AFRL Munitions Directorate welcomes new director

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFRL) – The Air Force Research Laboratory Munitions Directorate welcomed its new director during a change of command ceremony here July 13.

AFRL Commander, Maj. Gen. Heather Pringle, passed the directorate flag to the directorate’s new leader, Col. Woodrow “Tony” Meeks. The directorate also bid farewell to Col. Garry Haase, who will be retiring from the Air Force at the end of July 2021 after 27-plus years of service.

Meeks takes command of a talented workforce of 800-plus scientists, engineers, and support staff. The directorate is developing and transitioning technologies to meet the Air Force Science and Technology 2030 Strategy, which include long-range and high speed weapons, affordable networked, collaborative, and autonomous weapons, and flexible weapon effects for improved agility.

During the ceremony, the incoming Meeks offered these words to the directorate, “My commitment to this great organization is that we will continue to build on your stellar history to make certain that our country is free from oppression, free from attack and we can support our friends, allies, and partners and make the world a safer place.”

Meeks has a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and three master’s degrees: aerospace technology, also from Embry Riddle, military operational art and science from Air Command and Staff College and strategic studies from Air War College. Meeks brings vast experience from his 27-year career, especially as a Senior Materiel Leader and as the first-ever System Architect for the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center. In July 2019, Meeks then became Deputy Director for Acquisition for the Missile Defense Agency, before now taking command of the AFRL Munitions Directorate.

Following the Change of Director/Command ceremony, Meeks achieved what he called “another lifelong goal” by completing a long-planned transfer to the U.S. Space Force. Meeks was selected for transfer to the U.S. Space Force in 2020, but Senate approval was delayed until June 2021. “Together we will be on the front line of making Maj. Gen. Pringle’s vision of one lab serving two services,” he said.

image of ceremony

Maj Gen Heather Pringle, AFRL commander, passes the Munitions Directorate flag to Col. Woodrow “Tony” Meeks at the Munitions Directorate change of command ceremony at Eglin AFB July 13. (U.S. Air Force photo/John Leake)