412th Electronic Warfare Group welcomes new commander

  • Published
  • By Giancarlo "Carlo" Casem
  • 412th Test Wing

The 412th Electronic Warfare Group held a change of command ceremony to bid farewell to Col. Jose Gutierrez and welcomed Col. Hans Buckwalter at Edwards Air Force Base, California, June 18.

Col. Douglas Wickert, 412th Test Wing Commander, officiated the event that also formally bid farewell to the Gutierrez family. Wickert took time to offer his remarks about Gutierrez’s contributions to the 412th EWG and to the Edwards community.

“You have led the EWG with professionalism, class, and in addition to the mission, you have focused on our most important asset, our people,” Wickert said. “You have been the architect of building a culture in the EWG that makes it a place known for innovation, as well as its contribution to warfighting lethality, and survivability.”

Gutierrez oversaw the construction of two facilities within the Joint Simulation Environment portfolio, one at Edwards and the other at Nellis AFB, Nevada, during his tenure as the 412th EWG commander.

“We're moving from the traditional Cold War-mission era that we've spent decades on to a future of sixth generation platforms that are intended to operate in a highly complex modern and lethal environment,” Gutierrez said. “That simple fact really will no doubt challenge our ability to do tests and training and requires modernization throughout the test and training enterprise. This very idea really shaped my actions and leadership during my time as commander.”

The incoming commander, Buckwalter has previously served as the Air Force Test Center Director of Safety where he advised the AFTC commander in developing, executing and evaluating aviation, ground, weapons, systems and test mishap prevention.

In Buckwalter’s new role as the 412th EWG commander, he will be responsible for executing survivability and electronic warfare testing across a multitude of bases, capabilities and platforms supporting Air Force system development for the near-peer fight for great power competition.