The Ridley Mission Control Center, the heart of the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB, Calif., turned 30 on June 12. Named for Col. Jackie Ridley, a former test pilot, engineer, and architect of modern flight testing, the center provides the Air Force with a centralized facility at Edwards for range and test mission control. Over the years, the center has served as the centerpiece for tracking and recording almost all flight test operations at the base, including the first cruise missile and the B-1, B-2, and F-22 aircraft. Today, Ridley can display 300 different aircraft trajectories on one digital monitor and even record telemetry data from as far away as White Sands, N.M. It will be a key component of F-35 testing at Edwards. (Edwards report by Kenji Thuloweit)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.