Mission: Execute flight test to sustain and enhance combat capabilities
Vision: Premier Citizen Airmen strengthening our Nation's competitive edge by forging tomorrow's warfighting capabilities
The 413th Flight Test Group is an Air Force Reserve Command unit stationed at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., as a tenant unit.
The 413th Flight Test Group conducts flight tests on aircraft after programmed depot maintenance is completed. Its history goes back to 1944 when the 413th Fighter Group flew very long range escort missions of Twentieth Air Force B-29 Superfortress bombardment groups against Japan. During the Cold War, the unit was a Strategic Air Command fighter-escort wing and later a Tactical Air Command tactical fighter group in the 1950s.
Today, the group's units are stationed throughout the United States to help conduct functional flight tests. The group is a partnership between the Air Force Materiel Command and the Air Force Reserve Command and is the operational supervisor of all the depot flight test units. The group manages five squadrons and three flights and is made up of full-time Airmen, traditional reservist and civil servants. Once programmed depot maintenance is completed, members of the flight crew begin a variety of ground checks to make sure the aircraft are ready for a functional test flight. Once the aircraft are deemed airworthy, they are delivered to their home stations and are configured to fly whatever mission they are assigned to fly.
413th Flight Test Group aircraft
Gen. Harrison R. Thyng, one of the earliest commanders and WWII ace, led the group on the first ever Pacific-crossing of single seat fighters flying P-47N aircraft from the west coast to Ie Shima. He later added five more kills flying F-86s becoming one of only six U.S. Airmen who were both a piston and jet ace. The 413th Flight Test Group's annual award for the outstanding airman is named in his honor.
Capt. Manuel "Pete" Fernandez was the third leading ace in Korea with 15 kills before being assigned to the 413th flying the F-100.
Before Gen. Robbie Risner rose to fame as a Vietnam hero and POW, he first served as the commander of the 413th Fighter Day Group's 34th Fighter Day Squadron flying the F-100 Super Sabre.
Another well-known aviator, Gen. Chuck Yeager, served as the 413th Director of Operations alongside Risner. These men set the standard for the men and women of the 413th Flight Test Group, today and tomorrow.
413th Flight Test Group deputy commander
Col. Kevin Sutterfield