According to the Military News, The 46th Test Wing's Hueys relocated to Eglin's Duke Field
February 27th marked the day when the 46th Test Wing's UH-1N Hueys left Eglin's main ramp to relocate to Eglin's Duke Field to join the 413th Flight Test Squadron's location according to the Military News. The helicopters are being relocated to operate from Duke Field rather than Eglin to allow the test wing to support a 250 percent increase in helicopter developmental test programs that will begin in June. The consolidation will centralize the Air Force helicopter developmental test and evaluation procedures into one squadron, according to Capt. Garrett Knowlan, a flight commander and major architect. Knowlan noted, "The helicopters will integrate with the 413th's HC/MC-130J test operation in an efficiency effort that maximizes use of existing facilities, while making room for increased mission activity on Eglin's main ramp. We'll be responsible for DT and E for the recapitalization of HC/MC-130 and for DT and E of all new U.S. Air Force helicopters."
The operation will be located in the newly refurbished Combat Search and Rescue-X helicopter program. The 46th Wing Commander, Colonel Colin Miller sees great potential in the move. "This unit and its mission are critical to the future of special mission C-130s and helicopter operations across the Air Force. This team will conduct warfighter-focused tests and evaluations to ensure programs are setup for success from source selection to aircraft fielding and follow-on development." Miller added, "The move allows the Test Wing to support two and a half times as many programs with virtually the same size work force by leveraging the ability of test aircrew and engineers to work on multiple programs at the same time. As the program progresses, C-130 aircraft will be tested at multiple locations but most rotary wing aircraft will be stationed at Duke Field. Knowlan commented, "In the current budget environment we have to find smarter ways to test with our limited resources. We are excited to start testing a new portfolio of programs from our new home at Duke Field."