By Whitney Vickers
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — The Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base welcomed a new commander Friday morning and said goodbye to another during a change of command ceremony.
Maj. Gen. Robert McMurry Jr. took the reins from Maj. Gen. Thomas Masiello, who will retire from the Air Force July 1.
McMurry formerly served as the vice commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center at the Los Angeles Air Force Base in California, where he assisted the commander in the multiple capacities it takes to create and manage space and missile systems as well as operational satellite systems.
“My highest priority is making sure our people are set up to do their job and do their job at the capability [and talent] that they have,” McMurry said.
While serving as the AFRL commander, Masiello managed a $2.1 billion for Air Force science and technology program and $2.3 billion in externally-funded research and development projects. He has previously served as the director of the munitions directorate at the AFRL, wing commander of a classified unit, command inspector general for Air Force Materiel Command as well as the director of special programs within the office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.
“My favorite part of the job was … the unbelievably brilliant people that are the AFRL,” Masiello said. “That’s what makes our organization great. My job was to ensure our brilliant people had what they needed and [then getting out] of the way.”
General Ellen Pawlikowski, who serves as the commander of the Air Force Materiel Command at WPAFB, expressed faith during the ceremony related to where the AFRL has been and where it is going in the future.
“[Maj. Gen. Robert McMurry] — you have pretty big shoes to fill, but we’re confident that you’ll fill them fast,” Pawlikowski said. ” … [Maj. Gen. Thomas Masiello] — what an amazing job. Thank you for what you’ve done to take care of our Air Force future the last few years.”
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