The recent consolidation of Air Force Materiel Command down to five centers was not intended to pave the way for moving Eglin Air Force Base’s research, development, testing and evaluation (RDT&E) function to Edwards AFB, Calif., Brig. Gen. Arnold Bunch, director of Edwards’ Air Force Test Center, told the Florida Defense Support Task Force on Wednesday.
Instead, Bunch said he is striving to keep Eglin’s RDT&E function “flyable and viable,” allowing the task force and local officials to breathe a little easier, reported the Daily News. “My focus is not Edwards. I’m equally focused on Eglin and Arnold and bases across the Air Force Materiel Command,” he said.
Since the Air Force announced the reorganization of Air Force Materiel Command last November, businesses and leaders in Northwest Florida had been concerned about the fate of Eglin’s RDT&E function. The consolidation was carried out in July.
Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll told the task force that its mission has been embraced across Florida and regarded as a model by other states, according to the story. Discussions of the task force “are resonating in hallways in Washington, D.C.,” she said.
The second half of the task force’s meeting was closed to the public so its members could discuss an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the state’s 20 installations.