November 27, 2017

Honorary Commanders get glimpse of electronic warfare

Steven Zapka
Edwards AFB, Calif.

A group of honorary commanders and their guests join a cadre of unit commanders from Edwards for a tour and briefing of the Benefield Anechoic Facility. The group learned about the mission of the 412th Electronic Warfare Group by visiting the BAF, the Integrated Facility for Avionics Systems Testing, and the F-22 Raptor compound.

A group of community leaders and their guests visited Edwards Air Force Base in California recently to get a feel for the mission of the 412th Electronic Warfare Group Nov. 17, 2017.

The Honorary Commanders Program pairs community leaders with Air Force commanders at Edwards AFB, which fosters a better working relationship between the base and its neighboring communities.  Honorary commander’s hold the title for two years.

The 20 honorary commanders and their guests were hosted by Col. Leland Davis, commander of the 412th EWG and were joined by a cadre of Edwards’ unit commanders.

The group began the day in the Integrated Facility for Avionics Systems Test, learning the value of electronic warfare testing to the warfighter.  They were divided up into four “flights” and given some aircraft simulator cockpit time. They then visited the Benefield Anechoic Facility and were briefed on the function and capabilities of the facility, which provides an interference-free environment for testing electronic warfare systems.

Aaron Fong, 412th Electronic Warfare Group, briefs Michelle West on her “mission” in the flight simulator during an Honorary Commanders’ event at the Integrated Facility for Flight Avionics Systems Testing.

After touring the BAF facility, the honorary commanders and their respective Edwards’ commanders rejoined in one large group for the mission debrief. The debrief included four hypothetical ingress missions demonstrating the importance of electronic warfare while highlighting the capabilities of the fifth generation F-22 Raptor.

“The big takeaway, we saved you a bunch of physics lessons on the beeps and squeaks of electronic warfare,” said Davis as he addressed his guests.  “We are here to protect those flying the mission and enable them to get back home safely.” 

Next, they visited the F-22 Raptor Combined Test Force, where they received a planeside briefing by Lt. Col. Lee Bryant, commander of the 411th Flight Test Squadron, and Christopher Liebmann, F-22 Flight Systems Integration Lead Engineer, who talked about the importance of electronic warfare and stealth capability in modern warfare.

A group of honorary commanders, their guests, and commanders from Edwards units check out the aircraft hoist in the Benefield Anechoic Facility during an honorary commanders event here. The hoist is used to suspend aircraft in the building for electronic warfare systems testing.

Gregg Garrett, the Tehachapi city manager and 418th Flight Test Squadron’s honorary commander, took part in the day’s events.

“It’s always a pleasure to experience the success stories of the U.S. Air Force,” he said. “The high performance aircraft like the F-22 are tested by the most incredible personnel, they never cease to amaze me. I feel privileged to participate in the process, to share Edwards’ contribution to our regional economy, and our nation’s security.”

The honorary commanders are encouraged to invite their Edwards’ commanders to experience their workplace in the surrounding communities as well.  The visit to the EWG concludes the first year of the HCCs two-year assignment.

The next event will be a briefing and tour of the 412 Mission Support Group in early February 2018.

Col. Leland Davis, 412th Electronic Warfare Group commander, briefs the four flights of honorary commanders on their flight simulator missions during a visit to the Integrated Facility for Avionics Systems Testing facility.

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