Gen. Bunch earns second star
Arnold “Arnie” Bunch Jr., Air Force Test Center commander, has his wife Caroline and his father Arnie Sr. pin on his major general rank of two stars during his promotion ceremony Aug. 23.
The team at Edwards Air Force Base in Lancaster, Calif., recently joined family and friends of Morristown native Arnold W. Bunch Jr. to watch him formally promoted to major general.
The promotion ceremony took place in the Base Theater and was presided over by Gen. Janet C. Wolfenbarger, Air Force Materiel Command commander.
Bunch was frocked in April and has already been wearing the major general rank device of two stars on his uniform; and he had assumed the responsibilities of a major general when he became the first Air Force Test Center commander during the Summer of 2012 following the 5-Center reorganization of AFMC. This month, Bunch officially attained the pay grade of a major general.
Wolfenbarger praised Bunch’s wide range of experience in which he excelled both in and out of the flight test world and how he is more than ready to tackle the position of two-star general.
“We [the Air Force] are very careful with choosing those people with the right mix of experience, wisdom, character and leadership to fill those positions at these kinds of levels and that is absolutely the case today with General Bunch,”said Wolfenbarger.
Bunch is no stranger to Edwards AFB. A U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School graduate, Bunch returned to Edwards to serve as the 419th Flight Test Squadron commander and later as the 412th Test Wing commander.
“To the men and women of the Air Force Test Center, those in attendance and all the rest across the enterprise, ‘thank you’ for your support,” said Bunch. “It is a privilege to work for you. I wake up every day knowing I have the best job in the Air Force and it is all because of you. Your professional conduct sets the standard that others should emulate; as you dedicate yourselves to testing systems for the warfighter and providing world-class test support.
“That’s not just here at Edwards, you are the ones who are able to be in attendance here today, but also for Eglin AFB, Arnold AFB and the rest of the test center enterprise. You amaze me every day. I get up smiling and go to bed smiling because you make it special. Thank you for what you do everyday to make the test center successful.”
Bunch thanked his family and friends for their attendance, along with several of his Air Force Academy and Test Pilot School classmates before wrapping up the ceremony and inviting Team Edwards to a reception at Club Muroc.
General Bunch was commissioned in 1984 as a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. He completed undergraduate pilot training in 1985. He completed operational assignments as an instructor, evaluator and aircraft commander for B-52 Stratofortresses. Following graduation from the Air Force Test Pilot School, Bunch conducted developmental testing in the B-2 Spirit and B-52 and served as an instructor in each.
Additionally, he has commanded at the squadron, group and wing levels. Prior to his current assignment, he was the Commander of the Air Force Security Assistance Center, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio.
As the AFTC commander, he directs a $31 billion enterprise of more than 18,000 military, civilian and contractor personnel across Edwards AFB, Eglin AFB in Fla., and Arnold AFB in Tenn.
The AFTC provides developmental test and evaluation of experimental and research manned and unmanned air, space and cyber systems for military services, DARPA, NASA and international partners, in addition to operation of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School.
Bunch was born in Morristown in 1962 and earned his degree in civil engineering from the University of Tennessee in 1984. Bunch married the former Caroline Jones, daughter of pharmacist Bud Jones of Crescent Center Drugs.
Bunch joined the Air Force immediately after college and began his meteoric rise.
- From Contributed Reports