412th Test Wing reactivates 445th Test Squadron

  • Published
  • By Giancarlo Casem
  • 412th Test Wing Public Affairs

The 412th Electronic Warfare Group, 412th Test Wing, reactivated the 445th Test Squadron during a ceremony on Edwards Air Force Base, California, June 29.

The 445th Test Squadron’s primary mission will be the Joint Simulation Environment which will provide a state-of-the-art modeling and simulation environment to conduct fifth-generation and next-generation developmental test, operational test, and high-end advanced training and tactics development for the warfighter, as a part of the 412th Electronic Warfare Group. The 445th will be led by Lt. Col. James Peterson who officially took command during the ceremony.

“This is a chance for us to stand up a unit that’s got an amazing heritage and pedigree pushing the unknown…pushing the edge of test, pushing the edge of aviation, pushing the edge of tactics, training and understanding of what the Air Force can do in the air,” said Col. Jay Orson, 412th EWG Commander.

The the 72,000 sq. ft. Edwards JSE aims to replicate dense-threat environments that can’t be realized strictly with open-air test resources, it is one of two JSEs within the Air Force Test Center enterprise, with the other one at Nellis AFB, Nevada. The JSE at Edwards will support 8 High-Fidelity Dome Simulators, space to house additional dome simulators, test control rooms, support space for cyber and space test operations, data analysis and knowledge management. 

The 445th’s history dates back to 1943 as the 445th Fighter Squadron (Special), assigned to the 50th Fighter Group, as a training unit. It later became the first squadron designated solely for fighter jets.

By 1994, it had changed from a training unit to a flight test squadron, where it would stay in that role until it was deactivated in 2001.

It was reactivated as a consolidated Test Operations Squadron under the 412th Operations Group, in March 2004.  In this role it conducted projects unaffiliated with any of the Wing’s Combined Test Forces and flew F-16s for photo and safety chase.  It served the 412th Operations Group in that capacity until it was inactivated again on May 1, 2015. 

“This is truly a historic moment,” said Col. Jay Orson, 412th EWG Commander. “Not only are we standing up a new squadron, we’re also putting in a really good commander.”

After the orders to reactivate the 445th was read, the new commander, Peterson, took time to address his new team.

“I look forward to taking on this challenge, and to members of the reinstated 445th, this is my pledge to you: that I will do my utmost to support everyone in the squadron to the best of my ability and know that I work for you to ensure your success and the accomplishment of our critical mission, the United States and its allies. My second pledge to you is: I will not make these decisions in a vacuum. I will listen to the advice of those around me. And if I don't do these things, please call me out and set me straight,” Peterson said.

As the construction on the Edwards JSE continues along and following the unit’s reactivation, Peterson noted that the 445th’s work is far from over.

“We have a new and exciting mission, building and maintaining the digital test range for advanced aircraft fleet,” he said. “But as you know the work doesn't stop here with the standup there's still years of work left before we're ready for primetime.”