A message from AEDC's new commander

  • Published
  • By Col. Raymond Toth
First off, I'd like to say how excited I am to be the first commander of the newly designated Arnold Engineering Development Complex. I look forward to leading our combined government and contractor workforce through the transition phase of Air Force Materiel Command's five-center construct as well as through the challenges facing our country as a whole over the next few years.

Theresa and I are touched by the outpouring of support from Team AEDC as well as the surrounding communities. Our local communities have astounded me by their willingness to spend time and resources to support our mission here at AEDC, and I truly look forward to a fruitful partnership with legislators, local government officials, civic groups and the Arnold Community Council.

As a command pilot, I have bet my life on the equipment tested here at Arnold over the past 61 years. Your dedication to the mission has always enabled our warfighters to take the fight to the enemy and return home safely, as well as to train new pilots and flight test new airframes. The foundation you laid set the stage for American air and space dominance in every conflict since World War II and promises to guide us to new heights in future warfighting domains.

While most of my career was spent on the flying side of the mission, my time commanding the 46th Test Group at Holloman AFB exposed me to an operational ground test environment much like what exists here at Arnold, so I am keenly aware of the challenges we face within the Test and Evaluation enterprise. I look forward to working closely with the other test wings of the Air Force Test Center to advocate for and strengthen ground test's role in providing unparalleled support to our nation's warfighters.

As with all newcomers, it will take Theresa and I some time to transition to the uniqueness of Arnold, but Brig. Gen. Brewer and Deb gave us a great start, a firm foundation and a flexible action plan enabling continued test and evaluation excellence and put AEDC on a trajectory of innovative, efficient aerospace ground testing for the future. Additionally, as I've seen so far first-hand, Team AEDC has an amazing workforce which is dedicated to mission success.

My vision for AEDC is to continue the drive to become leaner, more efficient, cost-effective and transparent in our business practices. We live in a time of austere budgets, both in the Department of Defense as well as the country in general, and we must continue to develop business opportunities, both government and commercial, at AEDC. It is incumbent on all of us to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars - we must continue to show that we add value to DoD and to the warfighter. We do this by exceeding all customer expectations in delivering sound test techniques, data delivery and analysis - making AEDC the go-to organization for aerospace ground test and evaluation.

As I make my way around the complex and the local communities, please engage with me and help me understand your role as it relates to the mission of AEDC and your thoughts on our future.

Thanks again for warmly welcoming me and my family to Middle Tennessee. I look forward to meeting our world-class workforce and ensuring our vital role as the nation's premier aerospace ground test facility continues and grows.