USAF activates 418th TES at Davis-Monthan

A NEW US Air Force trials unit, the 418th Test and Evaluation Squadron (TES), has been activated at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. The resident 355th Wing’s Public Affairs office revealed details of the new squadron in an announcement on November 24.

418th TES activation
Members of the 418th Test and Evaluation Squadron pose for a photo in front of HC-130J Combat King II serial number 09-0108 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, during the unit’s activation ceremony on November 5 USAF/Airman 1st Class William Turnbull

The 418th TES, the first ever combined HC-130J Combat King II and EC-130H Compass Call test unit in the entire USAF, was formally activated during a ceremony at Davis-Monthan on November 5. During the event, USAF Lt Col David McAlroy was appointed as the commander of the squadron by Col Jason Zumwalt, 53rd Test and Evaluation Group Commander from Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

USAF Capt Charles Wilson, 418th TES director of operations, said: “With this new squadron we’ll be able to directly support the development and implementation of new tactics, techniques and procedures to make us a more effective integrated force abroad.”

He continued: “Mixing two traditionally separate communities into one squadron leverages different experience sets and resources. It ultimately results in new, creative solutions to relevant tactical problems with lower overhead.”

The 418th TES activation began on October 1, 2021, to help generate rapid and decisive combat air power to airmen and combatant commanders, ensuring that the USAF is always ready for any future conflicts that may arise.