AFOTEC Test Team Receives National Award

  • Published
  • By Katherine C. Gandara
  • Headquarters Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center Chief of Public Affairs
The Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center's specialized nine-member Small Diameter Bomb test team combined more than 130 years of military and operational testing experience and garnered the Air Force Association's 2007 Test and Evaluation Team of the Year Award.

AFOTEC's SDB Test Team received the award for outstanding achievement by an U.S. Air Force test team engaged in test and evaluation of a defense acquisition program on Sept. 24 during the AFA National Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C.

"This award is a reflection of the extraordinary talent and dedication of our airmen," said Col. Christopher Choate, AFOTEC SDB Test Director. "AFOTEC draws upon the experience of today's Air Force to ensure we have the right people on our test teams who can perform operational test and evaluation of weapon systems that meet the needs of the warfighter."

The SDB is a 250-pound class bomb that can precisely hit a potential stationary target in a crowded environment while minimizing collateral damage to surrounding areas that may contain civilians or commercial areas.

The AFOTEC Detachment 2 SDB test team from Eglin AFB, Fla., is credited for the program's recovery from what had become known as "GPS-Reset." The SDB uses a GPS navigation system as target guidance. During the testing process, after the weapon was released, it was either unable to acquire the GPS signal used for navigation or it initially acquired the signal but lost it during flight and was unable to re-acquire prior to weapon impact. Without the GPS signal the weapon did not guide to the programmed impact point which affected desired weapon effectiveness.

AFOTEC's team was able to adjust schedules, support hardware investigation, and allow weapon modifications during the Operational Test that corrected the deficiency and still delivered the SDB to the warfighter ahead of schedule and under cost. This enabled the accelerated fielding for Air Expeditionary Force deployment with the first F-15E combat release in October 2006.

The AFOTEC SBD test team members are: Col. Christopher Choate, Maj. Charles Williams, Maj. Stephan Urbanczyk, Capt. Robert Harder, Capt. Thomas McCaleb, Capt. Justin Monday, Capt. Craig Williams, MSgt. Anthony Kage, and Mr. Roger Floyd.

"I am proud of the tremendous job this team did," said Maj. Gen. Stephen T. Sargeant, AFOTEC Commander. "These outstanding individuals represent a one-of-a-kind organization that is charged with testing all new Air Force weapon systems ensuring America's warfighters have the right tools to win today's and tomorrow's battles."