas Reed, commander, 53d Weapons evaluation Group. “I couldn’t be prouder of the innovation and resilience of Team WEG that led to this operational success, especially under the conditions imposed from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
In all, 83rd Fighter Weapons Squadron and other 53d Weapons Evaluation Group squadrons facilitated the firing of 26 air-to-air missiles during this event. Some of the more significant shots included three AIM-120D Software Improvement Program, the DoDs newest operational air-to-air missile, seven missiles from the F-35A/C, and one missile from an EA-18G. These weapon firings provided valuable data and feedback to CAF and Fleet warfighters and informed strategic weapons allocation and movement decisions.
The Navy expressed gratitude for helping accomplish this essential event.
“The Navy is complete!” said CAPT. Matthew Thrasher, commander, Carrier Air Wing Two. “Thank you all very much for the herculean effort you and your teams provided CVW-2. With your world class support, we were able to complete 15/15 OFRP – Readiness required shots over the last 2 weeks. It’s not lost on me the challenges that you all were willing to overcome to make this happen.”
CVW-2 is a U.S. Navy Air Wing based in NAS Lemoore, CA and NAS Whidbey Island, WA which includes F/A-18E/F, F-35C, and EA-18G aircraft. CVW-2’s participation in WSEP East 20.09 was a Mission Essential event to prepare them for their real-world deployment next year in support of Geographic Combatant Commander taskings. WSEP East 20.09 planning included senior leader coordination to facilitate execution due to mission essential status.
In addition to assisting CVW-2 in preparation for their deployment, the 83rd Fighter Weapons Squadron supported execution of operational test shots gathering important data, enabling integrated tactical advantage, and assisting in shaping the future fight. Some of these weapons included employment of air-to-ground rockets in support of Air Combat Command’s test priority list.