Sabat assumes command of 716th Test Squadron

  • Published
  • By Bradley Hicks
  • AEDC Public Affairs

Lt. Col. Joseph Sabat should get plenty of opportunities in his latest role to apply the engineering knowledge and experience he has amassed over the course of his Air Force career.

Sabat assumed command of the of Arnold Engineering Development Complex 716th Test Squadron during a Change of Command ceremony June 18, 2024, at Arnold Air Force Base, headquarters of AEDC.

The 716 TS provides aerodynamic effects and captive trajectory ground-test capabilities through the operation of multiple wind tunnels across a range of speeds at simulated altitudes. The test squadron is made up of several wind tunnels at Arnold AFB as well as AEDC Hypervelocity Wind Tunnel 9 in White Oak, Maryland, and the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex at Moffett Field, California.

“As for the mission and people, I couldn’t be more honored to be entrusted to ensure our success,” Sabat said after accepting the guidon to assume command of the 716 TS. “Collecting and analyzing data from the nation’s premier wind tunnel facilities is fascinating alone. When you pair that data collection with the customers we support, the ones building the weapon systems our warfighters will employ in support of our national military interests, it does not get any better.”

Sabat is a flight test engineer with more than 200 flying hours in 30 aircraft types.

Prior to his new assignment at Arnold, Sabat served as chief of the Advanced Technologies Branch, Advanced Programs Division, Directorate of Plans, Programs and Requirements, Headquarters Air Combat Command. In that post, he directed requirements and acquisition strategies for the $5 billion special access program research and development portfolio.

Sabat was commissioned in 2008 as the top graduate in engineering mechanics at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He began his engineering career at the Air Force Research Laboratory where he developed and operated unmanned aerial systems for weapons research, including a deployment to Afghanistan.

He went on to serve in a ground-based space surveillance telescope program office to ensure the telescopes were sustained for the next 20 years. This was followed by an assignment instructing mechanical engineering at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Sabat graduated U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School as an experimental flight test engineer in 2016. He was subsequently assigned as test director and lead flight test engineer for F-22 Raptor development flight test. Afterward he served as director of operations for the 772nd Test Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base, California, where he led daily electronic warfare test operations for 130 squadron members.

Before taking his post at Air Combat Command, Sabat was a joint exchange student at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.

“To the men and women of the 716th, I am deeply honored and excited to be entrusted with the responsibility of leading this exceptional team,” Sabat said during the Change of Command ceremony. “The dedication and professionalism exhibited by each member of the unit that I have interacted with so far are exemplary, and I am humbled to stand amongst such talented individuals.”

To close his speech, Sabat again addressed team members in the 716 TS, stating he was filled with “optimism and determination” as he looked forward in his new assignment.

“I promise to lead passionately with that responsibility in mind of executing our wartime mission every day in support of the warfighter,” Sabat said. “I’m humbled and determined to be the best commander of the 716th that I can be. I charge you to do the same in whatever role you fill. Show up daily. Execute your wartime mission with the warfighter in mind. Be held accountable to that sacred mission and continue to strive for excellence in all we do. Aligned in that vision, I am confident that we as a team will continue to make progress and bolster the deterrence and combat postures of our great nation in this great power competition.”