Reorganizing Test and Development?

According to a May 16 report out of Arnold Engineering Development Center in Tennessee, the Air Force is considering forming the Air Force Developmental Test and Evaluation Center to combine AEDC, redesignated as the 704th Test Wing, and the 46th Test Wing at Eglin AFB, Fla., and 412th Test Wing at Edwards AFB, Calif., under a single umbrella. Apparently the proposal does not call for physical movement of the three entities, but it would spell the end of the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards. The new AFDTEC, which would replace AFFTC, is the product of more than a year studying how to best reform the Air Force’s test community to keep pace with “the needs and expectations of our customers,” said Dave Bond, AFFTC executive director and lead on the initiative. Bond was in Tennessee recently and told AEDC and community representatives and elected officials that the service expected some cost savings from the effort but that is not the primary driver. (Earlier discussion of moving the Eglin test wing to California raised lawmaker hackles, prompting an independent review that noted the monetary savings would be less than the Air Force had expected.) Bond said that the current plan would not result in forced personnel moves, but the service does expect to reduce about 200 jobs through attrition. He called this a first step toward a larger effort that would create a test entity that would report directly to the Air Force Chief of Staff. (AEDC report by Philip Lorenz III)