New Commander for AMC Test and Evaluation Squadron

By Susan G. Gotta | AMC Test and Evaluation Squadron | June 19, 2020


U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Maryann L. Karlen assumed command of the AMC Test and Evaluation Squadron on Thursday, June 18, 2020 from U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. E. Race Steinfort in an unprecedented virtual ceremony in this environment of social distancing, and in accordance with CDC, DoD and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., guidelines. 

This ceremony was among the many military change of commands held virtually via government and social media outlets.

Officiating the virtual ceremony from his deployed remote location at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, was U.S. Air Force Col. Jonathan Tucker, AMC Test and Evaluation director of HQ, Scott Air Force Base, Ill. 

Tucker speaking via video from Bagram praised Steinfort’s “stellar” leadership of AMCTES, fostering resiliency to embrace new techniques to “excel” at the mission of operational test, especially amid the pandemic.  “All of the efforts of TES highlight innovation and culture change,” said Tucker, “Race, you made it look easy.”

Mentioning one recent test event in particular, Tucker highlighted the ability of TES to “pivot” with agility and innovation in helping AMC/TE and a University of Nebraska Research Team while much of the nation was on lockdown. 

The result was vital airflow testing to better understand how the virus may spread on six mobility airframes that directly informed the patient movement plan devised to safely deliver COVID-positive patients from austere locations to treatment facilities. 

“We are seeing the results of that test right here in Afghanistan,” said Tucker.

A tenant unit at Joint Base MDL and comprised of a diverse team of over 29 different Air Force Specialty Codes in six geographically separated locations all around the U.S., AMCTES is the sole operational test organization of the Air Mobility Command.

Karlen assumes command of AMCTES coming to this assignment from Edwards Air Force Base, CA.  As a test pilot having flown the C-17, KC-10, KC-135, and A400M, Karlen is no stranger to test.

She is the former Director of Operations of the 418th Flight Test Squadron and Deputy Commander of the 412th Operations Group at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.  As Tucker aptly stated, “Maryann, you are the right leader at the right time for TES.”

AMCTES is pleased to welcome Karlen, her husband John, and their son, Jack to the Terrapin family.

Steinfort, in his farewell remarks to the command stated, “I hand off the gauntlet, resting easy that you, Terrapins, are holding strong to equip and protect the warfighter and our way of life.”  Terrapins extend the entire Steinfort family best wishes as they embark on their next assignment.  Congratulations and farewell.