Eglin Air Force Base is a United States Air Force (USAF) base in the western Florida Panhandle, located about three miles (5 km) southwest of Valparaiso in Okaloosa County. Eglin is an Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) base serving as the focal point for all Air Force armaments. Eglin is responsible for the development, acquisition, testing, deployment and sustainment of all air-delivered non-nuclear weapons. The base plans, directs, and conducts test and evaluation of U.S. and allied air armament, navigation and guidance systems, and command and control systems. Severe-weather testing of aircraft and other equipment is carried out here at the McKinley Climatic Laboratory. The host unit at Eglin is the 96th Test Wing (formerly the 96th Air Base Wing). The 96 TW is the test and evaluation center for Air Force air-delivered weapons, navigation and guidance systems, command and control systems, and Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) systems.
33d Fighter Wing (33 FW) EG tailcode
The 33d FW “Nomads” is the largest tenant unit at Eglin. The 33 FW is a joint graduate flying and maintenance training wing for the F-35 Lightning II, organized under Air Education and Training Command’s 19th Air Force. First established as the 33d Pursuit Group, the wing’s contribution to tactical airpower during its 50-year history has been significant with participation in campaigns around the world, while flying various fighter aircraft. Reactivated at Eglin on 1 April 1965 with F-4C Phantom IIs, the wing operated, successively, F-4D and E models into the 1970s before transitioning to the F-15 Eagle. As of 1 October 2009, the 33d FW transitioned to a training wing for the new F-35. The final F-15s assigned to the 33d departed the base in September 2009. As the first of its kind in the Department of Defense, the joint wing is responsible for F-35 pilot and maintainer training for the Air Force, Marine Corps and the Navy. The first of 59 F-35s arrived from Lockheed Martin Fort Worth, Texas on 14 July 2011.
96th Test Wing (96 TW) ET tailcode
The 96 TW is the test and evaluation wing for Air Force air-delivered weapons, navigation and guidance systems, command and control (C2) systems, and Air Force Special Operations Command systems. The Eglin Gulf Test Range provides approximately 340,000 square kilometres (130,000 sq mi) of over water airspace. The 96 TW supports other tenant units on the installation with traditional military services as well as all the services of a small city, to include civil engineering, personnel, logistics, communications, computer, medical, security. The 96 TW reports to the Air Force Test Center at Edwards AFB.
49th Test and Evaluation Squadron (49 TES) OT Tailcode
The 49 TES is attached to the 53d Wing but located at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. The squadron plans, executes and reports ACC’s weapon system evaluation programs for bombers (B-52, B-1 and B-2) and nuclear-capable fighters (F-15E Strike Eagle and F-16). These evaluations include operational effectiveness and suitability, command and control, performance of aircraft hardware and software systems, employment tactics, and accuracy and reliability of associated precision weapons. These weapons include air-launched cruise missiles, standoff missiles, and gravity bombs. Results and conclusions support acquisition decisions and development of war plans. The unit also performs operational testing on new systems and tactics development for the B-52.
Tyndall Afb On 10 October 2018 Hurricane Michael made landfall as a Category 5 hurricane at Mexico Beach just to the east of Tyndall Afb. A weather station near the base recorded a wind gust of 130 miles per hour (210 km/h) before it failed, according to the National Hurricane Center advisory shortly after landfall. Air Force officials described the damage to the base from the hurricane as “catastrophic,” with all of the base’s facilities being declared “unlivable”. Thirty-three of Tyndall´s 55 F-22 stealth fighters were flown to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio before the storm. Many of the seventeen F-22s which were left behind became damaged. During repairs the flying operations are conducted from Eglin.
325th Fighter Wing The 325th Fighter Wing (325 FW)’s primary mission is to provide a combat ready air dominance force, train F-22A Raptor pilots and maintenance personnel, and train air battle managers to support the combat Air Force. Tyndall’s combat mission is performed by the 95th Fighter Squadron. Training for F-22 pilots is performed in the 43d Fighter Squadron and the 2d Fighter Training Squadron.
The Air Force Armament Museum is a military aviation museum adjacent to Eglin Air Force Base in Valparaiso, Florida, dedicated to the display of Air Force armament. It is supported by the private, non-profit Air Force Armament Museum Foundation.