Andrews takes command of 605th TES, Detachment 1

  • Published
  • By Deb Henley, 505th Command and Control Wing Public Affairs
  • 605th Test and Evaluation Squadron, Detachment 1

During a formal ceremony, Lt. Col. Matthew “Mandrews” Andrews took command of the 605th Test and Evaluation Squadron, Detachment 1, from Lt. Col. Katherine “Katy” Maier, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, June 25.

The change of command is a military tradition, formally transferring a unit’s authority and responsibility from one commander to another.  Lt. Col. William “Ralphie” Short, 605th Test and Evaluation Squadron commander, Hurlburt Field, Florida, presided over the ceremony.

"Lt. Col. Maier's leadership of 605th TES, Detachment 1, has been instrumental in ensuring the successful testing and evaluation of critical upgrades and additions to the capabilities of the E-3G AWACS [Airborne Warning and Control System]. She also led efforts to establish early involvement priorities and activities for the E-7 Wedgetail operational test approach with our British and Australian partners. Katy’s dedication to the mission and her team has been evident in every aspect of her command," said Short.

In transitioning to Andrews, Short shared how his role as the 605th TES, Detachment 1, director of operations, has prepared him to take command.

"Lt. Col. Andrews brings a wealth of experience and expertise to 605th TES, Detachment 1. His proven leadership and operational background make him the ideal choice to lead this team into the future. Under his leadership, I have no doubt that the detachment will execute a disciplined approach to testing and evaluation that integrates TTPs [tactics, techniques, and procedures] into complex systems, hardware, and software, resulting in significant and realistic operational outcomes for the warfighter."

Before Andrews accepted the guidon and command, Maier shared, “The 605th TES, Detachment 1, employs the best and most experienced operators, technicians, and maintainers for the E-3G.  Thank you for the care you take every day to achieve a complete and unbiased test, enabling the worldwide E-3G community to use any newly fielded system efficiently and effectively.”

Maier continued, “Over the last two years, while our focus was primarily the E-3, we have slightly adjusted to accommodate the Wedgetail program.  We are ensuring our relationships are solid with all stakeholders and that our processes are correct and efficient.  In this way, as we fully migrate to the next airborne C2 [command and control] mission, we will be set up for success.  For example, our work has culminated in the  delivery of five modernization programs to PACAF, [Pacific Air Forces] which has optimized the identification process and given back communication capability lost in a previous version; this will enable PACAF to continue operating beyond next year’s standards.”

“Serving you the past two years has been an honor and a privilege.  I have learned from each person and will take that to my next unit,” concluded Maier. “Good luck in all you do, GET TESTED!”

Maier will continue her career as the chief of staff at the 552d Air Control Wing, Tinker AFB, Oklahoma.

As commander, Andrews will lead the 21-member detachment responsible for executing integrated developmental and operational tests for programs, upgrades, and capabilities for U.S. E-3 AWACS and some Foreign Military Sales support programs.

As a Master Air Battle Manager with experience on multiple aircraft, Lt. Col. Andrews has more than 2,458 flight hours, including 1,047 combat hours in the E-3B/C/G and MU-2B. He has held multiple positions at various locations, including weapons and tactics deputy chief, 964th Airborne Air Control Squadron, Tinker AFB, Oklahoma; Undergraduate Air Battle Management Training instructor and evaluator, 337th Air Control Squadron, Tyndall AFB, Florida; command and control planner, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Combined Air Operations Center, Torrejon Air Base, Spain; and standardizations and evaluations chief, 552nd Operations Group, Tinker AFB, Oklahoma.

Andrews began by thanking his family and friends. Next, he addressed the men and women newly under his command.

“Serving as the Detachment 1, director of operations for this past year has been both an honor and a privilege. This role has equipped me with invaluable knowledge and additional experience required to take this next step. Being selected to command the most experienced and dedicated unit in AWACS is a testament to the trust and confidence that has been placed in me. I am excited about this opportunity and am eager to lead this awesome unit of professionals,” said Andrews.

The 605th TES, Detachment 1, provides flight crew, mission crew, maintenance, and computer support personnel to the Airborne C2 Combined Test Force for rapid prototyping, spiral development, and operational test and evaluation of the United States, NATO, and FMS AWACS enhancement programs. The detachment also supports all contractor and government AWACS-integrated product teams, as well as planning for test of the AWACS replacement, the E-7 Wedgetail.