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AFOTEC gets new commanding general

Air Force Assistant Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Stephen L. Hoog officiates the assumption of command of Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Commander Maj. Gen. Matthew H. Molloy at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., on June 18, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jamie M. Burnett)

Air Force Assistant Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Stephen L. Hoog officiates the assumption of command of Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Commander Maj. Gen. Matthew H. Molloy at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., on June 18, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jamie M. Burnett)

Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. -- Maj. Gen. Matthew H. Molloy assumed command of the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center (AFOTEC) during a ceremony held here June 18.

Molloy, the Headquarters U.S. Northern Command former Deputy Director of Operations, replaced Maj. Gen. Scott D. West who took command of the 9th Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force and NATO Air Command in Afghanistan in April.

Lt. Gen. Stephen L. Hoog, the Air Force Assistant Vice Chief of Staff, officiated the assumption of command ceremony.

"In today's fiscal and geopolitical environment, what AFOTEC does in terms of testing is absolutely critical," Hoog said. "We simply can't afford everything and the challenges we face in the field are many. Your testing processes help inform acquisition decision makers so they can keep costs down, while also ensuring that warfighter needs are met."

Hoog highlighted AFOTEC's accomplishments under Major General West.

"Under the skilled leadership of Major General West, AFOTEC flourished," said Hoog. "They worked on everything from base defense systems, to cyber security, to evaluation of new aircraft such as the KC-46 tanker and F-35A.

"AFOTEC embraced the highest standards of fiscal responsibility, blending several processes so successfully that the Center was able to return the equivalent of a quarter of its funding to the Air Force in 2013 and $2 million dollars the following year," Hoog said.

"These are just a few examples that are a testament to the quality of work, dedication, and innovative thinking you find in AFOTEC's Airmen. It's no wonder they earned the Air Force's first ever "Highly Effective" rating on its Unit Effectiveness Inspection."

Hoog also discussed the leadership qualities Molloy brings to the organization.

"Not only has he proven time and again that he's a superb operational commander, but as a student of aerospace engineering and as a trained strategic thinker, he's got solid credentials that mesh perfectly with AFOTEC's mission," said Hoog.

"Without a doubt, he'll lead the men and women of this Center to overcome the challenges and rigors they'll face in the years ahead and will ensure our Air Force and warfighters have the appropriate tools to carry out the mission of defending our Nation," Hoog said.

General Molloy addressed the members of AFOTEC as he assumed the mantle of commander.

"If there are three words today that capture my thoughts, they would be blessed, humbled, and grateful," said Molloy. "I stand before America's finest and I clearly understand my role as commander.

"My promise to you is to keep on the positive course General West charted while at the same time challenging you to an even steeper flight path of excellence via continual and incremental improvement in all areas.

"I will provide for you the guidance, tools, and top cover you need to get the job done while fostering an environment that is fueled by integrity, service, and excellence - our Service core values," Molloy said. "I will also strive to make this your best assignment ever, such that when you wake up each morning, you relish coming to work, coming to serve. It will be an honor and privilege to serve alongside you."

AFOTEC is a direct reporting unit under Headquarters, United States Air Force. It is the Air Force's independent test agency responsible for testing and evaluating, in operationally realistic environments, new systems being developed for Air Force and multi-service use.