Marines test joint air-to-ground missile at Eglin

  • Published
  • By Maj. Jorge Hernandez

Marine Operational Test & Evaluation Squadron One Marines conducted an operational test and evaluation of the joint air-to-ground missile, Nov. 3-7 here.

Unit testers fired the weapon from an AH-1Z Viper helicopter.  The JAGM evaluation was to determine its suitability and effectiveness to support expeditionary advanced base operations, such as conducting sea denial operations within the littorals and supporting sea control operations.

Each branch of service as well as industry partners were on location to observe and analyze the data from the test event. This event can lead to significant improvements in lethality of attack helicopters by arming them with newer munitions equipped with two sensor technologies and optimizes missile performance on maritime targets.

“Watching these professionals from across the services and industry come together to test the effectiveness and work on improvement for this weapon system is truly a phenomenal experience,” said Col. Byron Sullivan, VMX-1 commanding officer. “The team is doing everything possible to ensure this capability will be the needed upgrade that enhances our ability to use precision strikes against fast-moving maritime targets.”

The team observed the test from different range locations, honing in on weather considerations, telemetry and instrumentation, coordinating with the pilots, and observing the impact zone. Ultimately, the data collected will be analyzed to determine overall system effectiveness and develop the tactics, techniques, and procedures for its employment.

The 96th Test Wing’s 780th Test Squadron’s planning, coordination, and execution laid the foundation for this successful test. Multiple Eglin teams supported the Marines and their aircraft to ensure test readiness, including the 96th Maintenance Group and the 96th Logistics Readiness Squadron.

“Executing this type of concept development is very critical to get it right on paper and put more effective systems in the hands of the warfighter,” said Maj. Thomas Hutson, the Assault Support department head at VMX-1 and member of the JAGM test team.