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SCA-C01 Tableau Server Certified Associate

Title: Tableau Server Certified Associate (SCA-C01)

Test Detail:
The Tableau Server Certified Associate (SCA-C01) test is designed to assess the skills and knowledge required to effectively administer, manage, and support Tableau Server deployments. This certification is intended for professionals who work with Tableau Server and are responsible for its configuration, maintenance, and security.

Course Outline:
The Tableau Server Certified Associate course provides participants with a comprehensive understanding of Tableau Server administration and management. The following is a general outline of the key areas covered in the certification program:

1. Tableau Server Architecture and Configuration:
- Understanding the components and architecture of Tableau Server
- Installing and configuring Tableau Server
- Managing user access and authentication methods

2. Data Sources and Content Management:
- Connecting Tableau Server to various data sources
- Publishing and managing data sources and workbooks
- Configuring data source refresh schedules and permissions

3. Server Administration and Maintenance:
- Monitoring server performance and managing server processes
- Performing backup and restore operations
- Managing server upgrades and patches

4. Security and Authentication:
- Configuring user authentication methods and permissions
- Implementing security best practices
- Managing user groups and projects

5. Collaboration and Sharing:
- Configuring content permissions and access levels
- Implementing collaboration features, such as commenting and subscriptions
- Creating and managing user-driven data exploration and analysis workflows

Exam Objectives:
The Tableau Server Certified Associate (SCA-C01) test assesses candidates' knowledge and skills in administering and managing Tableau Server deployments. The test objectives include, but are not limited to:

1. Understanding the Tableau Server architecture and components.
2. Configuring and managing user access and authentication methods.
3. Publishing and managing data sources and workbooks.
4. Monitoring server performance and performing server maintenance tasks.
5. Implementing security measures and best practices.
6. Configuring collaboration and sharing features in Tableau Server.

The Tableau Server Certified Associate (SCA-C01) certification program typically includes comprehensive training provided by Tableau or authorized training partners. The syllabus provides a breakdown of the courses covered throughout the course, including specific learning objectives and milestones. The syllabus may include the following components:

- Introduction to Tableau Server Certified Associate (SCA-C01) test overview and certification process
- Tableau Server Architecture and Configuration
- Data Sources and Content Management
- Server Administration and Maintenance
- Security and Authentication
- Collaboration and Sharing
- test Preparation and Practice Tests
- Final Tableau Server Certified Associate (SCA-C01) Certification Exam
Tableau Server Certified Associate
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Tableau Server Certified Associate
Question: 59
A user has been added to a site as an EXPLORER, however the site has already met its
role limit set by the Server Administrator for Explorers. There are still available licenses at the higher tier .
What will happen?
A. The user will be added to the site with an Explorer role, but will consume and count towards a Creator license
B. The user will be added to the site as an Unlicensed user
Answer: A
Link to Tableau Server documentation:
Question: 60
A Tableau Server admin would like to see how many users signed-in to Tableau Server over the past 24 hours .
Which administrative view would contain this information?
A. Traffic to Views
B. Actions by All Users
C. Actions by Specific User
D. Actions by recent Users
Answer: D
Link to Tableau Server documentation:
Question: 61
Which TSM command generates a zipped archive of log files, which also includes the PostgreSQL Repository data if
the -d command is specified?
A. tsm maintenance get ziplogs
B. tabcmd ziplogs
C. tsm create ziplogs
D. tsm maintenance ziplogs
E. tsm maintenance logs
Answer: D
Link to Tableau Server documentation:
Question: 62
Which of the following statements correctly describe how a users site role will be affected by synchronizing with an
external Active Directory group? (Select all)
A. A users site role can be demoted but never promoted based on the minimum site role setting
B. A users site role can be promoted but never demoted based on the minimum site role setting
C. If you dont set a minimum site role, new users are added as Unlicensed by default
D. If you dont set a minimum site role, Tableau Server will generate an error and the user will not be added
Answer: B,C
Link to Tableau Server documentation:
Question: 63
What is the file format of a Tableau Server bootstrap file?
D. Parquet
Answer: A
Link to Tableau Server documentation:
Question: 64
If you later decide that you want to disable remote access to the Tableau Server repository, which command should
you run?
A. tsm data-access repository-access disable
B. tsm postgres-repository disable
C. tsm data-access repository-access close
Answer: A
Link to Tableau Server documentation:
Question: 65
After performing a full backup and restore of Tableau Server, you may want to re-encrypt your extracts using different
encryption keys .
Which command below achieves this?
A. tabcmd reencryptextracts
B. tsm reencryptextracts
C. tabcmd extracts-reencrypt
D. tsm extracts-reencrypt
Answer: A
Link to Tableau Server documentation:
Question: 66
Select the correct statement below. Assume that the project content permissions are set to Customizable:
A. If there are nested projects, permissions at the parent level take precedence over permissions at the child level
B. If there are nested projects, permissions at the child level take precedence over permissions at the parent level
Answer: B
Link to Tableau Server documentation:
Question: 67
Which of the following IS NOT a recommended course of action when investigating Tableau Server issues with
respect to log files?
A. Create an archive of the logs
B. Clean up existing log files to reduce their size
C. Review the TSM Administration Controller log
D. Set the initial logging level at the most granular detail always to collect more data points
E. Reproduce the issue you are troubleshooting so the logs capture the events related to the problem
Answer: D
Link to Tableau Server documentation:
Question: 68
Which of the following statements about Tableau Server site roles are correct? (Select all)
A. In a multi-site environment on Tableau Server, a users license applies to only the primary site the user is a member
B. In a multi-site environment, you can assign different site roles for 1 user (e.g. Explorer site role in one site, Viewer
site role in another)
C. In a multi-site environment, you assign site roles that need to be consistently applied on both sites
D. In a multi-site environment on Tableau Server, a users license applies to all sites the user is a member of
Answer: B,D
Link to Tableau Server documentation:
Question: 69
In some instances, Tableau Server license activation may fail. If you encounter this situation, what is the first thing that
you need to do to try to resolve this issue?
A. Confirm that you can access the licensing server
B. Verify FlexNet Licensing Service has started
C. Force the product key to be read again
Answer: A
Link to Tableau Server documentation:
Question: 70
In the command tsm data-access caching set -r , what value should be set if you want Tableau Server to
always get the latest data?
A. always
B. active
C. 0 (zero)
D. live
Answer: A,C
Link to Tableau Server documentation:
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Wed, 08 Nov 2023 05:49:00 -0600 James Andrew en-US text/html
United Launch Alliance's New Vulcan Rocket Begins Final Road to First Launch United Launch Alliance's New Vulcan Rocket Begins Final Road to First Launch

PR Newswire


ULA schedules inaugural launch for Dec. 24, 2023

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, Fla., Nov. 6, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The United Launch Alliance (ULA) new innovative Vulcan rocket is beginning final processing milestones in advance of the inaugural launch. The first certification mission (Cert-1) is planned to launch on Sunday, Dec. 24, from Space Launch Complex-41 (SLC-41) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. The Vulcan rocket will provide higher performance and greater affordability for ULA customers across national security, civil and commercial markets.

"This launch begins a new era for ULA and for the country," said Tory Bruno, ULA's president and CEO. "This rocket is transforming the future of launch. Vulcan satisfies all challenging orbital requirements essential for U.S. national defense and provides one scalable system for all missions while continuing to provide unmatched reliability and orbital precision." 

The Cert-1 mission includes two payloads, the first Peregrine Lunar Lander, Peregrine Mission One (PM1) for Astrobotic as part of NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative to deliver science and technology to the lunar service. The second payload is Celestis' Memorial Spaceflights deep space Voyager mission, the Enterprise Flight.

"We have worked diligently to develop this evolutionary rocket and certify the first vehicle for flight," said Mark Peller, vice president of Vulcan Development. "This next generation launch vehicle incorporates new technology at all levels, powered by American ingenuity to meet our nation's need for expanding space missions."

The Cert-1 mission serves as the first of two certification flights required for the U.S. Space Force's certification process. The second certification mission is planned for early 2024.

The Cert-1 Centaur V is enroute to the ULA facilities in Cape Canaveral, Florida aboard ULA's R/S RocketShip. Additional future processing milestones include a wet dress rehearsal (WDR), spacecraft integration and then final processing in preparation for launch. Launch vehicle processing updates will be available at

About United Launch Alliance
Leveraging a legacy of 100 percent mission success launching more than 155 missions to explore, protect and enhance our world, ULA is the nation's most experienced and reliable launch service provider with world-leading reliability, schedule confidence, and mission optimization. We deliver value unmatched by any launch services company in the industry, a tireless drive to improve, and commitment to the extraordinary.

For more information on ULA, visit the ULA website at and join the conversation on social media @ulalaunch.

Photos available on the ULA Flickr page.
Media resources: Newsroom (

Cision View original content:

SOURCE United Launch Alliance (ULA)

Mon, 06 Nov 2023 04:11:00 -0600 en text/html
ULA targets Christmas Eve for inaugural launch of Vulcan Centaur rocket from Cape Canaveral

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – United Launch Alliance is now targeting Christmas Eve to attempt to launch its new Vulcan Centaur rocket on an inaugural mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, according to News 6 partner Florida Today.

ULA’s Vulcan Centaur — which is slated to replace the Atlas V — will launch Dec. 24 from Launch Complex 41, company officials announced via X (formerly Twitter).

The rocket will be carrying Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander, which NASA expects to advance research ahead of putting two astronauts on the moon’s surface before 2030. The lander is expected to touch down on the northern part of the moon.

The next-generation rocket’s debut launch date was postponed after a Centaur upper stage exploded in March during testing at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama.

[EXCLUSIVE: Become a News 6 Insider (it’s FREE) | PINIT! Share your photos]

A subsequent investigation blamed a hydrogen leak that created a crack in Centaur’s 18-foot diameter tank.

The Vulcan Centaur’s major components arrived at Cape Canaveral in January via barge after a 2,000-mile voyage from the company’s rocket factory in Decatur, Alabama.

In June, ULA successfully completed a six-second test fire of the Vulcan Centaur’s BE-4 main engines at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

Vulcan’s first Certification-1 mission is a test flight designed to meet future Space Force national-security mission-certification requirements.

Rick Neale is a Space Reporter at FLORIDA TODAY (for more of his stories, click here). Contact Neale at 321-242-3638 or Twitter/X: @RickNeale1

Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily:

Tue, 24 Oct 2023 12:00:00 -0500 en text/html
Edvancer's Impressive Alumni Base: Transforming Careers In Data Science, AI & Analytics

Edvancer, founded in 2013 by Mr. Aatash Shah and Mr. Lalit Sachan, is a prominent institution within the realm of analytics and data science education. It boasts a unique pedigree, being the brainchild of IIM-IIT alumni. In 2021, it became a part of GUS Global Services Pvt. Ltd., operating under the umbrella of Global University Systems (GUS), a global network of higher-education institutions committed to providing industry-driven global education. Edvancer has been instrumental in addressing the limitations of the global education system and providing career-oriented education tailored to meet the evolving demands of the industry and technology.

Edvancer's Vision and Mission

The primary goal of Edvancer is to bridge the gap between industry requirements and university curricula by offering practical, hands-on, short-term certificate courses developed and taught by industry experts. This approach enables learners to acquire industry-relevant skills that are in high demand. Moreover, Edvancer leverages the power of technology to provide flexible, anytime, anywhere learning opportunities. This empowers students to access courses online, 24/7, using any device, breaking free from the constraints of academic years or geographical boundaries.

Achieving High ROI for Students

One of Edvancer's distinguishing features is its focus on delivering a high return on investment (ROI) for its students. It accomplishes this by offering courses that align with immediate career goals, ensuring low costs and time commitments while delivering relevant skills. As students’ progress in their careers, they can seamlessly transition into higher-level courses that match their evolving skill requirements. This approach guarantees that Edvancer's alumni remain at the forefront of industry trends and demands.

Comprehensive Range of Courses

In each domain it operates in, Edvancer is dedicated to building a comprehensive portfolio of courses, spanning Data Science, AI, and Analytics, to meet the needs of learners at various points in their careers. This approach helps create knowledge hubs in specific domains or industries, making Edvancer a one-stop destination for industry-focused education. The institution's commitment to delivering high-quality education with practical applications sets it apart from traditional educational models.

Impressive Alumni Success Stories

To truly grasp the profound impact of Edvancer, one need only delve into the compelling success stories of its alumni. 

Nemish Tambatkasar, with a bachelor's degree in EXTC engineering from Mumbai University and four years of experience in IT project management, embarked on a transformative journey. Enrolling in the Certified Data Science Specialist course at Edvancer, he made the leap from a non-data scientist role to becoming a proficient Data Scientist. Balancing his job with studies, Nemish found Edvancer's course content and faculty to be excellent, equipping him with the ability to explain algorithm results to stakeholders and engaging in real-life data projects through hackathons.

Ankit Tripathi, with a background in BSc in Computer Science and prior experience working with Fintech companies, was drawn to the world of analytics, particularly in the realm of AI. He chose Edvancer for its AI/ML IITK Live Specialization Course, captivated by its comprehensive syllabus, distinguished faculty, and robust placement support. Ankit greatly appreciated the mentorship and guidance provided by Edvancer's dedicated Placement Team, facilitating his successful transition into the analytics field.

Harshi Savla, holding a Masters in Electronics and Telecommunications from VJTI and a background as a Business Analyst, sought a career shift into the dynamic domain of data analytics. Opting for Edvancer's Data Analytics course, she valued the flexibility of self-paced learning. The course content, encompassing SQL, Tableau, R, and Python, proved highly valuable in her journey. Edvancer's placement support played a pivotal role in her career transformation, culminating in a job offer at The Math Company.

Pashmina Mulchandani, armed with a Bachelor's in Pharmacy and an MBA, embarked on her data science journey with an impressive background in internships and proficiency in Python, R, Tableau, and Power BI. Edvancer's Certification for Data Analyst course appealed to her due to its simplified approach to data science topics. Even after a five-month career break, Pashmina's dedication and Edvancer's support enabled her to secure a job at Hexaview, a testament to her determination and the quality of education she received.

Aiswarya Pradhan, with a Masters in Chemistry and experience as a Senior Associate in Content Development, seized the opportunity to pivot into a career as a Risk Analyst. She honed her skills by enrolling in Edvancer's courses, which covered R, SQL, Tableau, Power BI, Python, and Advanced Excel. Aiswarya's hard work and determination paid off as she secured a position as a Risk Analyst at Hero Fincorp, a testament to her unwavering commitment to learning and the transformative potential of Edvancer's programs.


Edvancer's impressive alumni base is a testament to its commitment to revolutionizing education by offering industry-driven, career-oriented courses. The stories of its alumni showcase how Edvancer has transformed careers, bridging the gap between education and industry demands. With a focus on practical skills, flexible learning, and a comprehensive range of courses, Edvancer continues to empower learners and shape the future of analytics and data science education.

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Wed, 08 Nov 2023 20:15:00 -0600 en text/html
ULA targets Christmas Eve launch for new Vulcan Centaur rocket

United Launch Alliance is looking to get its much-delayed Vulcan Centaur rocket up off the pad before the end of the year loaded with a lunar lander and the ashes of “Star Trek’s” creator and a key actor on the show.

The company announced it was targeting liftoff of the Certification-1 mission for Dec. 24 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41. Its primary payload will be Astrobotic Technology’s Peregrine lunar lander headed for the moon as part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services program.

Certification-1 also is taking up for Celestis Inc. the ashes of more than 150 people to space, including “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry and actor James Doohan who played Scotty on the TV series on what the company is calling its Enterprise Flight.

The remains will be installed in the upper Centaur stage, which will continue to deep space to achieve an orbit around the sun after Centaur deploys the primary Astrobotic payload.

‘We have a launch date!” Astrobotic posted on its X social feed. The company had been prepping for a launch this past May, which would have made it the first of NASA’s CLPS missions, but with the delay, SpaceX is geared to send up a competitor’s lunar lander, the Intuitive Machines IM-1 mission set for liftoff as early as Nov. 15.

Still, ULA managed to work through a series of issues that delayed liftoff of Vulcan, the replacement for its Atlas and Delta family of rockets. ULA only has one Delta IV Heavy left in its stable, and that will fly next year on a mission for the Department of Defense.

It also has 18 more Atlas V rockets, all of which are spoken for among launches for Amazon’s Project Kuiper, Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner and DOD missions.

The planned May launch of Vulcan Centaur, though, hit a snag after a fireball erupted at an Alabama test stand that destroyed a test version of the rocket’s Centaur stage. At the time, ULA was going through tests to push the envelope for stresses its new rocket might see on launch, and the fire resulted in the need for ULA to come up with solutions to prevent a similar event from happening on a live launch.

The decision was to pull the safe Centaur stage that had already gone through a Flight Readiness Test and was awaiting launch at Cape Canaveral and send it back to the company’s Decatur, Alabama, facilities to get the fixes determined that would avoid a repeat of what happened on the test stand.

Instead of coming back to the Cape, ULA opted to prep the Centaur stage that would have been flown on Vulcan’s third flight to receive the fixes so it can be the replacement upper stage to be stacked atop the first stage that remained on the Space Coast.

Certification-1 is the first of two missions ULA needs to fly before it can begin a spate of Department of Defense flights with the Vulcan Centaur. The original flight planned for May was also going to send up two test satellites for Amazon’s Project Kuipier, but Amazon opted to send those up on an Atlas V rocket earlier this month instead.

“Upon completion of its powered burn and coast phase, the Enterprise Flight will become Enterprise Station – the most distant permanent human repository outpost, and a pathfinder for the continuing human exploration of space,” reads a statement about the flight on

A second certification mission aims to fly Sierra Space’s uncrewed Dream Chaser spacecraft on its first trip to space.

A fireball engulfs a test stand at NASA''s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama on March 29, 2023. The incident damaged a United Launch Alliance Centaur upper stage test article within seen in video captured from a neighboring Blue Origin test stand and posted to social media by ULA President and CEO Tory Bruno. (ULA)
A fireball engulfs a test stand at NASA”s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama on March 29, 2023. The incident damaged a United Launch Alliance Centaur upper stage test article within seen in video captured from a neighboring Blue Origin test stand and posted to social media by ULA President and CEO Tory Bruno. (ULA)

Those two flights and what had been a planned third launch for the Space Force before the end of the year were halted while ULA worked through what it has called a “structural test stand anomaly” at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

ULA President and CEO Tory Bruno said teams were able to nail down the combination of factors that led to the incident.

“This very large [40-foot-long, 18-foot diameter] stage tank really is built from very, very thin stainless steel sheets, thinner than a dime,” Bruno said last June.

He said the pressure loads near the top of the domed Centaur V test machinery married with weaker than predicted welds led to a hydrogen leak that formed a crack so that it found an ignition source in the stand that resulted in the fireball and subsequent damage.

The solution was to install a second layer of stainless steel to protect the top of the stage and battle the higher pressures, he said.

“The corrective action is a pretty low-tech thing,” he said.

Bruno said it really came down to just a couple of required qualifications for the first two flights, but that more tests will need to be done to sign off on all the extremes that future missions, such as those for the Space Force, might face.

The fireball happened on the 15th qualification test, which was only about 1/3 of the total number of tests needed for a complete fleet certification, Bruno said. So those tests will continue through early 2024 using the fourth Centaur V off the production line while ULA makes its first two flights.

That will pave the way for its first national security missions that Bruno said could happen in the second quarter of 2024.

Vulcan Centaur, which has been in the works since 2014, has faced myriad delays including COVID-19 issues and the arrival of its first two BE-4 engines from provider Blue Origin, which didn’t get them to ULA until late 2022.

Once ULA gets through its certification flights, in addition to the Department of Defense missions, it has 38 planned missions to put up more of Amazon’s Project Kuiper satellites as well as more Dream Chaser missions.

Vulcan Centaur’s two BE-4 engines provide 1.1 million pounds of thrust on their own, but the rocket can be augmented with up to six solid rocket boosters with enough power to bring 60,000 pounds of payload to low-Earth orbit.

If it flies, it would mark ULA’s fourth launch of the year having already launched one Delta IV Heavy and two Atlas V missions. The company is gearing up to handle at least two Vulcan launches a month, though, including the construction of a second rocket integration facility in Cape Canaveral.

Tue, 24 Oct 2023 22:38:00 -0500 Richard Tribou en-US text/html
Dutch F-35s Gain Nuclear Strike Mission “Initial Certification” No result found, try new keyword!with an announcement from the Netherlands that it has received “initial certification for the deterrence mission.” The U.S. Air Force had previously announced that the aim was to have the F ... Fri, 10 Nov 2023 06:32:00 -0600 en-us text/html Dutch F-35s Gain Nuclear Strike Mission “Initial Certification”

A portion of NATO-operated F-35A stealth fighters in Europe appears to have moved a step closer to becoming fully nuclear-capable platforms, with an announcement from the Netherlands that it has received “initial certification for the deterrence mission.” The U.S. Air Force had previously announced that the aim was to have the F-35A certified to carry the B61-12 nuclear bomb — as a so-called Dual Capable Aircraft (DCA) — by January 2024.

The red tail of an inert B61-12 is visible inside the bomb bay of this F-35A during a test flight. The jet also carries at least one AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missile in its weapons bays. U.S. Department of Defense

On X (formerly Twitter), Johan van Deventer, the commander of the Dutch Air Combat Command, provided the following statement (which has here been machine-translated):

#ACC “Ready for Operations” was the result of the U.S. team that inspected us this week. This gives us our initial certification for the deterrence mission with the F-35. An important step in the transition. Made possible by teamwork.

First off, it’s worth noting that official comments on NATO nuclear sharing are uncommon, to say the least. As to the statement, the implication is that U.S. Air Force personnel visited the Dutch Air Combat Command — responsible for the operational Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) F-35A fleet — and inspected its operational readiness. A determination was made about the RNLAF’s ability to assume the nuclear strike role with the F-35A, resulting in the related certification, although the bombs themselves are not known to have been made available so far.

As well as a photo of an F-35A test jet loaded with test versions of the B61-12 bomb, van Deventer also included a photo of a coin, presumably presented during the visit by the U.S. inspection team. It bears the words “5th Generation Deterrence — Safe, Secure, Reliable.”

The B61-12, which introduces an inertial navigation system (INS) guidance package, is a 12-foot-long, 825-pound bomb, each one of which is set to literally cost more than its weight in gold. It is a combination of new components, like the precision guidance tail kit, and refurbished components from earlier B61-3, -4, -7, and -10 variants, all of which have variable yields. You can read more about the entire B61 family here.

In a February 2022 statement, F-35 DCA Team Materiel Leader Lt. Col. Jason W. Shirley, U.S. Air Force, said: “The Secretary of Defense committed to NATO that we would meet the F-35’s operational nuclear certification need date of January 2024.” Shirley added: “To meet this date, the [F-35 Joint Program Office] had to accelerate the planned design certification date by one year, to January 2023.”

So far, the U.S. Air Force has not announced that its F-35As — or those of any other nation — have been certified to carry the B61-12. The War Zone has reached out to the U.S. Air Force for an update on the status of F-35A DCA and whether operational certification is still planned for January 2024, or if that goalpost has been hit early, as the Dutch tweet suggests.

An F-35A carrying a B61-12 Joint Test Assembly sits on the flight line at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, on September 21, 2021. The bomb itself is not visible, but the jet also carries a pair of AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles in its weapons bays. U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Zachary Rufus

It’s notable that the initial design certification was already accelerated, with the F-35 DCA Team having completed the developmental test campaign by the end of 2020, a full year ahead of schedule. The F-35 DCA Team involved the F-35 Joint Program Office and the F-35 Integrated Test Force (ITF) at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Its work, according to the U.S. Air Force, “provided data and demonstrations that ensure the safe carriage and separation of the B61-12 thermonuclear gravity bomb on the F-35A.”

According to the Air Force, in the course of 2020, the F-35 DCA Team, working out of Edwards Air Force Base, collected 492 “critical nuclear certification test points” in the course of 19 flight tests and another nine tests on the ground.

An inert B61-12 nuclear bomb. Sandia National Laboratories

Once the developmental test campaign was wrapped up, the F-35 DCA Team began work on receiving nuclear design certification for the B61-12 with the F-35A.

In October 2021, the F-35 JPO announced it had completed nuclear design certification, with a Full-Weapon System Demonstration of an F-35A configured for the nuclear strike role. This milestone then paved the way for the U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) to start nuclear operational certification training.

U.S. Air Force personnel fit-check unarmed B61-12 “shapes” inside a secure storage system. Older B61 variants are seen loaded in the top portion of the vault. USAF via DODIG/FOIA

The nuclear operational certification only applies to those units with a nuclear mission, with not all F-35As being equipped to carry and employ the B61-12, and not all squadrons receiving the requisite hardware and manpower.

Deployment of the B61-12 in Europe is an issue that we have discussed in the past.

The U.S. Air Force confirmed to The War Zone in 2022 that there are currently no plans for U.S. Air Force or NATO F-16 fighters or Germany’s Panavia Tornado combat jets to be able to leverage the precision-guidance tail kit that is a signature part of the B61-12. At that time, the requirement was only to integrate that particular functionality on U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle combat jets and B-2A Spirit stealth bombers, as well as the service’s future B-21 Raider stealth bombers, in addition to nuclear-tasked U.S. Air Force and NATO F-35As.

A Weapons Storage and Security System vault in the raised position and holding an earlier model of B61 nuclear bomb. The vault is within a Protective Aircraft Shelter. Public Domain/WikiCommons

As it stands, B61-12s — whether able to leverage precision guidance or not — are set to replace all of the roughly 150 previous B61 versions currently located at six bases in Europe. This includes bombs prepositioned at facilities in Belgium, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands, which the U.S. military could make available to the air forces of those countries during a major crisis as part of a NATO nuclear sharing agreement.

As for the Netherlands, in particular, Volkel Air Base hosts an estimated 10-15 B61 nuclear bombs, for delivery by RNLAF F-16s. The Bulletin Of The Atomic Scientists, in its latest report on nuclear weapons sharing, provides the following details about Volkel:

“There are 32 protective aircraft shelters at Volkel Air Base, 11 of which are equipped with WS3s for nuclear weapons storage. Each WSV can hold up to four bombs, for a maximum base capacity of 44 weapons. recent construction at Volkel Air Base has focused on several new additions. Most notably, over the past two years, a tarmac area with a high wall has been constructed near several aircraft shelters. This area is likely intended for use by the C-17A Globemaster III — the only transport aircraft authorized to move the US Air Force’s nuclear weapons —to provide additional flexibility and facilitation for rapidly moving nuclear weapons on- and off-base. In addition, a high-security building similar to the one being added to Kleine Brogel [in Belgium] has been completed. Similar security-related construction upgrades to those at other nuclear weapons bases in Europe have been visible on satellite imagery at Volkel Air Base.”

A Dutch F-16 Fighting Falcon is towed into a hardened aircraft shelter at Volkel Air Base. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Keith Reed

The RNLAF expects to declare full operational capability with its F-35A in early 2024. This will only be declared when the fighter can carry out all of the F-16’s assigned missions — including 313 Squadron taking over the DCA mission at Volkel. This timeline would, of course, require B61-12 bombs to be in place by that time.

While there is so far no confirmation of the new weapons now being deployed in Europe, there are signs that the changing strategic environment there, especially as regards Russia, has seen plans to deploy B61-12 bombs to the continent move forward.

In an October 2022 story, Politico, citing “a U.S. diplomatic cable and two people familiar with the issue,” reported that the arrival of the B61-12 in Europe had previously been slated for spring 2023, but was instead planned for December 2023.

A B-2A Spirit bomber assigned to the 509th Bomb Wing, a Royal Netherlands Air Force F-35A, and a U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle assigned to the 48th Fighter Wing, conduct aerial operations in support of Bomber Task Force Europe 20-2 over the North Sea March 18, 2020. U.S. Air Force photo/ Master Sgt. Matthew Plew

“It would be odd to rush it in,” Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, told Politico. “They have been saying we don’t respond to this situation with nuclear weapons. I don’t think they want to go down that one.”

A map of current and former locations where B61 bombs are located in Europe under the NATO nuclear weapon sharing arrangements and a table breaking down estimated total bombs at each current site as of 2022. FAS

Furthermore, in its 2023 report on nuclear sharing, The Bulletin Of The Atomic Scientists states clearly that the United States is still preparing to deploy the new B61-12 bombs on European soil.

Whatever the status of the B61-12, it is now clear that the Netherlands, at the very least, is gearing up to transfer its nuclear strike commitments to the stealth fighter, with the new evidence that these jets are now certified for the mission. Once the bombs are available, the F-35A, with its ability to deeply penetrate modern air defenses, is set to be a formidable nuclear asset for NATO.

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Fri, 10 Nov 2023 06:32:00 -0600 en-US text/html

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