Test wing welcomes new commander

  • Published
  • By Kelley J. Stewart

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - Brig. Gen. Mark A. Massaro assumed command of the 96th Test Wing from Brig. Gen. Jeffrey T. Geraghty at a ceremony that began at 9:06 a.m. July 3 at the McKinley Climatic Lab.

Maj. Gen. Evan C. Dertien, Air Force Test Center commander and former 96th TW commander, presided over the ceremony.

“I’m so happy to return to Eglin,” Massaro said.  “While it’s fantastic to return as a previous member of the test wing and it’s comforting to be back as a Florida native, even in July, what causes me to smile the most is getting to contribute to this mission again.”

Massaro, a command pilot with more than 2,200 combat hours began his test pilot career in 2007.  His first duty assignment as an F-16 experimental test pilot was with the 40th Flight Test Squadron at Eglin.

He joins the wing after commanding a data masked organization where he led military, civilian, and contractors and managed more than $10 billion in resources across multiple locations.

“[Gen. Massaro] congratulations.  I am confident you will lead the 96th TW with the same passion and dedication you have shown in your previous assignments,” Dertien said.  “I look forward to the future of the 96th TW under your leadership as you continue the distinguished legacy of this organization.”

As the new commander, he leads more than 10,000 military, civilians and contractors who conduct developmental testing and evaluation of conventional munitions, command and control systems, aircraft avionics and guidance systems, and radar cross section measurements.  Massaro will also manage a 120,000 square mile over-water test range plus facilities in six states and direct all base operating support, infrastructure, and services support for Eglin.

“In this time of significant change as we reoptimize our Air Force for Great Power Competition and develop imperative operational capabilities that increase lethality and effectiveness and enhance command and control in a multi-domain peer adversary environment, I know that while there’s a lot for us to do, our Nation can absolutely count on the 96th TW and our Team Eglin mission partners to get it done,” he said. 

“As commander, my priorities are simple but essential – execute the mission, take care of our people, and partner for success,” Massaro said.

Geraghty, who assumed command of the 96th TW in June 2022, departs to become Air Force Material Command’s director of International Affairs, and the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center director of Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

Link to Brig. Gen. Mark A. Massaro's biography

Link to Maj. Gen. Evan C. Dertien's biography