Salutes & Awards

May 9, 2013

Test center welcomes new commander; praises ‘Total Force Integration’

Tags:
Staff Sgt. Erich B. Smith
162nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Amie Neighbors)
Brig. Gen. James C. Witham, Deputy Director, Air National Guard, the Pentagon, (left) passes the command flag to Col. Matthew J. Manifold, who will head the Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Command Test Center (AATC) at the 162nd Fighter Wing in Tucson, Ariz., May 3, 2013.

An Air Guard command pilot took the reins as commander of the Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Command Test Center (AATC) at the 162nd Fighter Wing after a change-of-command ceremony here May 3.

Col. Matthew J. Manifold replaced Col. Richard J. Dennee, who retired after 30 years of combined military service in the Air Guard and Air Force.

In his speech, Col. Manifold outlined his primary purpose as the new head of the AATC.

“As a test center commander, I’ll make sure that Airmen in the field are going to have the best equipment available to prosecute the enemy. And in the next war, we’re going to take all that equipment, and do it all over again,” he said. “That’s my promise.”

Col. Manifold arrived in Tucson from Nellis Air Force Base, where he served as Air National Guard Advisor to the Commander, U.S. Air Force Warfare Center. He previously held the position of Director of Operations for the AATC.

Col. Manifold praised the test center as a mecca of collaborative efficiency and wartime relevancy.

“We (AATC) knew what ‘Total Force Integration’ was before anybody else, and we’re a family,” he said. “I can do all the testing I want right here, but until I get it in the hands of the warfighter, it does me no good. That’s why we have a saying: ‘It doesn’t count until they’re flying and sustaining it in the field.’”

Though the 162nd Fighter Wing is widely known in Air Force circles as a world-premiere, international F-16 training unit, the AATC is unique as it serves as a tenant of the wing with the primary mission of keeping the Air Reserve Component function on par with its active-duty counterpart.

Retired Air Guard Col. Paul H. O’Donnell, the AATC’s first commander, said the presence of older aircraft and equipment justified the need to establish a highly functional test center.

“We had aircraft that were no longer in the active inventory,” he said. “What we wanted to do was have a way to implement minor-level modifications so that we can continue to have a viable weapons system.”

Thus, the Fighter Weapons Office – which would eventually be renamed the Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Command Test Center – became a reality in 1981.

Col. Dennee, the departing commander, said the AATC will move forward in its steadfast commitment of “keeping the mission objectives focused and giving the tools our warfighters need to do their jobs.”

“The relationship we (AATC) have with the 162nd Fighter Wing is great,” said Col. Manifold, who has logged over 800 combat flying hours during such operations as Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. “They let us hang our hats and park our airplanes here, and even though we are a tenant unit, this wing has never made us feel that way.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
DiamondSharp_pict

Diamond Sharp April 18, 2014

Name/Squadron: Airman 1st Class Jessica Nail / 612 AOC (CPD) First Sergeant: Master Sgt. Jamie Harwick Duty Title: ATO Production Technician When joined the AF: August 16, 2011 Hometown: Cambridge, Illinois Hobbies: Soccer, Pla...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier)

Military child recognized by Arizona BGCA

A Sonoran Science Academy freshman was recently selected as the Boys and Girls Club of America Arizona Military Youth of the Year. David Zulli, son of Lt. Col. Daniel Zulli, 355th Fighter Wing base chaplain, competed against ot...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Sivan Veazie)

Being blessed by benevolence; AF honors Ben’s Bells founder

Jeannette Mare, founder and executive director of Ben’s Bells Project, flew in a Hometown Hero flight with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Air Demonstration Squadron, April 11. After 11 years of service, Mare was awarded the ...
 

 
DadYear

D-M Airman to be honored as a Tucson Father of the Year

The Father’s Day Council Tucson has chosen a Desert Lightning Team member as a 2014 Tucson Father of the Year. Capt. Joshua Palochak, 41st Electronic Combat Squadron senior mission crew commander, is one of six Tucson fathers...
 
 

Heroes of Davis-Monthan AFB

Tech. Sgt David Beasley Tech. Sgt David Beasley, 355th Security Forces Squadron Security Forces trainer, has been on three contingency deployments to Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. During his deployments, he has been continuously challenged in support of combat operations. His roles have ranged from airfield and inflight security between Kuwait and Iraq, a Close Precision...
 
 
DiamondSharp_pict1

Diamond Sharp April 4, 2014

Name/Squadron: Staff Sgt. Wesley Shumard First Sergeant: Master Sgt. Jason Maberry Duty title: Assistant NCOIC of the Student Flight When joined the AF: June 2009 Hometown: Norman, OK Hobbies: Restoring older vehicles Selection...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin