EDWARDS AFB – Lt. Col. Matthew Fritz relinquished command of the 412th Flight Test Squadron to Lt. Col. Michael Davis in a change of command ceremony in Hangar 1600 recently.
Davis will command the 412th FLTS’s highly-modified KC-135 known as the Speckled Trout. Speckled Trout returned home in March after a year-long maintenance overhaul at Greenville, Texas.
About Speckled Trout
In 1957, United States Air Force Chief of Staff General Curtis E. LeMay ordered KC-135 Serial# 55-3126 to be his aircraft. Named after the program’s coordinator, Faye Trout, Project “Speckled Trout” has served as the Chief of Staff’s transport ever since.
In 1994, the 412th Flight Test Squadron was activated here (relocated from its original home at Andrews AFB, Md.) and added the unique mission of testing senior-leader communication systems in a global, operational and combat environment.
Today, Speckled Trout conducts highly visible and relevant flight test of airborne communication systems while providing worldwide combat transport to the CSAF and other senior joint-military leaders.
Though the tail numbers, crew members and customers have changed over the years, one thing remains the same…a highly selective corps of military aviation professionals providing world-class service aboard a KC-135 Stratotanker to customers.
Flown by Air Force Materiel Command’s only worldwide-deployable flying combat squadron, Speckled Trout is fully capable of aerial refueling, configured for global combat employment and fully modifiable for multiple communication system test configurations.
Team Speckled Trout is selectively-composed of highly- experienced pilots, navigators, flight engineers, flight attendants, communication system operators, flight test engineers and maintainers from a wide spectrum of Air Force Major Weapon Systems. The uniquely combined operations/maintenance team operates as one to ensure unbeatable value and service. All are world-wide combat deployable and hired on the basis of professionalism, experience and application of Trout’s unique heritage and challenging mission.
Speckled Trout’s unique value ensures safe (combat aircraft), reliable (augmented crews; embedded maintenance) and virtually uninterrupted (air refuelable) transport for senior leaders and their full-party (large capacity) while providing immediate return-on-investment for future development in the communications arena (unique airborne test bed capability).
(Historical information provided by 412th Flight Test Squadron.)