The Air Force has approved an Organizational Change Request to realign selected Air Force Test Center [Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.] operations and facilities from several separate locations under one commander at Arnold Engineering Development Complex, Tenn.
This change consolidates the current capabilities of the AEDC at Arnold AFB, Tenn.; the Hypersonic Combined Test Force, which is currently part of the 412th Test Wing at Edwards AFB, Calif.; and all the current capabilities of the 96th Test Group, headquartered at Holloman AFB, N.M.; and the McKinley Climatic Laboratory at Eglin AFB, Fla. The 96th TG and the MCL are currently part of the 96th Test Wing at Eglin AFB, Fla.
Additional capabilities to be consolidated are located at the Federal Research Center at White Oak, Maryland and operating locations at Kirtland AFB, N.M.; Moffett Federal Airfield, Calif.; Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio; and the Army’s White Sands Missile Range, N.M.
As part of this action the 96th Test Group and 796th Test Support Squadron at Holloman will be inactivated and will then be activated as the 704th Test Group and 704th Test Support Squadron, respectively.
The duty locations, manpower authorizations and resources of the 704th TG and 704th TSS will be exactly the same as the inactivated 96th TG and 796th TSS. Only the parent unit will change — from the 96th TW to AEDC. This realignment will only impact the administrative reporting chain of the affected organizations and will not require the transfer of personnel or any change in missions at those locations.
“This Air Force approval of these organizational realignments is a major step toward achieving an objective set by the AFTC in 2015, said Maj. Gen. David A. Harris, commander, AFTC.
“These changes give us the right fit to help us deliver the best value to the war fighter, who we support every day,” Harris said.
“We are continually looking for opportunities to leverage our assets and develop synergies that will help us be the best, most efficient test force we can be. These changes allow us a better balance of management, resources and advocacy across the test enterprise and will make us a more agile tester of choice today and tomorrow,” Harris said.
The center is also waiting for Air Force approval to designate AEDC as a wing-equivalent-organization. That designation would allow the center to select the next AEDC commander from the Command Screening Board. The center anticipates a decision on that request could come later this year.