WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – Brig. Gen. Jeannine Ryder assumed command of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s 711th Human Performance Wing during a virtual change of command ceremony Aug. 31, 2020 at the Air Force Institute of Technology here.
Brig. Gen. James H. Dienst, the Wing’s outgoing commander, relinquished command and has retired after 24 years of service.
“AFRL's 711th Human Performance Wing has such a critical mission," said Ryder, "ensuring our Airmen can execute the mission and their duties to the best of their abilities, physically, emotionally and mentally in highly complex environments. I’m extremely honored and humbled for this opportunity to lead a high speed organization that touches every part of our Air Force. I look forward to serving with this highly trained, knowledgeable team of leaders and experts."
AFRL's commander, Brig. Gen. Heather Pringle, presided over the ceremony, which was streamed live on AFIT's YouTube page to encourage social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, and touted Ryder's expert leadership.
"We are sad to see Gen. Dienst leave the Wing, but our human performance wing is in excellent hands with Gen. Ryder," Pringle stated.
The 711 HPW’s mission is to assure the dominant advantage in air, space and cyberspace by advancing human performance. The Wing is comprised of two mission units – the Airman Systems Directorate and the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine - that perform research, education, consultation and operational support.
Ryder has served for over 29 years in the Air Force, and commanded at the squadron and group level several times, at both deployed and in-garrison locations. Ryder explained that these experiences have given her a greater understanding of how human performance, education and training play a vital role in the successful execution of the Air Force’s mission.
“Over the years, I have observed first-hand what medics and researchers bring to the fight,” she said. “We must do what we can to enhance the capabilities and abilities of our Airmen and warfighters in the full spectrum of operations.”
Ryder’s previous position was the Air Force Materiel Command Surgeon General at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. As the principal advisor to the AFMC commander, she was responsible for promoting health and wellness for an 80,000-person workforce, implementing safe, high quality healthcare services and leading the execution of the U.S. Air Force Surgeon General’s policies and procedures for seven military treatment facilities. She ensured 5,600 medical personnel were ready to deploy and able to provide robust medical contingency support while supporting more than 376,000 beneficiaries.
As 711 HPW commander, Ryder will lead a diverse workforce of military, civilian and contractor personnel, encompassing 75 occupational specialties including science, engineering, occupational health and safety, medical professions, technicians, educators, business operations and support.
“The Wing is constantly seeking ways to improve the performance of all Airmen,” Ryder stated. “The spectrum of initiatives, research and training include better equipping Airmen who are parachuting to treat our wounded in austere environments, ensuring medics are meticulously prepared and trained to transport and treat patients in the back of any opportune aircraft, training our pilots to withstand and better tolerate G-forces in the centrifuge, and much more. Further, our subject matter experts are performing and collaborating in areas such as vision, sound and acoustics, data analytics, etc. — all to support our warfighters and help them perform to the best of their abilities and capabilities.”
“The 711th Human Performance Wing has an incredibly critical mission, and I’m excited to command this team as we look at present issues and concerns, and project the future needs and requirements of our Air and Space Forces.”
The Air Force Research Laboratory is the primary scientific research and development center for the United States Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 11,000 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit: www.afresearchlab.com.