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Test Center leadership plan future of test

Azzano visit

Mark Giuliano, 96th Civil Engineer Squadron, briefs Maj. Gen. Christopher Azzano, Air Force Test Center commander, and others about fire suppression Dec. 5 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The general toured the base during a strategic planning visit. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ilka Cole)

Azzano visit

Maj. Gen. Christopher Azzano, Air Force Test Center commander, talks with Invisible Wounds Center and 96th Medical Group personnel Dec. 5 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The general toured the base during a strategic planning visit. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ilka Cole)

Azzano visit

Airmen from the 96th Medical Group demonstrated wartime medical emergency procedures for Maj. Gen. Christopher Azzano and Chief Master Sgt. Michael Ditore, Air Force Test Center commander and command chief, (pictured) Dec. 5 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The general and chief toured the base during a strategic planning visit. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ilka Cole)

Azzano visit

Jacqueline Jones, Invisible Wounds Center art therapist, briefs Maj. Gen. Christopher Azzano, Air Force Test Center commander and Col. Anthony Mitchell, 96th Aerospace Medicine Squadron commander, Dec. 5 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The general toured the base during a strategic planning visit. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ilka Cole)

Azzano visit

Maj. Gen. Christopher Azzano, Air Force Test Center commander, tours the 413th Flight Test Squadron’s helicopter testing areas on Duke Field Dec. 5 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The general toured the base during a strategic planning visit. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jasmine Porterfield)

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

Leaders from the three bases that make up the Air Force Test Center came together to plan the future of Air Force test during an annual strategic planning gathering here Dec. 3-5.

Respective wing commanders and senior leaders joined Maj. Gen. Christopher Azzano, AFTC commander, to evaluate past performances, discuss ideas and establish goals for the year ahead. The gathering occurs at a different AFTC site each year between here, Edwards AFB, California and Arnold AFB, Tennessee.  

“We are a lynchpin to the future superiority of the free world,” said Azzano. “Everything we do moves the ball forward.”

According to Azzano, the Center currently runs more than 670 programs with many involving cyber capabilities and next-generation technologies such as hypersonics, autonomous systems and directed energy.

The agenda focused on how to advance these technologies to meet National Defense Strategy initiatives.  Other topics included personnel, infrastructure and budget as they pertain to mission success and strategic deterrence.

 “We need to stay ahead of our adversaries,” said Azzano. “We need to be faster, have more agility and flexibility and take on more risk.”

During the event, leaders got an inside look into several Eglin assets and capabilities, including the Air Force’s new HH-60 Combat Rescue helicopter, MH-139 facilities, the Invisible Wounds Clinic, and base-specific fire suppression practices being considered for Air Force-wide use.

“Do not underestimate the inertia of [Air Force Material Command] staff,” said Azzano. “[We’re] the point of execution to make things happen.”

An updated AFTC Strategic Plan is scheduled to be published in early 2020.