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USAF School of Aerospace Medicine receives new commander

Brig. Gen. James Dienst, 711th Human Performance Wing commander, passes the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine flag to Col. Theresa Goodman in a Change of Command ceremony July 19 to symbolize the change of command. (U.S. Air Force photo/Wesley Farnsworth)

Brig. Gen. James Dienst, 711th Human Performance Wing commander, passes the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine flag to Col. Theresa Goodman in a Change of Command ceremony July 19 to symbolize the change of command. (U.S. Air Force photo/Wesley Farnsworth)

Brig. Gen. James Dienst, 711th Human Performance Wing commander, delivers opening remarks during the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine Change of Command ceremony July 19 in the atrium of the schoolhouse. (U.S. Air Force photo/Wesley Farnsworth)

Brig. Gen. James Dienst, 711th Human Performance Wing commander, delivers opening remarks during the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine Change of Command ceremony July 19 in the atrium of the schoolhouse. (U.S. Air Force photo/Wesley Farnsworth)

Col. (Ret.) Alden Hilton speaks to the crowd at the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine Change of Command ceremony July 19 in the atrium of the schoolhouse. (U.S. Air Force photo/Richard Eldridge)

Col. (Ret.) Alden Hilton speaks to the crowd at the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine Change of Command ceremony July 19 in the atrium of the schoolhouse. (U.S. Air Force photo/Richard Eldridge)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – Col. Theresa Goodman assumed command of the United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine in a Change of Command ceremony July 19 in the atrium of the schoolhouse here.

“The ceaseless efforts at USAFSAM to improve how we care for and protect our Airmen, and return them to fight faster and stronger is awe-inspiring,” said Goodman. “Over the last 100 years, personnel have established this institution as the gold standard for aviator care, occupational and preventive health, consultation, and aeromedical evacuation education. I’m so honored to be a member of USAFSAM. I can’t wait to see what we do next!”

During his opening remarks, Brig. Gen. James Dienst, 711th Human Performance Wing commander, explained that most leaders are given opportunities to grow their expertise in both operational and staff assignments.

“What Col. Goodman brings to USAFSAM – it’s the kind of thing you can’t just read about or learn with PowerPoint briefings,” Dienst said. “You have to be there to understand it, and Goodman has been there. She will help us better translate medical operational requirements, and what we can do to help the warfighter missions.”

Goodman comes to the school from the 18th Medical Group at Kadena Air Base, Japan, where she took command in 2017. Prior to that, she was a medical inspector with Headquarters Air Force Inspection Agency at Kirtland AFB, commander of the 20th Aerospace Medicine Squadron at Shaw AFB, and chief of aerospace medicine in the 55th Medical Group at Offutt AFB. Goodman entered the Air Force in 1995 as a student at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Maryland.

Col. Alden Hilton, the prior commander of USAFSAM, retired in June after 29 years of service. He was the deputy commander of the school for about a year before he took the reins as commander in summer of 2016.

During the ceremony, before he passed the ceremonial USAFSAM flag over to Goodman, Hilton spoke about the history of the school, and how those who receive training as well as those who provide it, are tasked and trusted with a critical mission.

“The medical professionals who’ve trained here over the past 100 years—they have the job of going out to the most austere environments; picking up and providing oftentimes life-saving medical care to our injured warfighters; and delivering them safely to their loved ones back home,” Hilton explained. “Making sure these doctors, nurses and medical technicians are ready to provide care to our warfighters—this is such an important mission for the Air Force and Department of Defense. USAFSAM is in good hands with Col. Goodman.”  

The U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine is an internationally renowned center for aerospace medical learning, consultation, aerospace medical investigations and aircrew health assessments. The school is part of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s 711th Human Performance Wing.