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News > Arnold mission becomes part of Air Force Test Center
Arnold mission becomes part of Air Force Test Center

Posted 7/6/2012   Updated 7/6/2012 Email story   Print story



7/6/2012 - ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. -- The Arnold Engineering and Development Center was re-designated as a complex during a ceremony here July 6.

Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger, commander of Air Force Materiel Command, officiated the ceremony.

As one of the Air Force's key facilities for testing air and space systems, the complex is part of an AFMC construct that consolidates the command's number of centers from 12 to five.

The consolidation, announced in November 2011, is a major part of AFMC's response to a Congressional challenge to find efficiencies and save tax dollars. By eliminating overhead, the command will improve the way it accomplishes its mission, ultimately providing better support to the warfighter. The restructure will standardize processes and save about $109 million annually.

"Arnold AFB and its people will continue to be critical to AFMC achieving its mission of providing warfighter support," Wolfenbarger said. "The work done here is important not only to the AFMC mission, but to the greater Air Force mission as well."

Under the five-center consolidation, the complex will report to the Air Force Test Center at Edwards AFB, Calif. Formerly the Air Force Flight Test Center, AFTC was also re-designated July 6, although its ceremony will not take place until July 13.

Also reporting to the Edwards center will be AFMC's 96th Test Wing at Eglin AFB, Fla., and the 412th TW at Edwards.

The missions at each location will continue at their respective bases, but without redundant command staffs, thus eliminating layers of management overhead.

Re-designation of the center at Edwards, the establishment the Air Force Sustainment Center at Tinker AFB, Okla., and the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, are the first major steps of a transition phase during which center frameworks will be built and units will be assigned, leading up to initial operational capability on Oct. 1. Full operational capability is planned for mid-2013.

The test, sustainment and life cycle management centers will be joined by the present Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson and the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center at Kirtland AFB, N.M., to complete AFMC's five-center line-up.

Editorial Note: Arnold Engineering Development Complex is the nation's largest complex of flight simulation test facilities. The center was dedicated in June 1951 by President Harry Truman and named after 5-star General of the Air Force Henry 'Hap' Arnold, visionary leader of the Army Air Forces in World War II and the only airman to hold 5-Star rank. This complex has a replacement value of $11.3 billion for the 30 active test cells located at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn., and the center's two remote operating locations - the Hypervelocity Tunnel 9 in White Oak, Md., and the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex (NFAC) located on NASA'

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