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AFMC commander visits Holloman

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- The commander of Air Force Materiel Command recently met with 49th Fighter Wing and 46th Test Group leadership to discuss key issues. 

Gen. Bruce Carlson, AFMC commander, returned to Holloman last week to get updates on 46 TG programs, check the progress on test facility upgrades and discuss AFMC's role in F-117A support as well as their proposal for expanding test and training range operations. 

The general said he was quite pleased with his return visit to Holloman. 

"I was extremely impressed with everything I saw at the base," he said. "It was great to see the progress on the additional test track the 46th Test Group is building. This will be yet another unique capability Holloman provides the test and evaluation community." 

General Carlson said that while he's not sure of the exact future direction of the test group, the Air Force has committed stable funds to its near future. 

"The future is difficult to predict exactly, but I have no doubt that customer needs will continue to require the service of the 46th Test Group's facilities and expertise," he said. "The group's capabilities would be difficult or even impossible to absorb into other DoD test facilities without significant long-term investment." 

Moreover, the test and development world are also looking for ways to do more with less in conjunction with Air Force Smart Operations 21 (AFSO21). 

"We're always seeking ways to do things smarter and more efficiently," the general said. "We're looking to better integrate how we develop, field and sustain weapon systems." 

According to the general, there are a number of ongoing efforts to ensure test and evaluation is a more seamless part of the overall acquisition life-cycle. He said this includes closer involvement between the development test and evaluation and operational test and evaluation communities, more tester involvement earlier in system development and providing more capabilities-based assessments. 

"As we're at war, it's important to deliver solutions to urgent warfighter needs as quickly as possible - sometimes a partial solution right now is better than a complete solution too late," he said. "One constant will remain, however, the need for government involvement and oversight in both the DT&E and OT&E environment." 

The general left Holloman, yet again, fulfilled. 

"It was a thrill to be back here," he said. "Vicki and I enjoyed every minute of our two tour here - the people, the mission, the climate, the food--it just doesn't get much better than this."