412th Test Wing Welcomes New Wing Commander

  • Published
  • By Adam Bowles
  • 412th Test Wing Public Affairs

Col. Douglas Wickert assumed command of the 412th Test Wing from Brig. Gen. Matthew Higer during a change of command ceremony at Edwards Air Force Base, California, Aug.18.

Maj. Gen. Evan Dertien, Air Force Test Center commander, officiated the ceremony at Hangar 1600 in front of family members, friends and members of Team Edwards. Dertien highlighted the Wing's accomplishments under Higer's leadership, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Brig. Gen. Higer was one of the only wing commanders whose tour has spanned both the start of the pandemic and also the resolution of the pandemic,” Dertien said. “When you combine that with the challenges of a no fail mission that the 412th Test Wing performs, to no surprise, Matt and the 412th Test Wing team delivered spectacular results during difficult times. We are excited to see what's next for Matt after his retirement later this year and a job well done.”

During his remarks, Higer thanked his family, colleagues and Team Edwards, who he credits for letting him have a successful tenure as commander, which began in February, 2020, before the onset of the pandemic.

“Exactly 1290 days ago, I challenged all of you here at Team Edwards to compete,” Higer said. "I challenged you to compete for our nation and our allies and to compete against all the elements of national power. As Col. Wickert assumes command of the 412th Test Wing here at the Center of the Aerospace Testing Universe, I still challenge this TCOTATU team, this Aerospace Valley community and this test and engineering tribe, to compete.”

Wickert was most recently the Permanent Professor and Head of the Department of Aeronautics, Air Force Academy, the #1 ranked undergraduate Aeronautics program in the country. He assumes command of a Wing of more than 8,000 personnel in the developmental test and evaluation of the KC-46, KC-135, KC-10, C-17, C-5, F-35, F-22, F-16, B-21, B-1, B-2, B-52, T-7A, and emerging technologies. Additionally, Wickert is now the installation commander responsible for operating the base and supporting more than 19,500 active duty, reserve, and civil service and defense contractors at Edwards AFB, the second largest base in the Air Force and Operating Location Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, California. 

“It will be an honor to serve you and to serve with you, Team Edwards,” Wickert said. “I see my primary job of supporting you because what we are doing here is incredibly important. We are creating the Air Force of the 2030s here and it needs to be so good that we never have to fight. Test is the way to the future and we need that future now more than ever. Let's do it teammates.”

Watch the complete 412th Test Wing Change of Command Ceremony here: