Holloman Air Force Base-Innovative test and evaluation functions mark the unique test activity of the 704th Test Group (the 746th Test Squadron), namely NAVFEST, which is a series of annual high-tech events for global positioning system electronic warfare. This year’s NAVFEST will be held from March 11th to 16th.
Originally called JAMFEST, this activity began in the early 2000s as a low-cost, high-fidelity opportunity for military, government, and corporate departments to test their guidance and navigation systems in the GPS competitive environment.
This year, when 30 well-trained 746 TS team members used GPS Jammers to block GPS signals from space, 14 client organizations each night evaluated the performance of their ground and air equipment and systems on the Baisha Missile Range.
Just like a phone in a pocket, almost every modern technology for flying in the air, manipulating or navigating our waterways on the ground relies on GPS signals for location, navigation and timing. Any government or non-governmental organization that participated in this year’s NAVFEST will get five days of real-world exposure in the highly competitive GPS operating environment, with an average of only $28,000.
The developers and users of these navigation systems evaluated the performance of their equipment in this challenging environment to identify and correct any flaws and weaknesses in the design. The lessons learned at NAVFEST will help these organizations conduct GPS counter-military operations in theaters, support humanitarian efforts and recovery from global natural disasters, and ensure the continued operation and protection of the US motherland.
The 746th Test Squadron, also known as the Central Inertial and GPS Test Facility (CIGTF), is the lead test organization designated by the US Department of Defense. It has 60 years of experience in inertial, GPS, and hybrid guidance and navigation systems testing.