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Humble Beginnings - page 27 / 63





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Force Range.

January 1994 The 412th Test Wing at Edwards began formation of an EW Directorate to encompass all aspects of ground and flight test of EW assets and act as a "gateway" to DET 3, AFFTC, providing technical guidance on how to use their capabilities for electronic combat testing.

Several workers filed a lawsuit against the government, claiming damages from exposure to toxic fumes from burning waste at the Groom Lake facility.

September 1994 Gen. Ronald W. Yates, commander of Air Force Materiel Command, visited DET 3, AFFTC for two days.

October 1994 The EW Directorate was unofficially established, consisting of the Electronics Research Division, 413th FLTS, Avionics Test and Integration Division, and Electronic Combat Development Flight.

A unique Electromagnetic Test Environment (EMTE) was created to support open-air development test and evaluation and operational test and evaluation of electronic combat systems.

January 1995 The NC-130H (87-0157), with a dorsally mounted rotating radar dish, was modified under the Advanced Simulation and Training Initiative (ASTI). ASTI provided enhanced threat density of open-air combat training ranges by injecting virtual targets from a ground-based simulator through real-time data links.

April 1995 The Air Force seized 5,000 more acres of public land to prevent civilians from viewing the base from nearby hilltops that had been overlooked in previous seizures. This occurred in the midst of increased public scrutiny of the secret base. Col. ??? assigned as commander of DET 3, AFFTC.

Mid-1990s The YF-113G "classified prototype" made its first flight.

September 1995 On 29 September 1995 President Bill Clinton signed Presidential Determination No. 95-45. It stated in part: "I find that it is in the paramount interest of the United States to exempt the United States Air Force's operating location near Groom Lake, Nevada from any applicable requirement for the disclosure to unauthorized persons of classified information concerning that operating location."

April 1996 TACIT BLUE was declassified and delivered to the U.S. Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio, for permanent display.

Late-1996 McDonnell Douglas test pilot Rudy Haug piloted the maiden flight of the "Bird of Prey" (also known as the BoP). The classified technology demonstrator showcased low-observables ("stealth") and lean manufacturing capabilities. Over a three-year period, the "Bird of Prey" completed 38 test flights. The Boeing Company purchased McDonnell Douglas in 1997 and continued funding for the BoP. Besides Haug, the BoP was flown by Air Force test pilot Doug Benjamin and Boeing test pilot Joe Felock.

Spring 1997 Col. ??? assigned as commander of DET 3, AFFTC.

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