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ICBM Developmental Test Branch at Hill stood up as 719th Test Squadron

  • Published
  • By Deidre Moon
  • AEDC Public Affairs

The Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Development Test Branch at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, stood up as the 719th Test Squadron during a ceremony Aug. 31.

As a unit of the Arnold Engineering Development Complex, headquartered at Arnold AFB, Lt. Col. Jason Heersche, commander of the 719 TS, stated the standing up of the squadron is to align with AEDC moving to a wing construct.

“The unit currently operates as a branch and is being converted to a numbered squadron in order to support developmental testing of ICBMs,” Heersche said. “This includes sustainment and upgrade testing of the fielded Minuteman III [MMIII] weapon system and the development of the replacement Sentinel weapon system. The squadron is expected to grow over the next couple of years to support the engineering and manufacturing development of the Sentinel ICBM leading to first missile flight and with the goal of fielding the system to all three ICBM wings.”

In May of this year, AEDC activated the 804th Test Group as part of its reorganization toward a more traditional Air Force structure. The 804 TG, formerly designated as the AEDC Test Division, consists of the 719 TS, four squadrons, which were stood up in May, and two branches. The other squadrons are the 716th Test Squadron, formerly the Aerodynamic Test Branch; the 717th Test Squadron, formerly the Propulsion Test Branch; the 718th Test Squadron, formerly the Space Test Branch; the 804th Test Support Squadron, formerly the Test Systems Branch and was previously the Test Systems Sustainment Division. The branches are the Integrated Analysis Branch, formerly the Technology, Analysis and Evaluation Branch; and the Hypersonic Systems Test Branch.

An integral part of the developmental test and evaluation for the modernization and service life extension of ICBMs, the 719 TS, which includes a Sentinel Combined Test Force, provides personnel with the necessary skills to support ICBM developmental test and evaluation.

The squadron also works alongside the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center MMIII and Sentinel Program Offices, the 576th Flight Test Squadron at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, and the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center.