HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. --
The 605th Test and Evaluation Squadron welcomes Lt. Col. Leslie “Nilla” Woll as the squadron’s new commander during a change of command ceremony, Hurlburt Field, Florida, July 28.
Col. Adam Shelton, 505th Test and Training Group commander, handed command to Woll from Lt. Col. Carly Sims. The change of command is a military tradition, representing a formal transfer of a unit’s authority and responsibility from one commander to another.
Shelton thanked Sims for her exemplary leadership then expanded on how under her leadership team Phoenix has blazed trails outside of their normal wheelhouse leaning into the 2019 “ABMS [Advanced Battle Management System] ‘on-ramps’ to showcase what was in the realm of possible if the Air Force adopted and modernized its IT [Information Technology] infrastructure and reimagined what C2 [command and control] could be.” As well as the Tactical Air Control Party team driving “digital close air support processes with emerging technology and cut the kill-chain execution by over 33% and publish new techniques, tactics and procedures for 24 nations.”
Shelton concluded, “Lastly, and one of the most important yet unsung developments, under her leadership the team has steered the test strategy for six modern crypto programs allowing four different combatant commands to field vital capabilities in a timely manner. “
Sims delivered her farewell to the squadron with a speech before relinquishing her command, thanking her mentors, family, and squadron personnel.
“I am truly honored and thankful for the privilege of serving as the commander of the Phoenix,” said Sims. “The Phoenix have persevered through the fluctuating environment of the past two years [pandemic]. When most others were locked down at home, our Phoenix testers were on the road, ensuring we never delayed the delivery of the latest capabilities to the warfighter. The Phoenix figured out new in-person, virtual and remote ways of testing, and as already mentioned, conducted hundreds of test events through it all.”
Sims continued, “The Phoenix continues to set the bar, and set it high, for driving toward the future. Det. 3’s product owner process ensures the right capabilities are being developed for their system. Det. 1 is leading the international discussions on test strategies and partnerships for the E-7 [Wedgetail] as the airborne C2 system experts. Det. 2 has repeatedly demonstrated their professionalism and drive designing a transition plan as team Robins evolves from the JSTARS [Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System] and takes new missions.
As commander, Woll will lead 148 personnel in the planning, execution, and reporting of operational tests on the Airborne Warning and Control System, JSTARS, Control and Reporting Centers, Air Operations Center, TACP, Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications, and Distributed Common Ground Station weapon systems. The 605th TES is a composite squadron located at Hurlburt Field with three detachments and one operating location.
Shelton recognized Woll’s deep history and experience within the battle management community. “With time in the E-3 AWACS, CRC and AOC, there is little in the community she isn’t aware of or an experience she can’t draw from. However, Nilla isn’t only a do-er, but an accomplished scholar by graduating both the U.S. Air Force’s Weapons School and School of Advanced Air and Space Studies.”
Prior to her current assignment, Woll was the Chief, Strategy Plans Team, A35 Future Operations Division, 603rd Air Operations Center, Ramstein Air Base, Germany. In this role, she leads a six-person team responsible for the two-year command operations, activities, and investment plan, as well as all air component contingency and crisis action planning for U.S. European and U.S. Africa Commands.
Woll began by thanking her family and friends and those in the audience and her husband watching online.
“To the 605th team, thank you for the opportunity to serve such a diverse, talented, and experienced group of individuals. Even in the short time I have been here, you have shown your expertise, professionalism, and ability to get the mission done. You have demonstrated a high level of performance and a desire to make a difference in our warfighting capability through a rapidly changing environment and we will be faced with many more challenges as we go down the road,” said Woll. “I cannot tell you how much I look forward to standing beside you throughout the next two years as we shape the future for C2 in ways no other unit can.”
The 605th TES conducts operational tests, including cybersecurity assessments, as well as tactics development and evaluation of upgrades to systems. The 605th TES also provides support for developmental testing and various other major command and joint special projects.