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|United States Air Force Warfare Center|
Emblem of the United States Air Force Warfare Center
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Part of||Air Combat Command|
|Garrison/HQ||Nellis AFB, Nevada|
|Major Gen. Peter E. Gersten|
The United States Air Force Warfare Center (USAFWC) at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, reports directly to Air Combat Command. The Center was founded September 1, 1966, as the U.S. Air Force Tactical Fighter Weapons Center. It was renamed the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center in 2005.
The USAF Warfare Center manages advanced pilot training and integrates many of the Air Force's test and evaluation requirements. It was established in 1966 as the USAF Tactical Fighter Weapons Center which concentrated on the development of forces and weapons systems that were specifically geared to tactical air operations in conventional (non-nuclear) war and contingencies. It continued to perform this mission for nearly thirty years, undergoing several name changes in the 1990s. In 1991, the center became the USAF Fighter Weapons Center, and then the USAF Weapons and Tactics Center in 1992.
The USAF Warfare Center uses the lands and airspace of the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR) – which occupies about three million acres (12,000 km²) of land, the largest such range in the United States, and another five-million-acre (20,000 km²) military operating area which is shared with civilian aircraft. The center also uses Eglin AFB, FL, range, which adds even greater depth to the center's capabilities, providing over water and additional electronic expertise to the center.
The USAF Warfare Center oversees operations of the 57th Wing, the NTTR, and the 99th Air Base Wings at Nellis AFB, Nevada; the 53rd Wing at Eglin AFB, Florida (with Geographically Separated Units at Tyndall AFB, Florida and Holloman AFB, New Mexico); and the 505th Command and Control Wing at Hurlburt Field, Florida.
- 53d Wing (53 WG)
- The 53d Wing serves as the focal point for the combat air forces in electronic combat, armament and avionics, chemical defense, reconnaissance, command and control, and aircrew training devices.
- 57th Wing (57 WG)
- The 57th Wing is responsible for a variety of activities, such as Red Flag, which provides realistic training in a combined air, ground and electronic threat environment for U.S. and allied forces. It is also the parent unit for both the USAF Weapons School (USAFWS) and the USAF Air Demonstration Squadron, the latter better known as the United States Air Force Thunderbirds.
- Previously known as the 98th Range Wing (98 RANW), the military organization known as NTTR provides command and control of the actual Nevada Test and Training Range facility located north and northwest of Nellis AFB. The 25th Space Range Squadron (SRS) operates and maintains the Space Test and Training Range and is a subordinate unit the NTTR.
- 99th Air Base Wing (99 ABW)
- The 99th Air Base Wing is the host wing at Nellis AFB and manages the day-to-day operations of the base.
- 505th Command and Control Wing (505 CCW)
- The 505th CCW is dedicated to improving warfighter readiness through integrated training, tactics, and testing for operational-level command and control of air, space, and cyber power. It hosts the Air Force's only Air Operations Center Formal Training Unit (FTU).
By the mid-1960s, USAF aircraft and aircrew losses in the Vietnam War had convinced Tactical Air Command (TAC) of the need to improve technical and operational skills for the widening conflict. TAC established the Tactical Fighter Weapons Center at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada in 1966 for the expressed purpose of improving fighter operations and tactics. Nellis AFB had been referred to as the "Home of the Fighter Pilot" since the Korean War period of the early 1950s, and had a long history of conducting postgraduate fighter training and operational testing and evaluation of fighter weapons systems. Additionally, the Nellis Range, largest in the free world, readily complemented the new center's mission.
- Established as the USAF Tactical Fighter Weapons Center in 1966
- Redesignated: USAF Fighter Weapons Center in 1991
- Redesignated: USAF Weapons and Tactics Center in 1992
- Redesignated: USAF Warfare Center in 2005.
Operational units assigned to the USAFWC have been:
- 4545th Fighter Warfare Wing, 1966 – 22 August 1969
- 57th Fighter Weapons Wing, 22 August 1969 – 1 April 1977
- Redesignated: 57th Tactical Training Wing, 1 April 1977 – 1 March 1980
- Redesignated: 57th Fighter Wing, 1 October 1991 – 15 June 1993
- Redesignated: 57th Wing, June 15, 1993 – present
- 57th Fighter 1 November 1991 – present
- 57th Test: 1 November 1991 – 1 October 1996
- 4440th Tactical Fighter Training (Red Flag)
- Attached 1 October 1979 – 28 February 1980
- Assigned 1 March 1980 – 1 November 1991
- 4443d Tactical Training: 26 January 1990 – 1 November 1991
- 64th Fighter Weapons (later, 64th Tactical Fighter Training Aggressor; 64th Aggressor): 15 October 1972 – 5 October 1990.
- 65th Fighter Weapons (later, 65th Tactical Fighter Training Aggressor; 65th Aggressor): 15 October 1969 – 7 April 1989.
- 66th Fighter Weapons: 15 October 1969 – 30 December 1981
- 414th Fighter Weapons: 15 October 1969 – 30 December 1981
- 422d Fighter Weapons (later, 422d Test and Evaluation): 15 October 1969 – 1 November 1991
- 431st Fighter Weapons (later, 431st Test and Evaluation): 1 October 1980 – 1 November 1991
- 433d Fighter Weapons: 1 October 1976 – 30 December 1981
- 4460th Helicopter: 1 November 1983 – 1 June 1985
- 4477th Test and Evaluation Flight (later, 4477th Test and Evaluation Squadron): 1 April 1977 – 15 July 1990
- USAF Air Demonstration Squadron: 15 February 1974 – present
- USAF Official biography, Major General Peter E. Gersten
- "U.S. Air Force Warfare Center Fact Sheet". Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
- "U.S. Air Force Historical Research Agency, 57th Wing". Archived from the original on May 7, 2011. Retrieved October 2, 2008.