85th Test and Evaluation Squadron

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85th Test and Evaluation Squadron
85th Test and Evaluation Squadron General Dynamics F-16D Block 40K Fighting Falcon 90-0799.jpg
85th TES F-16D Fighting Falcon over the northwest Florida coastline during an evaluation mission in 2004
Active 9 February 1942 - 15 July 1947
1 November 1952 - 1 July 1959
12 April 1971 - Present
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Role Weapon system testing and evaluation
Part of Air Combat Command
Air Force Warfare Center
53d Wing
53d Test and Evaluation Group
Garrison/HQ Eglin Air Force Base, Florida
Engagements Mediterranean Theater of Operations
Decorations Distinguished Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
85th Test and Evaluation Squadron emblem (approved 8 August 1984, modified 26 May 1987)[1] 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron.jpg

The 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron (85 TES) is part of the 53d Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. It conducts testing and evaluation for the F-15 Eagle, F-15E Strike Eagle, and F-16 Fighting Falcon airframes.


The 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron is responsible for conducting operational test and evaluation, tactics development, and programs for F-15C, F-15E, and F-16CM aircraft. It uses specially instrumented aircraft to test and evaluate current and future weapons, the newest air-to ground munitions, air-to-air missiles, electronic warfare systems, and associated components and avionics.[2]

The squadron provides operational fighter expertise to United States Air Force Headquarters, Department of Defense agencies, and the aerospace industry in developing future aircraft and in employment techniques and concepts. The 85th focuses on air-to-air missile employment and tactics, suppression and destruction of enemy air defenses and lethal precision engagement.[2]


World War II[edit]

Activated on 9 February 1942. Moved to Egypt, October–November 1942, and became part of Ninth Air Force.

Trained with Curtiss P-40 Warhawks's while moving westward in the wake of the British drive across Egypt and Libya to Tunisia. Although many of the unit's pilots flew combat missions with other organizations, the 79th group itself did not begin operations until March 1943. By escorting bombers, attacking enemy shipping, and supporting ground forces, took part in the Allied operations that defeated Axis forces in North Africa, captured Pantelleria, and conquered Sicily.

Assigned to Twelfth Air Force in August 1943 and continued to support British Eighth Army by attacking troop concentrations, gun positions, bridges, roads, and rail lines in southern Italy. Operated in the area of the Anzio beachhead, January–March 1944. Participated in the drive on Rome, March–June 1944, and converted to P-47 Thunderbolts during that time. Flew escort and strafing missions in southern France during August and September 1944, and afterward engaged in air interdiction and close air support operations in northern Italy.

Remained overseas as part of United States Air Forces in Europe after the war as part of the occupation force. Transferred, without personnel and equipment, to the US in June 1947. Inactivated on 15 July 1947.

Air Defense Command[edit]

Patch with 85th FIS emblem (approved 7 Aug 1953)[3]
85th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron North American F-86D Sabre 52-3725 in May 1957

Reactivated in 1952 as part of Air Defense Command as an air defense squadron, initially equipped with F-51D Mustang fighters at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois with a mission for the air defense of St Louis and the western Ohio River Valley. Re-equipped in January 1953 with F-86D Sabre Interceptors. In 1957 began re-equipping with the North American F-86L Sabre, an improved version of the F-86D which incorporated the Semi Automatic Ground Environment, or SAGE computer-controlled direction system for intercepts. The service of the F-86L destined to be quite brief, since by the time the last F-86L conversion was delivered, the type was already being phased out in favor of supersonic interceptors, inactivated on 1 March 1960.[1]


85th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron

  • Constituted as the 85th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on 13 January 1942
Activated on 9 February 1942
Redesignated 85th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) (Twin Engine) on 31 January 1942
Redesignated 85th Fighter Squadron (Twin Engine) on 15 May 1942
Redesignated 85th Fighter Squadron on 10 September 1942
Redesignated 85th Fighter Squadron, Single Engine on 21 August 1944
Inactivated on 15 July 1947
  • Redesignated 85th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron on 11 September 1952
Activated on 1 November 1952
Inactivated on 1 July 1959
  • Consolidated on 15 Dec 1991 with the 4485th Test Squadron as the 4485th Test Squadron[4]

85th Test and Evaluation Squadron

  • Designated as the 4485th Test Squadron and activated on 12 April 1971.
  • Consolidated on 15 Dec 1991 with the 85th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron
Redesignated 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron on 1 Dec 1991[4]


Bases stationed[edit]

Aircraft Operated[edit]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b "Factsheet 85 Test and Evaluation Squadron". Air Force Historical Research Agency. March 31, 2008. 
  2. ^ a b "53rd Wing Fact Sheet". 96th Test Wing Public Affairs. October 22, 2013. Archived from the original on 27 December 2010. Retrieved March 17, 2014. 
  3. ^ Maurer, p. 295
  4. ^ a b c d e Lineage, including assignments, stations, and aircraft in AFHRA Factsheet
  5. ^ a b Station Number in Johnson


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

External links[edit]