Koeniger assumes leadership of 711th Human Performance Wing

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Mark A. Koeniger assumed the top position of the Air Force Research Laboratory's 711th Human Performance Wing during a ceremony here June 28, 2016.

Koeniger took the reins from Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Timothy T. Jex during a change of command held at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

Jex, who had served as commander of the 711 HPW since June 2012, will retire after 33 years of service.

Maj. Gen. Robert D. McMurry, commander of AFRL, presided over the ceremony and commented on the importance of the occasion.

"In a way, this is a sad day for us, as we lose Tim Jex," McMurry said. "But the talent pool in our Air Force is deep, and we are fortunate in the replacement we get in Mark Koeniger."

McMurry highlighted Jex's career -- including his medical and leadership expertise -- and his time at the helm of the 711 HPW, and he thanked him for his service.

"It has been a joy to witness and be a part of this team," Jex said. "The passion, the energy, the fun and the brilliance of our people is evident in every corner of the wing. I've never been so inspired by the people in my command as I have been here."

In introducing Koeniger, McMurry expressed his confidence that the 711 HPW remains in great hands, saying that Koeniger is more than qualified and ready for the challenge.

"Gen. Mark Koeniger has the breadth and the depth of experience to lead this wing," McMurry said, "with his unique fusion of medical, combat, headquarters and operational experience. What gives me the most assurance, though, isn't his exemplary set of skills. It's his iron-clad will to succeed."

Koeniger expressed his thanks for and excitement about the opportunity to lead such a unique organization.

"We are surrounded by examples of technology that have made and continue to make the United States Air Force the most dominant Air Force the world has ever seen," Koeniger said. "However, all that technology is useless without people to operate it. It is an honor to be given the opportunity to lead the men and women of the Human Performance Wing, whose mission it is to improve the man-machine interface and to aid the operators in the optimal use of this cutting-edge technology."

After serving as the deputy director of Medical Operations and Research in Falls Church, Virginia, for the past two years, Koeniger becomes the third person to lead the 711 HPW since the wing stood up on March 25, 2008. He will now be responsible for advancing human performance and integration for air, space and cyberspace through research, education, consultation and operational support. He will also provide strategic direction for Airmen-centric science and technology, aeromedical education and training, and human systems integration, while leading a workforce of approximately 1,200 people and managing an annual budget of about $300 million.