EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
When Gen. Arnold W. Bunch, Jr. exited the plane here Oct. 14, he stepped onto familiar ground. He was back where he spent most of his time as a colonel and became a general. This time, he was here as the Air Force Materiel Command’s commander.
Bunch’s return was for a two-day site and immersion with some of his former units, now as their commander.
“Team Eglin is critical to the AFMC We Need,” Bunch said. “Whether its research, test, acquisition or support - it is all here and contributes to what we’re doing to increase readiness and lethality.”
The commander met with leaders and Airmen from the research and acquisition side on his first day. Both units he led during his time here, (Air Force Research Lab Munitions Directorate and the Armament Directorate) were reintroduced in a new light.
“It is really nice to come back here,” he said. “I was able to see some familiar faces, friends I made along the way and meet the new people carrying on those Eglin traditions of collaboration across the spectrum.”
On the second day, the focus was testing and support. He visited with both operations and maintenance Airmen in the morning, followed by support personnel in the afternoon.
The general said he had a lot of respect and gained inspiration from the junior force who briefed him throughout his immersion. During this time, Bunch received updates on what he considers one of Eglin’s keys to the National Defense Strategy.
“Eglin’s range is critical for us in testing out fifth generation aircraft and advanced technologies to the proper level, so we can hand our Airmen the best possible products when they are called upon,” said the general.
Bunch came away from his visit with a clear picture of Eglin’s roles and identity within his command.
“Team Eglin is hitting on all cylinders,” Bunch said. “We’re asking a lot of them without a lot of resources. They are innovative in their thinking in trying to solve problems. My job as the AFMC commander is to help them out - through civilian hiring, manpower and to champion the work being done. The Airmen’s passion, energy and drive motivates me to fight for them and remove any road blocks I can that stand in their pathway to success.”