1st Test and Evaluation Squadron
Squadron emblem
Active1940–1947; 1969–1991; 2003–2019; 2021-present
Country United States
Branch United States Space Force
RoleTest space command and control
Part ofSpace Delta 12
Garrison/HQSchriever Space Force Base, Colorado
Motto(s)Totem in eo est... On this, all depends
EngagementsEuropean-African-Middle East Theater
Asiatic-Pacific Theater[1]
DecorationsAir Force Outstanding Unit Award[1]
Lt Col Ross Conrad
1st Air and Space Test Squadron emblem
1st Photographic Squadron emblem (approved 3 October 1941)[2]

The 1st Test and Evaluation Squadron (1 TES) is a United States Space Force test and evaluation unit, located at Schriever Space Force Base, Colorado. The squadron is tasked with testing and evaluation of command and control systems for Space Operations Command.

1 TES was activated on 27 August 2021 and assigned to Space Delta 12, Space Training and Readiness Command.


Evaluate relevant command and control systems and plans for Space Operations Command, integrating continuously improving joint-combat capability to space warfighters and commanders.


World War II

The squadron was established by Headquarters, United States Army Air Corps in early 1940 as the 1st Photographic Squadron.[2] It performed aerial mapping primarily over the northeastern United States prior to the Pearl Harbor Attack, using obsolescent cargo and Martin B-10 bombers. After the United States entry into World War II, equipped with Lockheed A-29 Hudsons, Beech C-45 Expeditors and Douglas A-20 Havocs, they performed aerial photography and mapping over uncharted areas of Newfoundland, Labrador and Greenland for development of the Northeast Transport Route for the movement of aircraft, personnel and supplies across the North Atlantic from the United States to Iceland and the United Kingdom.

The squadron re-equipped with long-range Consolidated B-24 Liberator reconnaissance aircraft and deployed to Alaska in late 1943, assisting in the establishment of landing fields in the Aleutian Islands; they also mapped uncharted areas of internal Alaska to establish Lend Lease aircraft emergency landing fields over the trans-Alaska route from Ladd Field and Elmendorf Field to Nome.

B-29 (operated by squadron 1944-1947)

After the squadron was relieved from assignment in Alaska and returned to the Continental United States it deployed to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations across the South Atlantic Transport Route to North Africa in early 1944. It performed aerial surveys and mapping over Sicily; Italy and along the North African Coast and Middle East with B-24s and some Boeing B-17Fs converted to F-9 reconnaissance configuration over non-combat areas. It then deployed to India and China; performing unarmed long-range mapping of remote areas of the China-Burma-India Theater over combat areas in support of ground forces and strategic target identification over Indochina and the Malay Peninsula for follow-up raids by XX Bomber Command operating from India.

The unit returned to the United States in late 1944. It was equipped with very long range Boeing B-29 Superfortresses converted to F-13A reconnaissance configuration. It deployed to the Central Pacific Area after the Surrender of Japan and was assigned to the Eighth Air Force. The squadron performed reconnaissance mapping flights over Japan, Korea and China. The B-29s returned to the United States in early 1946 for storage or reassignment; unit largely demobilized on Okinawa, flying some light liaison and courier aircraft. It was inactivated in early 1947 and disbanded on 8 October 1948.[2]

Test Operations in the Pacific

BQM-34 Firebee being returned to Wallace AFS
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The squadron replaced the 6400th Test Squadron, which had been organized in 1967, in 1969. It conducted weapons system evaluation, known as COMBAT SAGE, of F-4 aircraft, of F-15 aircraft from 1980, and of F-16 aircraft from 1982, until shortly before inactivation. It also trained visiting aircrews from other Pacific Air Forces units in weapons employment and tactics.

Space Launch Test

The 1st Air and Space Test Squadron was a unit of the 30th Space Wing of the United States Air Force, responsible for spacelift and test operations.

The squadron's operations included launching of the Minotaur I and Minotaur IV and Pegasus rockets; as well as testing the Boeing Interceptor and Minotaur II target vehicles.[3]

The squadron's mission was to provide complete service launch and test operations for current and future space launch vehicles, targets, interceptors and experimental space systems.

Space Command and Control Test

Upon its creation, the United States Space Force was assigned the cornerstone responsibility of "preserving freedom of action" in space.[4] This required the creation of new capabilities to protect and defend the domain. This included, for the first time, a need to laterally integrate diverse and disparate space and ground systems into combined arms teams. In response to this need, the Command and Control Enterprise Test Team (C2ETT) was established at Peterson AFB in December, 2020 to begin testing a new generation of command and control and space battle management systems for Guardians.

In August 2021, following the activation of Space Training and Readiness Command and Delta 12, the 1st Test and Evaluation Squadron was activated. Initially, 1 TES absorbed the activities of the C2ETT and integrated two detachments of the former 17th Test Squadron, aligning more than 10 space command and control systems under test under a single commander for the first time.

1 TES now conducts command and control and enterprise test activities from its main location at Schriever SFB, Colorado, Detachment 1 at Vandenberg SFB, California, and Detachment 2, Cheyenne Mountain SFS, Colorado.


1st Photographic Squadron
Activated on 1 February 1940
Redesignated 1st Mapping Squadron on 13 January 1942
Redesignated 1st Photographic Mapping Squadron on 9 June 1942
Redesignated 1st Photographic Charting Squadron on 11 August 1943
Redesignated 1st Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, Very Heavy on 10 November 1944
Redesignated 1st Reconnaissance Squadron, Very Long Range, Photographic-RCM[note 1] on 4 October 1945
Redesignated 1st Reconnaissance Squadron, Very Long Range, Photographic on 13 November 1945
Inactivated on 10 March 1947
Disbanded on 8 October 1948
Reconstituted and consolidated with the 1st Test Squadron on 19 September 1985[1]
1st Test Squadron
Activated on 15 October 1969
Consolidated with the 1st Reconnaissance Squadron on 19 September 1985
Inactivated on 30 October 1991
Activated on 1 December 2003[1]
Inactivated on 15 Aug 2019[5]
1st Test and Evaluation Squadron




Space Systems Tested


List of commanders

This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (September 2021)



Explanatory notes
  1. ^ RCM (Radio Countermeasures) would later be more commonly referred to as electronic countermeasures.
  1. ^ a b c d e f Warnock, A. Timothy (January 2, 2008). "Factsheet 1 Air and Space Test Squadron (AFSPC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Maurer, Combat Squadrons, pp. 8-9
  3. ^ Vandenberg AFB Fact Sheet: 1st Air and Space Test Squadron Archived 2008-05-03 at the Wayback Machine, 1 March 2010 (retrieved Dec 16, 2012)
  4. ^ Space Capstone Document. United States Space Force. 2020.
  5. ^ "2nd SLS reactivated following squadron merger". Vandenberg Space Force Base. 15 August 2019. Retrieved 2021-08-29.
  6. ^ "1st ASTS provides critical support for Minotaur launch at Cape". 19 August 2017.
  7. ^ AF Pamphlet 900-2, Vol II, p. 4
  8. ^ "Colonel Kris e. Barcomb".
  9. ^ "2nd SLS reactivated following squadron merger".
  10. ^ "Space Delta 12 recognition ceremony". Schriever Space Force Base. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.


Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency