Gearing Up

The Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, headquartered at Kirtland AFB, N.M., on Oct. 2 stood up a detachment at Edwards AFB, Calif., to lead the operational test and evaluation of the F-35 stealth fighter. Det. 1, as it is known, will bring 581 personnel to Edwards for the aircraft’s initial operational test and evaluation phase. “AFOTEC will serve as the lead operational test agency for this the multi-service and multi-national initial operational test and evaluation, and we are already conducting operational assessments,” said Maj. Gen. Stephen Sargeant, AFOTEC commander. The Air Force will conduct the operational testing together with the Navy and Marine Corps as well as the British Royal Air Force and Dutch Air Force. (Kirtland release) (For more on the F-35’s maturation, read Fighter of the Future from the July 2009 issue of Air Force Magazine.)