Thursday, April 1, 2010

VX-20 celebrates 35th anniversary Friday

Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two Zero (VX-20) will celebrate its 35th Anniversary with a squadron formation and cake cutting ceremony in Hangar 306 at 8:30 a.m. on Friday. PEO(T) Commander Rear Adm. Mark Skinner, a former commanding officer of VX-20, will be guest of honor, where he will provide words of encouragement to the Sailors, Marines, civilians, and contractors.

VX-20 traces its roots back to April 1, 1975, when the Antisubmarine Aircraft Test Directorate was established. Many squadron name changes have followed, from Force Warfare Aircraft Test Directorate in 1986, to Force Aircraft Test Squadron in 1994, and then to Naval Force Aircraft Test Squadron in 1995. In May of 2002, under the command of then-Capt. Steven R. Eastburg, the squadron was re-designated as Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two Zero (VX-20). Commanded by 17 previous Navy skippers to now having its first Marine Commanding Officer, the face of VX-20 has seen many changes over the years.

VX-20 was created to consolidate the Navy's flight test efforts and the testing of classified systems for fixed wing patrol, antisubmarine, sea control, carrier airborne early warning, reconnaissance, and fixed airplane training communities. The Squadron provides Full Spectrum Developmental Flight Testing on multiple type model series aircraft from the newest P-8A Poseidon, E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, and KC-130J Hercules, to revitalizing existing models, including: the E-6 Mercury, P-3 Orion, E-2C Hawkeye, C-2 Greyhound, C-130T Hercules, T-6 Texan, and the T-34 Turbo-Mentor.

The VX-20 mission statement, reads as follows: ‘‘We provide trained people, test ready aircraft, and access to state of the art facilities necessary for the development of cutting edge technology to support the War fighting needs of the operating forces.” As the squadron celebrates 35 years of providing high quality Test and Evaluation services to the Fleet, the VX-20 Team continues to be integral force in Naval Aviation ensuring satisfactory Airborne Systems are delivered to the War fighter. The future of the Navy looks bright with VX-20 at the helm.