No. 1 Priority for CFACC

Testers at Air Combat Command’s 53rd Wing, Eglin AFB, Fla., recently combined upgrade testing and Sniper targeting pod training utilizing a borrowed B-1B from Dyess AFB, Tex. Wing personnel conducted a Tail Warning Function Spiral 2 force development evaluation to verify the new hardware and software upgrades work as expected to detect missiles or aircraft approaching a Bone from the rear. Another Eglin unit, the wing’s 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron, provided F-16s to serve as approaching aircraft. Initial results looked good. For the Sniper portion, the wing’s Dyess-based 337th TES also brought along weapons systems officers to train with the 85th TES F-16 pilots who have Sniper experience. The ultimate aim was to validate the proposed B-1 academics to teach operational Bone aircrews in the use of the new targeting pod. “It’s important to learn from the guys who’ve been flying with the pod for awhile,” said Lt. Col. Chris Brunner, 337th TES commander. It also has set the stage for operational testing at Edwards AFB, Calif. Brunner said that completing Sniper pod testing for the B-1B is No. 2 out of 250 priority test items for ACC, but it’s one notch higher for the Combined Force Air Component Commander in Southwest Asia, who wants to ensure the pod is operational for the next B-1 rotation to SWA. (Eglin report by Capt. Carrie Kessler)