Joint F-35 EW Squadron Activated

USAF activated the 513th Electronic Warfare Squadron at Eglin AFB, Fla., April 23, according to an April 29 release. The new unit, commanded by Lt. Col. Tim Welde, will provide EW support to Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps pilots for the new F-35 strike fighter. Once fully staffed, it will comprise some 130 personnel, in a 50 percent USAF and 50 percent Navy and Marine Corps mix. The unit also will test F-35 EW capability in the new US Reprogramming Lab, currently under construction with a projected completion date this summer, followed by hardware delivery in spring 2011. Meanwhile, said Welde, “Our engineers are currently developing threat models and 5th generation mission data; our technicians are undergoing maintenance training as well as prepping the lab.” Command of the unit, part of the 53rd Wing at Eglin, will rotate between USAF and Navy. (Eglin report by Ashley Wright)