The Westinghouse design and operation of the Large Area SURface Heating Facility (ASURF) has been performed under the sponsorship of the DOE Office of Fusion Energy and the direction of Argonne National Laboratory. Test programs involving ASURF will provide engineering data on components for near term projects and baseline data to resolve issues in the selection and confirmation of promising concepts for fusion reactor first walls. The PE-I test program focuses on the thermomechanical and thermohydraulic performance of in-vessel components. This paper describes ASURF, its capabilities and a discussion of its initial operation.