VX-1 Air Test and Evaluation Squadron ONE [AIRTEVRON ONE] Pioneers
The current primary mission of VX-1 is to conduct tests, evaluations, and investigations of antisubmarine warfare aircraft weapons systems, airborne strategic weapons system, support systems, equipment, and materials in an operational environment. The squadron also develops, reviews, and disseminates new ASW tactics and procedures for fleet use, serving as the model manager for all Air ASW tactical publications. Because of the squadron's unique position as an inter facing unit between the development of new weapon systems and their subsequent introduction into the fleet, VX-1 is considered the squadron that "does it first."
Varying member of operational aircraft are assigned to carry out the flight operations necessary to support project evaluations. These include the P-3C Orion, S-3B and ES-3A Viking, SH-60B/F and HH60H Seahawk aircraft. Additionally, VX-1 provides test and evaluation support for such diverse programs as the MH-53, SH-2G, CH-60, S-3 Seadragon, SP-26 Seaspirit, V-22 Osprey, E-6A Hermes, Global Positioning System, and Ground proximity Warning System. As antisubmarine warfare operations change to meet the threat posed to our national security by hostile submarines, so too does the nature of projects assigned for evaluation. The squadron currently has approximately 80 projects assigned involving complete weapons system evaluations and investigations of electronic, acoustical, and optical methods of submarine detection, classification, and localization.
VX-1, in its role as the Navy's Air ASW operational evaluators, meets regularly with our allies to share ASW knowledge and tactics. The squadron does this through several programs such as an annual International Symposium with similar test and evaluation organization from Canada and Great Britain. This symposium is hosted at sites in each of the participating countries on a rotating basis. VX-1 also shares ideas through daily contact with Canadian, British Royal Navy, and Royal Air Force liaison officers assigned to VX-1. With ASW continuing as a vital multi-national mission, these contacts have been invaluable.
Squadron assets are of a two-fold nature: first, the physical assets of buildings and aircraft are significant. The hanger and project support laboratory represents millions of dollars in the structures, and replacement cost for the squadron's aircraft exceed $300 million dollars. Secondly, squadron personnel are an invaluable asset. Without aircrews, maintenance, and support personnel, the aircraft could not fly. The squadron has approximately 50 U.S. Naval Officers, 2 British and 1 Canadian exchange Officers, 263 enlisted personnel, and 6 civilian personnel onboard. The squadron maintains a mixture of officers with recent fleet experience and those with postgraduate educate in such field as computers, underwater acoustics, and aerospace engineering. Squadron enlisted personnel who maintain the aircraft have talents and skill representative of those found in operational fleet squadrons.
Over the years, the squadron and its evaluation crews have received numerous awards which include the Navy Unit Commendation, Navy Expeditionary Medal, 3 Meritorious Unit Commendations, 9 CNO Safety Awards, 10 Silver Anchor Awards, 8 Golden Anchor Awards for retention, and a variety of additional citations and commendations. VX-1 has also received the Bronze Hammer Award for self-help, and the first Secretary of the Navy Energy Conservation Award.
AIR TEST AND EVALUATION ONE is responsible for the Navy's Air ASW test an evaluation effort. The problem of detecting a submarine in all kinds of weather in the vast ocean area, localizing its position, and then pinpointing the target with enough accuracy to release a weapon is complex. The Officers, men, and women of VX-1 are making an important contribution to the Antisubmarine Warfare effort and the defense of the Nation.
The formidable threat posed by the German subsurface fleet during World War II mandated a new program to rapidly develop antisubmarine weapons and tactics. The response by the United States was the commissioning of the Air Antisubmarine Commander Air Force, Atlantic Fleet, on 1 April 1943. The detachment, stationed at Quonset Point, Rhode Island, was charged with conducting tests to determine the practical effectiveness of standard equipment and developing tactics for antisubmarine warfare (ASW) aircraft. In order to consolidate ASW evaluation service of air and surface units, the Antisubmarine Development Detachment, comprised of both Air and Surface Divisions, was commissioned on 17 September 1943. By the end of the war, the Operational Development force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, was formed, to which ASDEVLANT reported for duty.
In 1946, the unit was recommissioned Antisubmarine Development Squadron One and was moved to Boca Chica Field, NAS Key West, Florida. The new squadron's mission was to test and evaluate ASW and related equipment, determine the practical value of such material, and develop and coordinate ASW tactics using optimally developed equipment. First among the squadron's important contributions to the fleet were the scanning sonar, surface radar, helicopter dipping sonar, and hunter/killer ASW tactics.
The 1950's generated new aircraft and significant improvements which were tested at VX-1. The P-2Y "Neptune", AD-1 "Skyraider", S-2 "Tracker", P-5M "Marlin", HRP-1 and other aircraft were evaluated. Additional project evaluations included the operational testing of sonobuoys, towed Magnetic Anomaly Detectors (MAD), improved sonar and radar equipment, and ASW mining techniques. Operational evaluations were extended to air photography, human factors in ASW, and target interpretation and recognition.
Since 1946, the squadron has undergone three name changes and one relocation. In October 1949, the name changed to Development Squadron One, and in February 1950 to Air Development Squadon One. On January 1, 1969, the present title of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron One was adopted. The long association with NAS Key West ended on 15 September 1973 when the squadon changed homeports to its present location at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland. Over the years, VX-1 and its evaluation crews have received numerous awards which include the Navy Unit Commendation, Navy Expeditionary Medal, 3 Meritorious Unit Commendations, 6 CNO Safety Awards, 11 Silver Anchors, and 7Golden Anchor Awards for retention,as well as a variety of additional citations and commendations.
ASW improvements have continued to the present day with the development of the P-3 "Orion", SH-2 "Sea Sprite", SH-60 "Sea Hawk", S-3 "Viking", and their numerous variants. Always at the forefront of modern technology, the "ASW Pioneers" of the Air Test and Evaluation Squadron One continue to test and evaluate the latest air antisubmarine systems and tactics for tomorrow's fleet.
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