Navy to Establish UAS Test Squadron
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Navy plans to add another test squadron to its test and evaluation community in October, this one for unmanned aerial systems (UASs).
The chief of naval operations has approved the request of commander, Naval Air Systems Command, to establish Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 24 (UX-24) at Webster Field in St. Inigoes, Maryland, near Naval Air Station Patuxent River, according to a Navy internal directive.
The new squadron will assume the role at Webster Field of the UAS detachment of Naval Test Wing Atlantic that provides “research, development, test and evaluation support for Navy and Marine Corps unmanned aviation systems,” the directive said. “The growth in the field of UAS requires establishment of a command dedicated solely to that mission.”
In recent years, Webster Field has been the site of increased UAS testing, including that of the MQ-21 Blackjack and MQ-8 Fire Scout and their associated ground control systems which are in fleet service.
UX-24 will stand up on Oct. 17.