A combined Reserve and active duty test team from Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., conducted an AGM-158B Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile drop from an F-15E, Jan. 7, 2021.
JASSM is a long-range, conventional, air-to-ground, precision standoff missile for the U.S. and allied forces.
While the F-15E is the leading delivery platform for JASSM in the Area of Responsibility, the missile release at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., was the first JASSM dropped by any unit from Nellis AFB.
This multi-agency combined test event was intended to validate enhanced hardware and software that will improve the lethality of the F-15E and other delivery platforms.
“This JASSM test was multiple firsts for both the reserve and active duty agencies involved in the flying and planning of the mission at Nellis,” said Maj. Derek Anderson, 706th Fighter Squadron director of operations.
The test was the first live JASSM mission executed by 57th Wing Airmen from ammo, weapons and maintenance. It was also the first live JASSM mission flown by the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron Total Force Integration aircrew.
The test was a culmination of three years’ worth of planning and coordination between multiple agencies and was led by Maj. Ryan Mobley, 706th FS assistant director of operations and F-15E test director.
“The continuity reservists provide in test is invaluable,” said Anderson. “Without Maj. Mobley advocating and coordinating with the system program office, industry, and the 53rd WG over the last couple of years we would not have reached this point.”
JASSM was fielded on the F-15E in 2013 and is currently integrated on the Air Force’s B-1B, B-2, B-52, F-16 and F-15E.
Anderson said testing a live JASSM at Nellis AFB was important from an operational test perspective.
“From the operational test side that we do at Nellis, we had only seen it [JASSM] in training, we had never employed one off an operational test jet here,” Anderson said. “Even with this one sortie we will be able to provide valuable feedback to the software engineers of changes that we need to get incorporated.”
By employing a live JASSM system on the aircraft both the ground and aircrew were able to see what a live system looks like.
“Everything looks different in the jet when we have an actual weapon, versus a simulated one,” Anderson said. “When its simulated there is never any errors or cautions, nothing ever goes wrong, where with the actual weapon you’re getting the feedback that we can pass on to Combat Air Forces in the AOR.”
Anderson said at the end of the day, the coordination between the Airmen from the 57th WG, 53rd WG, 96th Test WG and 926th WG to get the mission executed out of Nellis AFB was a testament to the hard work from all the agencies involved and he looks forward to future JASSM test missions.