49th TES perfects the bomber
By Airman 1st Class Brittany Y. Bateman
2d Bomb Wing Public Affairs
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Thomas Foster and Rick Arceneaux, 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron, electronics technician, works on the airborne test instrumentation data system. The ATID system is used for recording video and data on the B-52 Stratofortress. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Brittany Y. Bateman)(RELEASE)
Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Oct. 2, 2009 —
The mission of the 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron is to plan, conduct, and report operational tests and evaluations of bomber aircraft and associated weapons.
They also provide operational effectiveness and suitability assessments for Single Integrated Operational Plans and worldwide conventional operations.
"The 49th TES provides important data regarding the lethality and capability of the B-52 Stratofortress, a driving force in the concept of fly, fight and win," said Tech. Sgt. John Robertson, 49th TES, Logistics Weapons Coordinator.
When Airmen from the 49th TES deploy they usually fill support rolls around the globe anywhere from Battle Staff to escort duty.
"We get tasked to provide many different areas of expertise," said Captain Brian Heck, 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron, Advanced System Project Officer/Executive Officer. "Many of us have spent time in Iraq and Afghanistan. We do everything from third country national watch duty to Air Liaison Officer representative for Air Force Central to the theatre Commanders.
There are fifty three active duty members and 18 civilians that make up the 49th TES.
"I think the most important part of the 49th TES is the personnel we have here," said Airman 1st Class Trevor Comeaux, 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron, Software Engineer. Everyone here is extremely intelligent and passionate about what they do, from the top to the bottom of the chain of command. We support the Air Force mission by testing new weapon systems, both conventional and non-conventional, on the B-52. In doing so, we help keep this jet as up to date and as cutting edge as possible with a fifty plus year-old jet."
By taking advantage of the important management skills learned during the coordination of tests involving personnel, equipment, and assets from around the country and sometimes further, Airmen can easily obtain a plethora of jobs in the civilian workforce, if or when they decide to get out of the military.
"On a day-to-day basis I conduct suitability testing and perform the logistics required for them," said Tech Sgt. John Robertson. "The weapon systems we test bring new capabilities to the war fighter and gives the edge to our men and women in harm's way."
There are no specific qualifications to become a member of the 49th TES, but inside the testing community in general there is a need for personnel with a seasoned knowledge base, a positive attitude and a desire to accomplish great things. This allows them to leverage that knowledge in the testing of the new systems.