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Test Center participates in Exercise Northern Lightning

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Charles Givens
  • 162d Wing

The Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command Test Center (AATC) tested the latest F-16 flight software, and validated its new capabilities during Northern Lightning, an annual exercise held at Volk Field Air National Guard Base.

Northern Lightning is a 2-week exercise which focuses on conducting joint training with an emphasis on the integration of 4th generation aircraft, like the F-16 Fighting Falcon, with 5th generation aircraft like the F-35 Lightning II. The exercise hosted approximately 50 aircraft, and members of the Air National Guard, Air Force, Army and Navy as part of the joint training operation.

“Every community brings different capabilities and perspective to handling various tactical problems. We don’t have a monopoly on all the good ideas or solutions to all our problems and we are always looking for the next smart iteration that will help keep us relevant,” said Lt. Col. David Auston, Director of the F-16 Combined Test Force.

Auston also commented on the need for joint exercises: “Validating, testing and integration of incremental improvements requires us to not only test with individual formations, but also in larger integrated force opportunities available in an exercise like Northern Lightning.”

AATC is a Major Command Operational Test Organization that tests all of the platforms flown and mission areas executed by the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command.