Emerging Tech CTF Joins 416th FLTS

  • Published
  • By 412th Test Wing Public Affairs and 412th Test Wing History Office
  • 412th Test Wing

***Updated June 22***

A change of command, expanded mission and organizational structure change for the Emerging Technologies Combined Test Force occurred on Edwards AFB, California, June 7.

Maj. Phillip Woodhull took the reins of the ET-CTF from Lt. Col. Adam Brooks, as the unit transitioned from a CTF to an integrated test force. Three distinct test forces now share a matrix of resources – the F-16, T-7A and Emerging Technologies are now integrated test forces and led by the historic 416th Flight Test Squadron, known as the Skulls.

"The Emerging Technologies Integrated Test Force brings a culture of initiative, experimentation and innovation that is a reminder of what makes Team Edwards a national asset for flight test execution,” said Lt. Col. Michael Pacini, 416th FLTS commander. “The integration of the ET-ITF into the 416th FLTS provides increased breadth of flight test experience for our personnel while harmonizing traditional flight test with rapid and agile technology maturation.”

Traditionally, Emerging Technologies operated as a satellite unit with sourced Airmen from across the base. By integrating Emerging Technologies into the 416th FLTS, new projects such as the T-7A Red Hawk and emerging high-risk projects will benefit from collaboration while also ensuring greater opportunities for Airmen and contractor collaboration across multi-domain test resources, according to Pacini.

“The ET-ITF's work in autonomy and government-civilian partnerships provides technological advancements utilized across the airpower spectrum and provides an exciting union with the existing expertise in the 416 FLTS,” Pacini said.

The ET-ITF will continue to utilize North Base facilities for recently announced projects such as the Agility Prime initiative with Joby Aviation.  However, a planned 4,652-square-foot expansion of the 416th FLTS headquarters will provide much needed space and position ITF members closer to projects that historically require consistent collaboration, such as the Air Force Test Pilot School’s X-62 VISTA platform. 

“The ET-ITF is now poised to discover, experiment, test and implement the ever-advancing horizon of emergent technologies. Our integration with the 416th FLTS excites me with the vision of a new rapid idea-to-flight pipeline for our most creative ideas,” Woodhull said.

According to the 416th FLTS, the increased resource capacity will allow greater opportunities for Airmen and private industry to plan and execute experimental and developmental flight test at the speed of relevancy.