SecAF visits Arnold Air Force Base

  • Published
  • By Bradley Hicks
  • AEDC Public Affairs

Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall visited Arnold Air Force Base Oct. 4 for insight on current efforts at Arnold and to get a firsthand look at how work there will impact the Air Force mission in the future.

During his visit to Arnold, headquarters of Arnold Engineering Development Complex, Kendall was treated to an up-close view of some base operations and new construction projects. Additionally, he received overviews of current and planned AEDC test capabilities.

The secretary said the importance of AEDC is not lost on those in the Pentagon, as testing conducted across the complex is key in helping the Air Force achieve its mission. 

“AEDC has long been referred to as the ‘best kept secret’ in the Air Force, but I can assure you the work performed at Arnold Air Force Base and the other AEDC locations has not gone unnoticed by myself and others in the Department of Defense,” Kendall said. “The AEDC test capabilities play a critical role in equipping and modernizing our Air Force and our Department of Defense.”

AEDC facilities are used to conduct a variety of testing, and the complex offers numerous capabilities to simulate a wide range of speeds, temperatures, pressures and other parameters.

While at Arnold, Kendall toured several of the rocket, aerodynamic and propulsion test facilities on base. The rocket test facilities are utilized to test rocket motors and engines from ignition to thrust termination at simulated altitude conditions.

The engine test facilities are used to test the powerhouses of aircraft and missiles, and can support test and evaluation of engine performance and operability, among other characteristics and components.

Through testing conducted on models of various sizes, the aerodynamic test facilities at Arnold provide aerodynamic performance data on aircraft and missiles. These facilities also support store separation testing at a wide range of speeds.

Kendall also recognized several outstanding performers among the AEDC team at Arnold during his visit.

“The efforts of these men and women epitomize ingenuity, and I applaud their dedication to provide thoroughly tested and evaluated systems to Airmen and Guardians,” Kendall said. “While we are recognizing a few key performers today for their exceptional work, the contributions of personnel across AEDC are crucial. The ‘test before flight’ focus helps assure assets and people are as safe as possible before ever leaving the ground. Make no mistake, we are in a race for technological superiority with China and AEDC is a key component to hone our edge in that race.”

The AEDC mission is to prove the superiority of systems required to meet the demands of the National Defense Strategy. AEDC was dedicated in June 1951 and named after five-star General of the Air Force Henry “Hap” Arnold, leader of the Army Air Force during World War II and the only Airman to hold the five-star rank. Today, AEDC personnel operate test cells, facilities, ranges and offices located at Arnold AFB; Edwards Air Force Base, California; Ames Research Center, California; Federal Research Center in White Oak, Maryland; Hill Air Force Base, Utah; Holloman Air Force Base and White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico; Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado; and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.