412th Test Wing at Edwards AFB restarts flight operations

3 April 2020 (Last Updated April 3rd, 2020 14:31)

The 412th Test Wing assigned to the Air Force Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) has resumed flight operations after the announcement made by the department of Defense (DoD)-wide Health Protection Condition (HPCON) Charlie.

412th Test Wing at Edwards AFB restarts flight operations
An F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 416th Fight Test Squadron taxis after returning a from a test support mission at Edwards AFB. Credit: Air Force photo by Kyle Brasier.

The 412th Test Wing assigned to the Air Force Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) has resumed flight operations after the announcement made by the department of Defense (DoD)-wide Health Protection Condition (HPCON) Charlie.

The announcement comes after a brief adjustment to modify procedures.

According to Grady Fontana of 412th Test Wing Public Affairs, access to the AFB was limited to mission-essential personnel to contain the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, during HPCON C.

In support of test missions, the 411th Flight Test Squadron, 461st Flight Test Squadron, and the 418th Flight Test Squadron are scheduled to fly different sorties.

All these Squadrons are part of the 412th Operations Group, 412th Test Wing.

During resumed operations, Team Edwards sorties included flights on the B-52, C-17, and testing of the F-22 with an F-16 target for a developmental test.

Operational tests were conducted by mission partners at the Joint Operational Test Team flying F-35.

The 412th Test Wing Commander colonel Matthew Higer said: “Team Edwards has made amazing and agile progress the last few days at getting the installation postured toward our ‘new-normal’ test-and-evaluation steady-state in the long fight against Covid-19.

“Our National Defense Strategy requirement to compete, deter, and win against peer competitors, in all warfighting domains, does not go into standby or otherwise pause while we are effectively in combat operations against Covid-19.”

Procedures implemented at the Ridley Mission Control Center on Edwards were reviewed before the operations resumed.

The new sanitisation procedures have been designed to mitigate the health risk to Team Edwards personnel.

Air Force Test Center commander Major General Christopher Azzano said: “My priority, as the Test Center commander, is protecting and preserving the force and its people against the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I am very focused on maintaining unit readiness across all of our test enterprise sites, including Edwards AFB, Eglin AFB, and Arnold Engineering Development Complex.”

Edwards AFB continues to perform its wartime mission despite reduction in manning levels.