US Navy VX-31 – The ultimate air test and evaluation squadron

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Throughout the American military, there are squadrons and teams that have specific goals in order to strengthen operations used to protect the people and ensure that military personnel has the equipment and technology they need to succeed at every mission put before them. It is for this reason that the U.S. Naval VX-31 squadron operates today, using aircraft to complete its missions and help advance the technology and equipment used by the American military.

The U.S. Navy VX-31

The VX-31 is a sister squadron to the VX-30, which is weapons test squadron in the U.S. Navy. The VX-30 squadron, which is called the “Bloodhounds,” focuses on providing research and development as well as testing and evaluation of both manned and unmanned aircraft. The aircraft used in the squadron include both fixed and rotary wing aircraft.

The squadron was established in 1995 and currently operates both locally and worldwide. In its efforts in the U.S. Navy, the VX-30 squadron adheres to a primary principle of leading by example among peers and subordinates in order to accomplish its goals and strengthen the U.S. Navy through its research and testing.

The goal of the VX-31 squadron is to act as an air test and evaluation squadron. The VX-31 squadron operates under the same principles as the VX-30 squadron but has slightly different goals and missions. The VX-31 squadron is not a weapons test squadron as the VX-30 squadron is, but does conduct research and testing just as the VX-30 squadron does. The VX-30 and VX-31 squadrons are the two components of the Naval Test Wing Pacific.

The SH-60F Seahawk

One rotary wing aircraft used in the VX-31 squadron is the SH-60F Seahawk helicopter. It is a dual-piloted aircraft designed to carry cargo. Along with seating for up to four passengers, the SH-60F Seahawk has an internal cargo area and can carry an external cargo load of up to 6,000 pounds.

The SH-60F Seahawk has a primary role of search and rescue capabilities for both day and night missions. The helicopter operates in the airspace surrounding the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, including capabilities to conduct missions in the Sierra Nevada mountains. In fact, the crews are on call seven days a week in order to conduct search and rescue missions.

Along with search and rescue missions, the SH-60F Seahawk helicopter supports testing at China Lake, transports personnel and equipment, and assists in the location and retrieval of equipment used in test flight projects. Recently, the SH-60F Seahawk was used to provide a live feed at Edwards Air Force Base for NASA space shuttle recoveries.

Whether the VX-31 squadron is assisting with testing innovations in radar or conducting search and rescue missions in the rough terrain of the Sierra Nevada mountains, the military personnel and equipment used by the squad are working to improve what the American military can do to protect its people. With the help of the SH-60F Seahawk helicopter, the VX-31 squadron will continue to highlight what, exactly, the U.S. Navy needs to be successful in every mission put before it.