YUMA PROVING GROUND, Ariz.-- Lt. Col. Timothy Matthews assumed command of Yuma Test Center in mid-June from outgoing commander Lt. Col. James DeBoer in a ceremony held in front of YPG's Heritage Center museum.

Hailing from the Defense Information System Agency at Fort Meade, Md., Matthews pledged to continue the work that has made YTC the Army's premier test center.

"From what I've seen so far, we have very talented, smart folks here and I'm excited to be their leader," he said. "I'm just here to continue in that light and provide guidance and direction for the main purpose of making sure we provide the best capability to our Warfighter."

Earlier this year, Matthews spent two weeks touring the test center's vast ranges and meeting personnel from the various support groups that make testing virtually every piece of equipment in the ground combat arsenal possible. He said he was impressed by the breadth of YPG's instrumentation, range space, and personnel.

"The command climate is awesome," he said. "On my first day, I shook almost 300 hands and personally spoke to every individual I met. We have great institutional knowledge here with some of the most premier talent in the nation."

Matthews was commissioned as an officer in 1999. He has served multiple tours in Iraq and his numerous awards and decorations include the Bronze Star and Meritorious Service Medal. He holds a Master's Degree in Procurement and Acquisition Management from Webster University. His wife Martrell is an active duty Army Maj.

Departing YTC commander Lt. Col. James DeBoer stressed that YTC is well-positioned for the future and in excellent hands with Lt. Col. Matthews holding the reins.

"Most people don't know how much we do here every day," DeBoer observed. "We're seeing the workload go up, and a lot of it has to do with the professionalism, customer service-orientation, and attention to detail that everybody has here."

DeBoer, departing for the Eisenhower War College, told the assembled crowd that he and his family would miss Yuma, but that there was no sadness in his departure.

"There are no goodbyes in the Army, only next time," he said. "I look forward to the next time we cross paths."

With early morning temperatures approaching triple digits, Matthews kept his remarks brief following accepting the command guidon and before leading the assembled audience in the singing of the Army Song.

"My wife Martrell and I are happy to be here," Matthews said. "All orders and regulations continue in effect. Truth in testing."