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AFRL Change of Command
Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger, Air Force Materiel Command commander, hands the guidon of the Air Force Research Laboratory to Maj. Gen. Thomas Masiello, who took over command of the organization July 29 from Maj. Gen. William McCasland. (U.S. Air Force photo by Niki Jahns)
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Air Force Research Laboratory changes commanders

Posted 8/2/2013   Updated 8/2/2013 Email story   Print story


by Amy Rollins
88th Air Base WIng Public Affairs Skywrighter Staff

8/2/2013 - WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Maj. Gen. Thomas "Tom" Masiello took command of the organization dedicated to leading the discovery, development and integration of warfighting technologies for U.S. air, space and cyberspace forces during a change of command ceremony at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force July 29.

Masiello took the reins of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), which is headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, from Maj. Gen. William McCasland, who is retiring from the Air Force effective Oct. 1 after 34 years of service.

Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger, commander of Air Force Materiel Command, presided over the ceremony. In describing Masiello's background, Wolfenbarger said he is very familiar with AFMC's mission and brings with him a firm understanding of the developmental and operational sides of the Air Force. She noted that he has been deployed to the Middle East 18 times and is an AFRL alum.

As the eighth commander of AFRL, Masiello will be responsible for managing the Air Force's $2 billion science and technology program as well as additional customer-funded research and development of $2 billion. He is also responsible for a global workforce of approximately 10,000 people in the laboratory's eight technology directorates and one wing.

During his remarks, Masiello said he views AFRL's primary mission as delivering on an unwritten promise: to protect any Air Force personnel who are put in harm's way by advancing technology.

To his new AFRL colleagues, Masiello said, "Let us never forget our proud legacy and awesome responsibility to create the Air Force of 2030, 2040, 2050 and beyond. Together, as a team, we will face our new challenges and our new opportunities and together as a team we will deliver a rich legacy of technologies for our future force."

Masiello previously was director of Special Programs, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics at the Pentagon. He was commissioned in 1981 as a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. A command pilot, he has logged more than 3,300 flying hours in more than 20 different aircraft. He has served as an experimental test pilot and test squadron commander conducting developmental flight tests on a wide variety of weapon systems. He has been director of the Munitions Directorate at AFRL, wing commander of a classified unit, and the Command Inspector General for AFMC.

The general has held other operational and staff assignments, including a tour as Deputy Chief of Staff, U.S. Central Command, where he spent the bulk of his tour at CENTCOM's Forward Headquarters in Southwest Asia; and Deputy Director for Operations - Operations Team Two, National Military Command Center, Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. He has served as deputy director, Strategic Effects, U.S. Forces-Iraq, Baghdad, Iraq, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Plans, Programs and Operations, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, U.S. Department of State.

Regarding McCasland, Wolfenbarger said he hit the ground running when McCasland took command in May 2011.

Wolfenbarger said that McCasland's primary goal was to create and build new things that make a difference for the security of the nation. She gave the following examples as ways McCasland and AFRL personnel met that goal during his command:
· Longest air-breathing hypersonic flight in history when the X-51A Waverider was launched from a B-52 at Edwards AFB, Calif., in May. The Waverider scramjet traveled 230 nautical miles and reached maximum Mach at 5.1. "This was a powerful demonstration of next-generation research paving the way for future weapons systems being accomplished by the people today at AFRL," Wolfenbarger said.
· Meeting warfighter's needs with new systems, like one that pre-detonates improvised explosive devices before they can do harm to military convoys. "This system, and its power, has the promise of saving countless lives of some of the most exposed service members this country has in the fight," Wolfenbarger said.

"General McCasland has played a pivotal role in developing several unique capabilities that this country is not only using now, but will rely on in the future to face emerging threats," Wolfenbarger said. "His contributions leave a lasting positive impact on the Air Force Research Laboratory, Air Force Materiel Command and our Air Force and will continue to provide this nation with a technological edge for decades to come."

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