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53RD WEAPONS EVALUATION GROUP

Posted 10/1/2012 Printable Fact Sheet
 
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53rd Weapons Evaluation Group
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The 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group is an Air Combat Command tenant organization that reports to the 53rd Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The WEG is comprised of five squadrons and two detachments: the 53rd Test Support Squadron; the 81st Range Control Squadron; the 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron; the 83rd Fighter Weapons Squadron, located at Tyndall; the 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron, located at Eglin AFB; Detatchment 1, 82nd ATRS, located at Holloman AFB, N.M.; and Detachment 1, 86 FWS, located at Hill AFB, Utah.  The group conducts the Air Force's air-to-air Weapon System Evaluation Program, known as Combat Archer, and the Air Force's air-to-ground Weapon System Evaluation Program, known as Combat Hammer. It also supports Weapons Instructor Course air-to-air formal training syllabi. Unit personnel provide all Air Force aerial target support for DOD users in the Gulf Ranges and full-scale targets for Title 10 testing at White Sands Missile Range, Holloman AFB, N.M. The group also plans, manages and executes the U.S. Air Force Air-to-Air Weapons Meet, William Tell.  For additional information, contact 53rd Wing Public Affairs at (850) 882-2257.

53rd Test Support Squadron 

The 53rd Test Support Squadron is responsible for technical and staff functions in support of Air Force's air-to-air/ground operational test programs to include the Weapon System Evaluation Program and other DOD weapons tests.  They also provide technical, engineering, acquisition, logistics, data automation/local area network, system configuration control and strategic planning support for the 53rd 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 is also the primary manager for the U.S. Air Force Air-to-Air Weapons Meet, William Tell.

81st Range Control Squadron 
 
The 81st Range Control Squadron, callsign Wetstone, is ACC's only radar-control squadron tasked to support live-fire operational testing and evaluation of air-to-air weapons systems against a myriad of threat-representative targets.  Wetstone provides technical and ground-controlled intercept support to Air Force's air-to-air operational test and evaluation programs to include the Weapon System Evaluation Program and other Department of Defense weapons tests.  Wetstone provides range control and flight safety monitoring to deployed and local flying units for over 330 live missile firings and 3,000 combat training and test sorties annually. Wetstone is responsible for the daily operation of the $10 million Range Control System, and directs acquisition, logistics and budgeting for Range Control System modernization and sustainment.

82nd Aerial Targets Squadron 

The 82nd Aerial Target Squadron at Tyndall and Holloman AFB (Detachment 1) operates the Department of Defense's only full-scale aerial target program, maintaining an inventory of 50 modified QF-4 Phantom II aircraft for this purpose. It also provides BQM-34 and 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 squadron also provides target support for the Air Force Weapon System Evaluation Program, the Air Force Weapons Instructor Course, and William Tell. The squadron participates in the Air Force Heritage Flight Program with the venerable Phantom. 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 members 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-4 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.

83rd Fighter Weapons Squadron 

The 83rd Fighter Weapons Squadron conducts the Air Force Air-to-Air Weapon System Evaluation Program. The squadron evaluates the total air-to-air weapons system including aircraft, weapon delivery system, weapon, aircrew, support equipment, technical data and maintenance actions. The squadron hosts 38 air-to-air WSEP deployments annually at Tyndall. The annual firing of 300 missiles evaluates all Air Force air-to-air missile capabilities for the AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile, AIM-7 Sparrow missile, AIM-9 Sidewinder missile and aircraft guns, and also provides live missile training for combat Air Force crews as a secondary objective. Squadron personnel verify weapon system performance, determine reliability, evaluate capability and limitations, identify deficiencies, recommend corrective action, and maintain Combat Air Force-wide data. The squadron investigates missile envelopes and evaluates capabilities and limitations to determine future firing requirements. They provide liaison support for pre-deployment, employment, and redeployment of Air Combat Command, United States Air Forces Europe, Pacific Air Forces, Air National Guard, U.S. Air Force Reserve and Canadian Forces participating in WSEP, William Tell and WIC missile firing programs.

86th Fighter Weapons Squadron 

The 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron conducts the Air Force air-to-ground weapon system evaluation program. The 86th FWS evaluates the total air-to-ground precision guided munitions process including weapon buildup, weapon loading, aircraft, aircrew employment procedures, support equipment, technical data and maintenance actions. The squadron hosts active and guard WSEP deployments annually at Eglin AFB and Hill AFB, Utah. The annual launching of 450-plus PGMs evaluates the Air Force's air-to-ground precision capabilities and also provides full-scale PGM employment training for combat Air Force crews as a secondary objective. The weapons currently evaluated include the AGM-130, EGBU-15, GBU-10, GBU-12, GBU-24, GBU-27, GBU-28, GBU-31 JDAM, AGM-65 Maverick, AGM-86 CALCM, AGM-154 JSOW, AGM-88 High-Speed Anti-radiation Missile, and the Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser. Squadron personnel verify weapon system performance, determine reliability, evaluate capability and limitations, identify deficiencies, recommend corrective action, and maintain Combat Air Force-wide data. The squadron investigates PGM envelopes and evaluates capabilities and limitations to determine future employment requirements. They provide liaison support for pre-deployment, employment, and redeployment of Air Combat Command, United States Air Forces in Europe, Pacific Air Forces, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve assets participating in WSEP.


53rd Wing (ACC)
Office of Public Affairs 
101 West D Ave. Ste. 110
Eglin Air Force Base, FL 32542 

DSN: 523-2945
COMM: (850) 283-2945

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