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AFMC commander returns to familiar ground

AFMC CC immersion

Airmen from the 96th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Red surround Gen. Arnold Bunch, Air Force Materiel Command commander, during a Q and A session with the unit Oct. 16 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The commander visited the 96th Test Wing operations and maintenance shops on his two-day tour of the base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

AFMC CC immersion

Capt. Joshua Lee talks with Gen. Arnold Bunch, Air Force Materiel Command commander, about unmanned aerial systems Oct. 15 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The commander visited Air Force Research Lab Munitions Directorate’s newest networking test and design facility during an early stop on his two-day tour of the base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

AFMC CC immersion

Airmen from the 96th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Blue speak with Gen. Arnold Bunch, Air Force Materiel Command commander, during his visit with the unit Oct. 16 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The commander visited the 96th Test Wing operations and maintenance shops on his two-day tour of the base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

AFMC CC immersion

Gen. Arnold Bunch, Air Force Materiel Command commander, gets a bandage from Tech. Sgt. Amanda Grant after receiving his flu shot Oct. 16 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The flu shot came during the Bunch’s tour of the 96th Medical Group facilities, one of many stops during his two-day tour of the base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ilka Cole)

AFMC CC immersion

Gen. Arnold Bunch, Air Force Materiel Command commander, and Benjamin Dickinson examine the unique aspect of the missile enhancement via reconfigurable interceptor nose or MERLIN Oct. 15 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The commander visited Air Force Research Lab Munitions Directorate’s newest networking test and design facility during an early stop on his two-day tour of the base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

AFMC CC immersion

Base leadership wait to send off Gen. Arnold Bunch, Air Force Materiel Command commander, with a final salute Oct. 16 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Bunch visited with the leadership and their Airmen during his two-day tour of the base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ilka Cole)

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.”