Test Center commander visits Eglin

  • Published
  • By Samuel King Jr.

The Air Force Test Center commander returned “home” for a two-day visit and tour here Nov. 12-13.

“It’s always great to be back on the Emerald Coast,” said Maj. Gen. Christopher Azzano, of his former base and wing.  “It feels like home and the 96th Test Wing hospitality is second to none.”

The general began his visit learning about Eglin’s COVID-19 protocols and how the base’s medical personnel manages the pandemic.

Azzano encouraged everyone to take COVID-19 seriously, follow the CDC guidance and stressed wearing a mask.

“It’s a threat, a threat to readiness and lethality for our service which means a threat to the defense of our nation,” said the general about COVID-19.

 He also met with the test wing’s aircraft maintainers, support personnel and learned about Eglin’s thriving innovation program.

“Team Eglin and the 96th Test Wing continue to forge combat power for our nation with extraordinary strategic impact. Their innovative spirit is second to none." said Azzano.

The general’s afternoon was devoted to Eglin’s hurricane response procedures and a small, socially distanced commander’s call at the Air Force Armament Museum.  

Azzano spent his second day in Eglin operations. He took a tour above the Eglin range via the 413th Flight Test Squadron’s UH-1 Huey before arriving at Duke Field.  There, he got an up-close look at the Air Force’s newest helicopter, the MH-139 Grey Wolf.

Later, he visited the 96th Cyberspace Test Group, the lead organization for developmental testing of command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems, cybersecurity operations and electronic warfare.

"The 96th set the stage for AFTC to develop Advanced Battle Management System rapidly and vault the U.S. ahead of our adversaries, with Joint All-Domain Operations. These are the world’s best Airmen doing amazing things when our Nation needs them most.” said the former 96th TW commander from 2015 -2017.

The general spoke about the future of test and how his center and Eglin’s wing are connected in the progress to come.

“Our nation is depending on the 96th and the Test Center to pave the way as we always have,” he said. “That pioneering spirit that helps us discover new things results in the types of capabilities that keep us ahead of our adversaries.”