17th Test Squadron

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17th Test Squadron
17th test squadron (from March 2010).jpg
17th Test Squadron emblem
Active 1990-1992; 1995 – present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Test
Role Test and Evaluation
Part of ACC
Garrison/HQ Schriever AFB, Colorado
Motto Ex Scientia Vera (From Knowledge, Truth)
Colors Orange & Black
Decorations Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA x9
Organizational Excellence ribbon.svg AFOEA x2
Lt Col Todd Bridges

The 17th Test Squadron (17 TS) is a United States Air Force test and evaluation unit, located at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado. 17 TS is tasked with testing and evaluating space systems and associated support equipment.


The mission of the 17th Test Squadron is to enhance the military utility of space power through the Operational Test and Evaluation of space systems.[1]

The official 17 TS Vision is Building a world-class Operational Test and Evaluation team that provides operationally-relevant, timely and unbiased assessments.[1]


On 6 April 1990, at Peterson AFB CO the 1017th Test and Evaluation Squadron was activated. The mission of the 1017th was to perform Air Staff-directed Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) and Follow-on Operational Test and Evaluation (FOT&E) of Air Force Space Command space surveillance, missile warning, and command and control systems. The Squadron oversaw two operating locations at Falcon AFB (since renamed Schriever AFB) and Buckley ANGB (since redesignated as an AFB). The unit inactivated on 15 October 1992.[2]

On 12 July 1995, the unit officially reactivated as the 17th Test Squadron. Special Order GD-018 stated, "The 1017th Test and Evaluation Squadron, having been redesignated as the 17th Test Squadron and assigned to Air Force Space Command, is activated at Falcon AFB, Colorado, and further assigned to the Space Warfare Center effective 21 July 1995...Operating Location A, 17th Test Squadron is designated and activated at Cheyenne Mountain AS, Colorado...Personnel, supplies, equipment, funds and records will be absorbed by the 17th Test Squadron."[3]

The stand-up ceremony was held on Friday, 21 July 1996, in the Presentation Center of the Joint National Test Facility at 1300. The special guests included Col Burkhart, the 50th Space Wing (50 SW) Vice Commander; Col Deese, the AFSPC Comptroller; Col Kingsberry, from the AFSPC Division of Space Control; Col Mercier, Commander of Detachment 4 of the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center; and Col Springer, from AFSPC Division of Training and Standardization. After the reading of the activation orders, the 17 TS guidon was unsheathed, symbolizing the creation of a new USAF squadron. Then the guidon was passed to Col Howard J. Fry, the Commander of the Space Warfare Center and the Presiding Officer for the stand-up. Colonel Fry passed the guidon to Lt Col Carl Cox, the first Commander of the 17 TS, signifying the passing of all legal and operational responsibilities. At the formation of the squadron, manning was at just over ten people.[4]

As of 1 April 2013 the 17th Test Squadron was transferred to Air Combat Command under the 53rd Wing, located at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., which serves as the focal point for the Combat Air Forces in electronic warfare, armament and avionics, chemical defense, reconnaissance, and aircrew training devices. The wing reports to the Air Warfare Center at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, a Direct Reporting Unit to Headquarters Air Combat Command. The wing is also responsible for operational testing and evaluation of new equipment and systems proposed for use by these forces.

Previous designations[edit]

  • 17th Test Squadron (30 June 1995 – present)
  • 1017th Test and Evaluation Squadron (6 April 1990 – 15 October 1992)


Major command[edit]





Squadron Award Start Stop Order Order date
1017 TES AFOUA Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg 06-April–90 05-April–92 GA-094 20-April–92
17 TS AFOUA Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg 31-July–96 30-July–98 GA-05 14-December–98
17 TS AFOUA Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg 31-July–98 30-August–99 GA-60 06-December–99
17 TS AFOUA Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg 01-January–00 30-September–01 GA-19 08-January–02
17 TS AFOEA Organizational Excellence ribbon.svg 01-September–02 01-September–03 GA-14 20-January–04
17 TS AFOEA Organizational Excellence ribbon.svg 02-September–03 31-August–04 GA-12 10-January–05
17 TS AFOUA Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg 01-September–04 31-August–05 GA-11 08-Mar-06
17 TS AFOUA Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg 01-September–05 31-August–06 GA-16 03-January–07
17 TS AFOUA Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg 01-September–06 31-August–07 GA-06 17-November–07
17 TS AFOUA Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg 01-September–07 31-August–08 GA-13 11-December–08
17 TS AFOUA Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg 01-September–08 31-August–09 GA-16 08-December–09

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Restricted Air Force Knowledge Now Community of Practice". Archived from the original on 9 September 2009. Retrieved 7 September 2009. 
  2. ^ Extracts of Report (U), HQ AFSPC/XPM, "Command Organization Chart Book," 1 October 1995 – 1 October 1997, 1 April 1999, SD II-69-77; Mission Directive, HQ AFSPC/XP, "Organization and Mission - Field, 17th Test Squadron (17 TS)," 2 January 1998, SD II-79; AFSPC and Rpt, SWC, [swc authorizations], 1 August 1999, SD II-80; Memo (U), HQ USAF/PE to AFSPC/XP, "Organizational Change Request for activation of the 17th Test Squadron," 29 June 1995, SD II-81; BP, 1017 TS, "History of the 1017th Test and Evaluation Squadron," ntd, SD II-82.
  3. ^ Order , HQ AFSPC Special Order GD-018.
  4. ^ Request and Authorization for Assumption of/Appointment to Command, HQ SWC Special Order GU-001.