WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio - Lt. Gen. Robert McMurry, Jr., and Brig. Gen. William Cooley officially took command of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center and Air Force Research Laboratory respectively, in a joint change of command ceremony at the National Museum of the United States Air Force May 2.
McMurry replaces Lt. Gen. John Thompson, who is leaving to command the Air Force Space & Missile Systems Center located at Los Angeles AFB, California. Cooley replaces McMurry as the AFRL commander.
Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, commander, Air Force Materiel Command, presided over the ceremony and commented on the uniqueness of the occasion and the confidence she had in the leadership abilities of McMurry and Cooley.
McMurry, who commanded AFRL for less than one year, was promoted to lieutenant general prior to the change of command ceremony.
During the event, McMurry thanked the men and women of AFRL for their hard work and dedication.
"Every day the talented 6,000 plus members of the Air Force Research Laboratory are bringing cutting edge technology forward and I thank you for what you do," McMurry said. "It has been an honor to command you."
McMurry continued by expressing his admiration for the work being performed by members of AFLCMC and encouraged the team to continue to improve.
"I consider it an honor to serve this team," McMurry said "You are the people who turn ideas, technologies, and capabilities from dreams, demonstrations, requirements and specifications, into something real, that works and can be maintained. That's not easy. That is a hard thing to do. It takes dedicated, educated and devoted professionals like yourself to do that."
Cooley, who has been selected for promotion to major general, talked about the importance of the lab's mission.
"One quote that I'm fond of is from General Hap Arnold, where he said 'the first essential in air power is preeminence in research,'” said Cooley. "The research that we do is vital to moving forward and our national security depends on the technological edge AFRL provides."