Bunch to command AFMC

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Lt. Gen. Arnold W. Bunch, Jr. will become the next commander of Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

He currently serves as Military Deputy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. The nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate May 23. 

Bunch has been assigned to Edwards multiple times over the course of his career, graduating from the USAF Test Pilot School in 1991.

Following graduation, was assigned to the 6512th Test Squadron (1991-1992) and the 420th Test Squadron (1992-1995).

Bunch returned to Edwards in the summer of 2000 when he became commander of the 419th Flight Test Squadron, a position he held until 2002.

Following assignments to Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, Arlington, Va., and Eglin AFB, Fla., he returned to Edwards again, this time serving as commander of the 412th Test Wing from January 2006 until May 2008.

In June 2012, Bunch became commander of the Air Force Test Center at Edwards, a position he held until June of 2015.

In his new position, Bunch will direct AFMC’s enterprise which oversees 80,000 employees and manages nearly $60 billion annually. The command oversees eight Air Force installations nationwide and is charged with developing, acquiring, modernizing and sustaining Air Force weapon systems across their life cycle. The AFMC portfolio ranges from basic and applied scientific research, to Air Force uniforms, information systems and software, manned and unmanned aircraft, and directed energy weapons. The command includes six centers, which are the:  Air Force Research Laboratory,  Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, Air Force Test Center, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Air Force Sustainment Center and Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center. The National Museum of the United States Air Force also falls under AFMC and serves at the service’s national institution for preserving and presenting the Air Force story. 

Bunch will take the banner of AFMC as the new National Defense Strategy focuses each of the services on innovation, cost-effective modernization and enhancing lethality to address the challenge of great power competition.  He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School.  No stranger to AFMC or to Wright-Patterson, Bunch has served in a number of leadership roles in the weapons development, acquisition, and test communities, including Program Executive Officer for Fighters and Bombers, commander of the Air Force Security Assistance Center, and commander of the Air Force Test Center.  The B-52 and B-2 bombers are among the many aircraft he has flown.

Bunch succeeds Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, who retired in September after more than 40 years of commissioned service. 

In late August 2018, Lt. Gen. Robert D. McMurry Jr. was named as interim commander of AFMC, bridging the gap from Pawlikowski’s retirement until a four-star successor was named and confirmed.  McMurry was dual-hatted, serving as Air Force Life Cycle Management Center commander as well as interim AFMC commander.  Upon assumption of command by Bunch, McMurry will return full time to his duties as Air Force Life Cycle Management Center commander.

The assumption of command ceremony will be held May 31 at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. Additional details regarding the ceremony will be released soon.