Col. Jeffrey T. Geraghty assumed command of the Arnold Engineering Development Complex as the 31st commander during a Change of Command ceremony on June 18.
Brig. Gen. Christopher Azzano, commander of the Air Force Test Center [Edwards AFB, Calif.], presided over the ceremony. The ceremony was also attended by the commanders’ guests, local dignitaries and AEDC personnel inside J-6 , the AEDC Large Rocket Motor Test Facility at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn.
Geraghty comes to Arnold from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, where he was Commander of the 645th Aeronautical Systems Group, also known as Big Safari. As commander he was responsible for sustainment, upgrade, modification, depot, supply and flight test activities for all programs assigned to Big Safari. Prior to this assignment, Geraghty was a Secretary of Defense Corporate Fellow at Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) in Hawthorne, Calif.
He has served as an F-15E pilot in Operations Northern Watch, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, an F-15/F-16 test pilot, a staff officer in numerous agencies, and a program manager.
After the passing of the guidon during the Change of Command ceremony, Geraghty commented that he’s excited about his new role as AEDC commander as he’s heard good things about Arnold and the community.
”We already know that we are surrounded by an astoundingly capable workforce, generous families, supportive community and a rich, rich history of excellence here at Arnold Engineering Development Complex,” he said. “Everyone I talk to about this assignment tells me, ‘Oh wow, you get to go work with the brain trust.’ That’s what they call you …”
“Nora (Mrs. Geraghty) and I have a saying that we’ve been using for the past 20 years between us. When things are going well or things are going great, we say, ‘Just our luck.’
“But we know it’s not just luck. It’s the support of everybody who has helped to get us to where we are, everybody who has helped us along the way, and I’m confident that our luck will continue thanks to your support and dedication because of all you do for this team and this mission. I want to say thank you to each and every single one of you sitting out there today.”
Geraghty also thanked outgoing commander, Col. Scott Cain, who is assuming command of the 96th Test Wing at Eglin Air Force Base.
“Thanks for leaving AEDC in such good shape,” he said. “You’re going to be a tough act to follow and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Just our luck.”
As AEDC commander, Geraghty leads an advanced complex of flight simulation test facilities. AEDC is one of three installations which are part of the Air Force Test Center (AFTC) enterprise, one of the six subordinate commands of the Air Force Materiel Command organization, and an important national resource.
The complex is comprised of more than 68 aerospace test facilities, which in addition to the headquarters at Arnold AFB includes operating locations at the Federal Research Center at White Oak near Silver Spring, Maryland; at Ames Research Center in Mountain View and Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.; Eglin AFB, Fla.; Hill Air Force Base, Utah; Holloman Air Force Base and Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.; Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.; and Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. The test facilities simulate flight from subsonic to hypersonic speeds at altitudes from sea level to space. In addition all NASA manned spacecraft, every high performance aircraft and missile, as well as most space launch systems and military satellites in use by the Department of Defense today, have been tested in AEDC facilities.