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576TH FLIGHT TEST SQUADRON

Posted 1/30/2015 Printable Fact Sheet

Mission

Located at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., the 576th Flight Test Squadron is America's only dedicated ICBM test squadron professionally executing tests that accurately measure the current and future capability of the ICBM force.

Mission Description

In executing the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Initial Operational Test and Evaluation and Force Development Evaluation programs, the 576th Flight Test Squadron prepares for and conducts ground and flight tests to collect, analyze, and report performance, accuracy, and reliability data for the Joint Staff, USSTRATCOM, Air Staff, and Air Force Global Strike Command. The 576th Flight Test Squadron identifies missile system requirements, demonstrates current and future war fighting capabilities, and validates missile system improvements and upgrades.

Vision

To be the premiere testing organization of America's best ICBM maintainers and operators validating, verifying and ultimately improving the nation's most powerful weapon systems.

Goals

1) Conduct safe, secure and valid operational tests that accurately measure the current and future capability of the nation's ICBM force.
2) Develop the world's best nuclear Airmen prepared to lead tomorrow's ICBM enterprise.
3) Validate new equipment and provide modern, flexible infrastructure for America's ICBM weapon systems.

Unit History

The 576th Flight Test Squadron was first activated at Davis-Monthan Field, Arizona, on Jan. 26, 1943 as the 576th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) where it participated in the strategic bombardment campaigns of Europe and Germany as part of Eighth Air Force. Its involvement during the Normandy invasion and the Battle of the Bulge resulted in seven European-African-Middle Eastern Theater campaign streamers and one Distinguished Unit Citation.

The 576th was deactivated on Sept. 13, 1945 with the close of World War II. It was reactivated on Sept. 24, 1947 as a very heavy bombardment squadron at Barksdale Field Louisiana, and then changed to a light jet bomb squadron mission in November 1947. After being again deactivated in November 1949, the squadron was reactivated on Mar. 6, 1958 as the 576th Strategic Missile Squadron (SMS) assigned to Cook AFB (later renamed Vandenberg AFB). On Apr. 1, 1958, the 576th was assigned to the Strategic Air Command (SAC) as an Atlas Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) unit, the nation's first ICBM unit. On Apr. 2, 1966, the 576th was once again deactivated.

Redesignated the 576th Test Squadron on Aug. 29, 1991, it was again activated on Sept. 1, 1991 as part of the activation of the Twentieth Air Force, America's only ICBM numbered Air Force. The 576th designation was chosen to ensure the history and lineage of the squadron would continue with the important job of testing ICBMs. The 576th has almost made a complete circle since the 576th Strategic Missile Squadron tested the Atlas missile in the late 50's and early 60's. In July 1993, the 576th was assigned to the Fourteenth Air Force at Vandenberg AFB. The squadron was re-designated the 576th Flight Test Squadron (FLTS) on July 1, 1994. Then, on Feb. 22, 1996 the squadron was reassigned from the Fourteenth Air Force to Space Warfare Center (SWC) at Schriever AFB, Colorado.

The 576th Flight Test Squadron has a very long and distinguished history in the Air Force. On Mar. 14, 1996, the 576th, the 30th Maintenance Squadron (MXS), and portions of the 30th Logistics Squadron (LSS) merged to form the new 576 FLTS. Whereas the three organizations previously reported, through different commanders, to the 30th Space Wing at Vandenberg AFB, this merger aligned all personnel directly involved with Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) testing at Vandenberg under one commander. As part of the merger, the "576th" also became a direct reporting unit to the Space Warfare Center.

The 576 FLTS was reassigned to Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) on Dec. 1, 2009. The squadron serves as a direct reporting unit to the Director of Operations at HQ AFGSC.

For more information please contact the Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs Office afgsc.paworkflow@us.af.mil or 318-456-1305 or DSN 781-1305
245 Davis Ave E Room 198, Barksdale AFB, LA 71110

January 2015


Point of Contact
30th SW Public Affairs
(805) 606-3595
DSN 276-3595





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