Gen. Arnold W Bunch Jr. took over the Air Force Materiel Command on Friday only moments after being named just the 220th four-star general in the Air Force’s history.
In his new role, Bunch will lead a command with 80,000 uniformed airmen and civilian employees that manages nearly $60 billion annually. The Air Force Materiel Command is tasked with with developing, acquiring, modernizing and sustaining weapon systems across their life cycle.
“This command is the most important MAJCOM (Major Command) in the U.S. Air Force to achieve the National Defense Strategy and to get the Air Force we need,” Bunch said during a ceremony at the Air Force Museum. “Only if this command works and this command succeeds can the Air Force succeed.”
The AFMC’s focus ranges from basic and applied scientific research, to Air Force uniforms, information systems and software, to manned and unmanned aircraft, to directed energy and hypersonic weapons.
The command includes the acquisition product centers, depot maintenance facilities, global logistics and supply chain wings, the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center and the Air Force Museum. The AFMC’s Installation and Mission Support Center provides combat support such as security forces, civil engineering, expeditionary readiness, financial management and services supporting installation operations and Airmen across the entire Air Force, according to Wright-Patt.
Bunch, a Tennessee native, is a 1984 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and a 1991 grad of the Air Force Test Pilot School, according to Wright-Patt. Bunch has served four assignments at Wright-Patt so his new job is something of a homecoming, he said.
Bunch served in a number of leadership roles for weapons development, acquisition, and testing. Most recently he was assigned to the Pentagon as Military Deputy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, according to Wright-Patt.
It’s that service that qualifies Bunch to become just the 14th four-star general currently serving in the Air Force, said Gen. David L. Goldfein, chief of staff for the Air Force. Goldfein, who is the highest ranking uniformed officer in the Air Force, presided over Bunch’s promotion and installation as commander Friday.
Goldfein credited the work of Bunch and the AFMC as the reason Americans
“He is the perfect leader to take on Air Force Materiel Command on this day,” said Goldfein. “His leadership has been key in tackling acquisition reform and bringing the future faster, getting capability and capacity to the warfighter at the speed of relevance.”
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