July 11, 2018

Blake becomes new commandant at U.S.A.F. Test Pilot School

Kenji Thuloweit
Edwards AFB, Calif.

Brig. Gen. Carl Schaefer, 412th Test Wing commander (left), and new U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School commandant, Col. Ryan Blake, pose with the school’s guidon during a change of command ceremony in Hangar 1207, July 10, 2018.

Col. Ryan Blake took the helm as the new commandant of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., during a change of command ceremony held in Hangar 1207, July 10.

As commandant of TPS, Blake will drive the school’s strategic vision, set organizational objectives and direct a $32.5 million budget overseeing the day-to-day operations of the world’s premier test pilot school.

Blake graduated from TPS in December 2008 and is both a seasoned combat pilot and test pilot. He previously served as the 96th Operations Group commander at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, and before that was a test pilot and flight test squadron commander. He is a command pilot with more than 2,400 military flight hours in 44 aircraft types as an experimental test pilot, instructor pilot and evaluator pilot.

“When you look at the wall (of former commandants) in the schoolhouse, you see household names like Chuck Yeager and Buzz Aldrin…to be selected as the new commandant is very humbling,” Blake said.

Col. Matthew Higer, who served as commandant for the past year, is moving on to become a wing commander at another base.

Since 1951, the school at Edwards AFB is where the Air Force’s top pilots, navigators and engineers learn how to conduct flight test and generate the data needed to carry out test missions. Human lives and millions of dollars depend upon how carefully a test mission is planned and flown. The comprehensive, one-year curriculum of TPS is fundamental to the success of flight test and evaluation, according to the school. Upon graduating from TPS, graduates receive a Master of Science Degree in Flight Test Engineering.

“You are the enabler of combat capability for our nation and our allies,” said Brig. Gen. Carl Schaefer, 412th Test Wing commander, who presided over the ceremony. “You prepare our finest officers and civilians to conduct and support elevated-risk flight test every day to ensure Air Force, joint, coalition, mission success across the globe. You are the producer of astronauts and leaders in our Air Force, Navy and numerous countries.”

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



Innovative Team of quarter explores pilot workload

The Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Innovative Team of the Quarter — the 412th Operations Group’s Objective Measures of Pilot Workload Team –, is changing the way we test and evaluate the pilot workload experienced during flight operations.  The pilot workload team brought their idea to the XCITE Team for funding and with help from the...

Medical group promotes Lung Cancer Awareness Month with scavenger hunt

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and the third Thursday of November is also when the American Cancer Society promotes their annual Great American Smokeout — the one day a year where smokers across the nation can make a plan to quit … a step toward cancer risk reduction and a healthier lifestyle. This year’s...
Air Force photograph

Air Force Test Center gets new top NCO

Air Force photograph Chief Master Sgt. Michael Ditore Chief Master Sgt. Michael Ditore is the new command chief for the Air Force Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Ditore comes to Edwards from Kadena Air Base, Japan...