In a hybrid in-person/virtual change of command ceremony July 9, 2020, Col. Ryan “Cujo” Blake relinquished command of the U.S. Test Pilot School to Col. Sebrina L. “Poco” Pabon.
Brig. Gen. Matthew Higer, commander of the 412th Test Wing presided over the ceremony, thanking Blake for his service, and welcoming Pabon ‘back’ to Edwards.
Pabon, returns to Edwards from an undisclosed location where she served as the deputy commander for an operations group.
She is a senior officer aircrew member with more than 700 military flight hours in 30 different aircraft types, both as a flight test engineer and an instructor flight test engineer. Pabon is a 2006 graduate of the Test Pilot School. Following TPs graduation, she served as chief of test safety and flight commander of the 416th Flight Test Squadron at Edwards; and from 2008-2009, she served as performance branch chief, instructor FTE, at the Test Pilot School.
Pabon is also a 1995 graduate of Desert High School at Edwards.
During the ceremony, Pabon addressed the those in attendance, both physically and virtually.
“To Colonel Blake Thank you for all you have done for the school, both the staff and their families. I appreciate you will be missed by your family at the school,” she said. “We wish you and your entire family all the best as you transition to the next stage of your life at your new home in Texas.
“I am excited to be back and I am extremely honored and humbled for this amazing opportunity to serve and lead this outstanding team as we continue to educate and train our future flight test professionals,” Pabon said. “The past few months have been a challenge and you have risen to meet that. The innovation and adaptability you have shown is a great example of this talented team and I am really looking forward to continuing on the path of excellence where knowledge is power.
“My family and I are very excited to be back here at Edwards. I definitely never thought that 25 years ago I’d be back on the very stage that I graded HS. I didn’t even know that engineers could attend the world’s premiere Test Professional School -– let alone become the commandant.
“But we could not be more grateful for this amazing opportunity, and we look forward to being part of the Edwards’ community and family again,” she concluded.
As part of the ceremony, Higer awarded the Legion of Merit to Blake medal.
Blake is retiring after 22 years of Air Force service. Blake has served as TPS commander since 2018 – when he assumed command from them-Col. Matthew Higer.