49th TES demonstrates capabilities from the fulcrum of the Pacific

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Heather Redman
  • 15th Wing Public Affairs

Hickam Sky Warriors took notice of a visiting aircraft this week as a B-52 Stratofortress and aircrew, assigned to the 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron from Barksdale Air Force Base, performed operations here, May 22 – 31.

“Our goal is to support a joint initiative with the Navy, to enhance the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s mission,” said Lt. Col. Joseph Little, 49th TES commander.

During the week, the B-52 conducted the final and largest demonstration of the Quickstrike 64-ER Naval mine project, a USINDOPACOM initiative as part of ongoing efforts to modernize and enhance military readiness throughout the Indo-Pacific region.

“The B-52 is an ideal airframe for testing the QS64-ER, as it has the ability to carry multiple mentions, as well as the speed and range needed to support this joint project,” said Little.

The 49th TES perfects lethality by executing conventional and nuclear operational test and evaluation, and developing tactics, techniques and procedures to maximize joint force integration, and validate capabilities.

“The effort of the Naval mine project was spearheaded by USINDOPACOM to meet the requirements of the region,” said Little.

According to Dr. George Ka’‘ililwai III, USINDOPACOM director of requirements and resources, while current mine technology is effective it has been largely unchanged since World War II. The innovations and capabilities introduced by the QS-ER project allows our forces to generate more effective minefields from longer ranges quicker than before.

The Naval mine project is part of a two-year joint effort to develop, test and operationally demonstrate the capabilities of the QS64-ER that combines Joint Direct Attack Munitions technology and munition alterations. The combination of which allows the QS64-ER to be delivered long range and high altitudes.