Air Test and Evaluation Squadron One
The principal mission of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron One is to test and evaluate airborne
anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and maritime anti-surface warfare (SUW) weapon systems, airborne strategic weapon systems, as well as support systems, equipment and materials in an operational environment. The squadron also develops, reviews, and disseminates new ASW/SUW tactics and procedures for fleet use, serving as the model manager for all such tactical publications. Because of the squadron's unique position as the interfacing unit between the development of new weapon and mission systems and subsequent introduction to the fleet, VX-1 is considered the squadron that “Does it First.”
A variety of operational aircraft are assigned to VX-1 including the P-3C Orion, MH-60R, MH-60S and SH-60F Seahawk. Additionally, VX-1 provides test and evaluation support for such diverse programs as the EP-3 Aries II, E-6B Mercury, KC-130J Hercules, E-2C Hawkeye, Global Hawk Maritime Demonstration Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, and P-8A Multi Mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA). As anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare operations evolve to defeat emerging threats to national security, so too does the nature of projects assigned for evaluation. The squadron has numerous projects assigned, from complete airframe upgrades to weapon system evaluation of electronic, acoustic and optic methods of ship and submarine detection, classification, and attack.
VX-1, in its role as the Navy's air ASW/SUW operational evaluator, meets regularly with our allies to share tactical knowledge and advancement. VX-1 also shares ideas through daily contact with Canadian, British Royal Navy and Royal Air Force liaison officers assigned to the squadron. With ASW continuing as a vital multi-national mission, these contacts have been invaluable to tactical development.
In VX-1, Sailors are the highest priority. Over the years, the squadron and its evaluation crews have received numerous awards which include the Navy Unit Commendation, Navy Expeditionary Medal, three Meritorious Unit Commendations, nine CNO Safety Awards, 10 Silver Anchor Awards, 10 Golden Anchor Awards for retention, and a variety of additional citations and commendations. VX-1 has also received the Bronze Hammer Award for self-help, the first Secretary of the Navy Energy Conservation Award, and, most recently, the Armed Forces Service Medal for participation in the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in 2005.
Scientific Development Squadron One (VXS-1)
The Naval Research Laboratory Flight Support Detachment was transformed. Scientific Development Squadron One (VXS-1) Dec. 13, 2004. As VXS-1 continues its mission as the Naval Research Laboratory's aviation component as an Echelon III command, reporting to the Commanding Officer, Naval Research Laboratory.
VXS-1 is manned by 11 officers, 91 enlisted Sailors, eight government employees and four civilian contractors. The squadron is responsible for the maintenance, employment and security of three uniquely configured P-3 Orion turbo-prop and a C-12 aircraft. These aircraft, with their aircrews, conduct numerous single-aircraft deployments around the world in support of a wide range of scientific research and projects.
VXS-1 conducts and supports broadly based, multidisciplinary programs across the full spectrum of scientific research. The command strives for advanced technological developments toward the maritime applications of new and improved airborne collection techniques, equipment and systems. VXS-1's unique expertise focuses on the oceanic, atmospheric and space sciences in the advancement of U.S. Government and U.S. naval scientific goals.
The squadron's flight safety record spans more than 40 years and includes more than 64,000 mishap free flight hours. The command continues to improve the capabilities of its assigned aircraft platforms.
Naval Aviation Forecast Component Patuxent River
The Naval Aviation Forecast Component is a tenant command onboard NAS Pax River and operates as a subordinate activity of the Naval Aviation Forecast Center (NAFC) in Norfolk, Va.
The Component provides a variety of functions and services to local and surrounding activities. Certified Observers take hourly observations 24 hours per day and disseminate weather warnings for NAS Pax River and tenant commands. To accomplish assigned missions and functions, METOC service members operate a variety of computer and data collection/communication systems. Data from national weather networks including National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Weather Service (NWS) are used in identifying and predicting the location and movement of thunderstorm and tornadic activity across the local region. Additionally, data from the Lightning Positioning and Tracking System provides a real-time display of local lightning strikes and allows detachment observers to report to the Northwest Sub Regional Forecast Duty Officers at NAFC, to ensure timely and highly accurate thunderstorm and severe weather warnings are issued. The Automated Surface Observation System installed at Pax River and Webster Field provides continuous readouts of weather conditions at each site. Other satellite and landline systems provide access to weather data on a global scale and the detachment closed circuit television product line spans five channels of information disseminated throughout the station.
The Component maintains a dedicated Web site at https://pki.weather.navy.mil/AvWeb/frames.jsp?icao=KNHK.
Marine Aviation Detachment
The Marine Aviation Detachment is responsible to the Deputy Commandant for Aviation regarding USMC manpower support of the Naval Air Systems Command. MAD's role is to support the Marine Corps' equity in the various naval aviation acquisition programs through the entire life cycle. MAD service members' assignments range from program managers, logistics and fleet support to test pilots, engineers and administrative support.
The commanding officer performs duties as aviation occupational field sponsor and advocate for the entire Marine aviation acquisition work force. He provides assistance to the Commandant of the Marine Corps through the Deputy Commandant for Aviation, in coordination with the Marine Corps Systems Command and the Deputy Commandant for Manpower in the career development of Marine Corps members assigned nationwide to the aviation acquisition work force.