News: Air Guard colonel takes command of Air Force’s ‘Tactics Center of Excellence’
Story by Master Sgt. Michael Smith
Col. Edward E. Black pinned on full colonel and became commander of the Advanced Airlift Tactics Training Center in a ceremony at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base today.
Col. Michael Pankau, 139th Airlift Wing commander joined Black's wife, Holly, along with his daughter, son and parents here in adding the rank to the colonel's uniform.
Service members, family and friends then watched Pankau swear in Black as the 11th commander to lead what is called the Air Force's "Center of Excellence for Mobility Air Force tactics and electronic warfare."
"Col. Black's promotion and new command recognizes his leadership abilities and shows the confidence in him by the Guard's top leaders to be the Center of Excellence's senior officer," said Pankau.
Black, a Missouri Air National Guard member, succeeds Air Force Reserve Command's Col. Vinnie Teuber, who retired after serving as commander for three years.
"It's a great honor to take command of the AATTC," said Black. "As the eleventh commander, I've got some pretty big shoes to fill."
Black most recently served as Executive Assistant to Gen. Craig R. McKinley, chief, National Guard Bureau at the Pentagon. There he was responsible for the daily operations of the Office of the Chief.
Pankau said Black takes command of a unit that has improved survivability of the mobility air forces for 30 years. From its roots as a tactical flying school for the Air Force, it now impacts operations of all U.S. services and 16 allied nations.
"I think one of my challenges will be to manage the Center's creativity and its identification of the next gap that we need to fill," said Black.
He said the Center's newest course for network warfare managers, which begins this week, is one example of how the AATTC adjusts its training to address adversarial gaps, including those developments in electronic warfare.
"There are a lot of opportunities out there, and it will be up to me to help guide the Center to find those that make sense for us with our resources and our people."
Black received his Air Force commission in 1992 after graduating from the Air National Guard Academy of Military Science, Knoxville, Tenn. He holds a bachelor's degree in in Aviation Technology from Central Missouri State University and a master's degree in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University, Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
He is a command pilot with more than 3,200 flight hours.
Black joined the Air Guard in 1989. As a child, he saw C-130's from the 139th Airlift Wing fly over his home regularly, and one day he followed them to the base's front gate to ask how he could fly one.
"It's definitely a homecoming for me, for my wife and family," said Black. "It was an easy transition [returning from DC], we have a lot of friends and family here, and this is pretty special for us."