EGLIN AFB — A familiar face will soon take command of the 96th Test Wing.
Brig. Gen. (select) Evan Dertien has been tapped to replace current test wing commander Brig. Gen. Christopher Azzano, who has been assigned to head the Air Force’s newly formed Directorate of Air, Space and Cyberspace Operations at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. The two men are essentially swapping bases because Dertien now serves as the vice commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson.
“There is no specific date set yet, but we expect the change of command to occur sometime in late May,” said Sharon Branick, the chief of media at the 96th Test Wing.
According to his official Air Force biography, Dertien received his commission from the United States Air Force Academy in June 1993. After attending Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training, he served as an operational F-15 pilot and completed three combat deployments. He then served as an F-15 instructor pilot and was selected to attend U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School.
Dertien is no stranger to Northwest Florida. From June 2002 to August 2003, he served as an F-16/F-15 test pilot with Eglin’s 40th Flight Test Squadron. He returned later to serve as that squadron’s commander from July 2008 to June 2010. He also served two tours of duty at Tyndall Air Force Base near Panama City.
Dertien is a command pilot with more than 3,000 flying hours and more than 180 combat hours.