United States Air Force Warfare Center

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United States Air Force Warfare Center
USAF - Warfare Center.png
Emblem of the United States Air Force Warfare Center
Active 1966–present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Role Warfare Training
Part of Air Combat Command
Garrison/HQ Nellis AFB, Nevada
Commanders
Current
commander
Major Gen. Jay B. Silveria[1][2]
A flight of Aggressor F-15 Eagles and F-16 Fighting Falcons fly in formation over the Nevada Test and Training Range
The first F-22A assigned to the USAFWC
USAF Thunderbirds, part of the United States Air Force Warfare Center
An HH-60G Pave Hawk retrieves a pararescueman as an A-10 Thunderbolt II provides cover fire during a firepower demonstration on the Nellis bombing range.

The United States Air Force Warfare Center (USAFWC) at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, reports directly to Air Combat Command. The Center was founded 1 September 1966, as the U.S. Air Force Tactical Fighter Weapons Center. It was renamed the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center in 2005.[3]

Overview[edit]

The United States Air Force Warfare Center manages advanced pilot training and integrates many of the Air Force's test and evaluation requirements. It was established in 1966 as the USAF Tactical Fighter Weapons Center which concentrated on the development of forces and weapons systems that were specifically geared to tactical air operations in conventional (non-nuclear) war and contingencies. It continued to perform this mission for nearly thirty years, undergoing several name changes in the 1990s. In 1991, the center became the USAF Fighter Weapons Center, and then the USAF Weapons and Tactics Center in 1992.[3]

The Air Warfare Center uses the lands on Nellis Air Force Range Complex – which occupies about three million acres (12,000 km²) of land, the largest such range in the United States, and another five-million-acre (20,000 km²) military operating area which is shared with civilian aircraft. The center also uses Eglin AFB, FL, range, which adds even greater depth to the center's capabilities, providing over water and additional electronic expertise to the center.[3]

The Air Warfare Center oversees operations of the 57th Wing, the 98th Range and 99th Air Base Wings at Nellis AFB, Nevada; the 53rd Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, and the 505th Command and Control Wing at Hurlburt Field, Florida.[3]

Units[edit]

The 53d Wing serves as the focal point for the combat air forces in electronic combat, armament and avionics, chemical defense, reconnaissance, command and control, and aircrew training devices.
The 57th Wing is responsible for a variety of activities, such as Red Flag, which provides realistic training in a combined air, ground and electronic threat environment for U.S. and allied forces.
The 98th Range Wing provides command and control of the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR).
The 99th Air Base Wing is the host wing at Nellis AFB and manages the day-to-day operations of the base.
The 505 CCW is dedicated to improving warfighter readiness through integrated training, tactics, and testing for operational-level command and control of air, space, and cyber power. It hosts the Air Force's only Air Operations Center Formal Training Unit (FTU).[3]

History[edit]

The Vietnam War had begun by the mid 1960s, and Tactical Air Command needed to improve technical and operational skills for the widening war. TAC established the Tactical Fighter Weapons Center at Nellis Air Force Base, NV in 1966, for fighter operations. Nellis had been the "Home of the Fighter Pilot" since the Korean War days of the early 1950s, and conducted postgraduate fighter training and operational testing and evaluation of fighter weapons systems. Additionally, the Nellis range, largest in the free world, complemented the new Center's mission.

Lineage[edit]

  • Established as the USAF Tactical Fighter Weapons Center in 1966
Redesignated: USAF Fighter Weapons Center in 1991
Redesignated: USAF Weapons and Tactics Center in 1992
Redesignated: USAF Warfare Center in 2005.

Assignments[edit]

Units assigned[edit]

Operational units assigned to the USAFWC have been:[4]

Wing

  • 4545th Fighter Warfare Wing, 1966 – 22 August 1969
  • 57th Fighter Weapons Wing, 22 August 1969 – 1 April 1977
Redesignated: 57th Tactical Training Wing, 1 April 1977 – 1 March 1980
Redesignated: 57th Fighter Wing, 1 October 1991 – 15 June 1993
Redesignated: 57th Wing, 15 June 1993 – present

Groups

  • 57th Fighter 1 November 1991–present
  • 57th Test: 1 November 1991-1 October 1996
  • 4440th Tactical Fighter Training (Red Flag)
Attached 1 October 1979-28 February 1980
Assigned 1 March 1980-1 November 1991
  • 4443d Tactical Training: 26 January 1990-1 November 1991

Squadrons

  • 64th Fighter Weapons (later, 64th Tactical Fighter Training Aggressor; 64th Aggressor): 15 October 1972-5 October 1990.
  • 65th Fighter Weapons (later, 65th Tactical Fighter Training Aggressor; 65th Aggressor): 15 October 1969-7 April 1989.
  • 66th Fighter Weapons: 15 October 1969-30 December 1981
  • 414th Fighter Weapons: 15 October 1969-30 December 1981
  • 422d Fighter Weapons (later, 422d Test and Evaluation): 15 October 1969-1 November 1991
  • 431st Fighter Weapons (later, 431st Test and Evaluation): 1 October 1980-1 November 1991
  • 433d Fighter Weapons: 1 October 1976-30 December 1981
  • 4460th Helicopter: 1 November 1983-1 June 1985
  • 4477th Test and Evaluation Flight (later, 4477th Test and Evaluation Squadron): 1 April 1977-15 July 1990
  • USAF Air Demonstration: 15 February 1974–present

Aircraft flown[edit]

source[4]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.