Maj. Gen. Evan C. Dertien assumed command of the Air Force Test Center during a July 15, 2021, ceremony in Hangar 1600 at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
Dertien takes the reins from Maj. Gen. Christopher P. Azzano who has commanded the center for the past three years.
Gen. Arnold W. Bunch, Jr., Air Force Materiel Command commander, presided over the ceremony.
Dertien now directs a test enterprise of more than 18,000 military, civilian and contractor personnel across Arnold AFB, Tenn., Edwards AFB, and Eglin AFB, Fla.
“It is an absolute honor to come back to AFTC,” said Dertien during the change of command ceremony. “This is a dream job.”
His area of responsibility will include the development, test, and evaluation of manned and unmanned aircraft systems in both experimental and proven aerospace vehicles. These include programs for military services, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), NASA, and international partners, in addition to operation of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School.
“Today our nation and our allies face many new and complex security challenges especially as our near-peers and competitors rapidly evolve their capabilities and field new technology,” said Dertien. “The Air Force Test Center remains crucial and fundamental for forging and sharpening the capabilities that will be required to maintain our competitive edge. AFTC is already helping develop the Air Force of the future.”
Dertien comes to Edwards from Headquarters, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, where he served as the director of Air, Space and Cyberspace Operations. Prior, he served as the commander of Air Force Research Lab also at Wright-Patterson AFB.
Dertien graduated from the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB in 2002 and later returned to Edwards as an F-22 Test pilot in 2003, an Operations Officer for the F-22 Combined Test Force in 2007, again as the 412th Test Wing commander in 2012, and finally as the vice commander for Air Force Test Center in 2013.
Dertien has flown more than 3,100 hours in the F-15, F-22, F-16, and 25 other aircraft.