DeWalt takes command of the 413th FTG

  • Published
  • By Jamal Sutter
  • 413th Flight Test Group Public Affairs
Air Force Reserve members of the 413th Flight Test Group gathered for an assumption of command ceremony here June 4 during their unit training assembly.

Presided by Maj. Gen. Bret Larson, 22nd Air Force commander, the ceremony formally welcomed Col. William DeWalt as the 413th FTG's new commander, thus taking over for the previous commander, retired Col. Sean Bittner. Prior to his current position, DeWalt served as the deputy chief for Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command’s Requirements division.

The Requirement division oversees the utilization of the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Appropriation to modernize the Air Force Reserve and help sustain the effectiveness and survivability of various combat-ready airframes and assets.

DeWalt commissioned through the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 2002 and earned his pilot rating at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, in September 2003. Over his career, he accumulated more than 3,900 flight hours, with 2,000 of those being in combat.

"As a command pilot with more than 19 years of experience flying in the special operations community, [DeWalt] has seen, firsthand, the importance of readiness and the total team effort to maintain Air Force dominance anywhere in the world," Larson said. "[DeWalt's] strong operational background, combined with his passion for servant leadership, makes him a perfect choice for this job."

During his speech after accepting the unit guidon, DeWalt talked about his goals as a commander, which include protecting his members from unnecessary burdens, advocating for them when needed and preparing them for leadership opportunities in the future.

"Commanders are only successful, because of the people who they work for," DeWalt said. "And I think that's what I want to emphasize today to the 413th. My view of leadership is: I work for you ... What I promise today is that I will never get in the way of you leading and accomplishing your missions."

The 413th FTG is a multi-role Air Force Reserve organization that provides oversight of several distinct missions which include aircraft depot-level flight test, developmental and operational test and evaluation, cyber test, combat flight inspection, aeromedical staging and force support.