6595th Aerospace Test Wing

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6595th Aerospace Test Wing
6595th Aerospace Test Wing - Emblem.png
Emblem of the 6595th Aerospace Test Wing
Active 1960-1979
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force

The 6595th Aerospace Test Wing is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the Space and Missile Test Center, Vandenberg AFB, California, and was inactivated on 1 October 1979.

History[edit]

In July 1958, Air Research and Development Command (ARDC) through its Air Force Ballistic Missile Division (AFBMD), the office continued the work of managing launch facility construction. It also conducted research and development flight tests of Thor and Atlas missiles; supported SAC's deployment of operational versions of these missiles; and launched unmanned space vehicles into polar orbit around the earth.

By 1960, the launch rate at Vandenberg had increased four-fold since the first launch in December 1958. To keep pace with this growing momentum, AFBMD enlarged its field office into the 6565th Test Wing (Ballistic Missiles and Space Systems) in October 1960.

In December, the parenthetical designator was changed to "(Development)," though the unit remained the 6565th Test Wing. When ARDC was restructured and redesignated as Air Force Systems Command on April 1, 1961, that same order also reassigned the wing to Space Systems Division in Los Angeles. In November 1961, the wing was redesignated the 6595th Aerospace Test Wing.

On May 15, 1964. At Vandenberg, Headquarters Air Force Western Test Range (AFWTR) was established and was assigned to a new National Range Division, organized at Andrews AFB, Maryland.

Starting in 1970, Air Force System Command (AFSC) and the Strategic Air Command (SAC) organizations at Vandenberg underwent numerous reorganizations and realignments. The first of these major changes involving AFSC units occurred on April 1, 1970. HQ AFWTR, and the 6595th Aerospace Test Wing were realigned under a new organization at Vandenberg called the Space and Missile Test Center (SAMTEC). SAMTEC was assigned to the Space and Missile Systems Organization (SAMSO) in Los Angeles.

In the SAMTEC reorganization, Headquarters AFWTR was inactivated; the 6595th Aerospace Test Wing was restructured by transferring its support elements to the staff of the new organization, and redesignating its primary mission elements from program divisions to 6595th space and missile test groups.

On October 1, 1979, HQ SAMTEC was redesignated Headquarters Space and Missile Test Organization (SAMTO). At the same time, the 6595th Aerospace Test Wing was inactivated

Lineage[edit]

  • Established as 6565th Test Wing (Ballistic Missiles and Space Systems) and activated on 20 October 1960
Re-designated: 6565th Test Wing (Development), 1 December 1960
Re-designated: 6595th Aerospace Test Wing, 1 April 1961
Inactivated on 1 October 1979.

Assignments[edit]

  • Air Force Ballistic Missile Division, 20 October 1960
  • Space Systems Division, Air Force Systems Command, 1 April 1961
  • Space and Missile Test Center (SAMTEC), 1 April 1970 – 1 October 1979

Components[edit]

  • 6595th Missile Test Group, 1 May 1970 – 1 October 1979
  • 6595th Space (later Satellite) Test Group, 1 May 1970 – 1 October 1979
  • 6595th Space Transportation Test Group, 21 May-1 October 1979

Stations[edit]

Major Off-Base and Detached Installations[edit]

  • Bikini Test Site, Marshall Islands, 1 July 1965 – 21 November 1969
  • Eniwetok Auxiliary Field, Kwajalein Island, 1 July 1965 – 16 September 1976
  • South Point AFS, Hawaii, 1 Jul 1965-1 October 1979
18°54′59″N 155°40′36″W / 18.91639°N 155.67667°W / 18.91639; -155.67667 (South Point AFS)
Opened in support of Project Have Lent, a sounding rocket probe program to evaluate advanced ballistic reentry system experiments. The close proximity & aspect angle of South Point to the optical site sensors located on the island of Maui The close proximity & aspect angle of South Point to the optical site sensors located on the island of Maui. In 1979, the Station was divided in 2 parcels located about 1.5 miles apart, containing approximately 6 acres each. One of the sites was the main operations area, while the other areas was used for a boresight tower.

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

External links[edit]