NTWL Recognizes Top Test and Evaluation Talent

Story Number: NNS200212-09Release Date: 2/12/2020 1:01:00 PM
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From NAWCAD Public Affairs

PATUXENT RIVER, Md. (NNS) -- Naval Test Wing Atlantic (NTWL) celebrated the accomplishments of its highest achievers during an awards ceremony at NAS Patuxent River February 4.

The annual ceremony recognizes the Wing’s highest performing military and civilian personnel across its four test and evaluation squadrons and the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS). Col. Richard E. Marigliano, commanding officer of NTWL, who presided over the banquet, opened the ceremony with an overview of the awardees’ accomplishments during 2019, what they meant to NTWL and naval aviation as a whole.

“Those that we did select … really do emulate the leadership, collaboration and coordination required in this very complex environment in which we all work very well,” Marigliano said. “They emulate the need [for] collaboration and coordination in order to do all the things we do. And I'm very grateful for that.”

This year’s banquet also featured many distinguished guests including retired Maj. Gen. Charles Bolden, USNTPS graduate, former astronaut and first African American administrator at NASA; retired Marine Corps Col. Roger Cordell, president of the Navy League and former USNTPS commanding officer; Seth Shaw, Vice President of the Society of Flight Test Engineers; and retired Lt. Cmdr. Harry Errington, one of the founders of the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum. Maj. Gen. Bolden and Col. Cordell are both graduates of USNTPS.

NTWL’s 2019 awardees are:

Sailor of the Year
AM1 John Martin
Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 20

Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class John Martin led 273 military and contract personnel in the successful oversight of 4,000 mishap-free flight hours supporting research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) activities at VX-20. During that time, Martin served as assistant command fitness leader, president of the first class petty officer association, command training team member, command financial specialist and coordinator of the “Sailor 360” program.

Maintenance Officer of the Year
Trisha Rent
Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (UX) 24

Martin oversaw the planning and execution of 16 offsite test detachments, seamlessly coordinated the relocation of the test teams from one site to the other, and enforced maintenance standards during a critical contract transition ensuring the squadron accumulated 940 flight hours encompassing 370 sorties in unmanned aircraft ranging from commercial-off-the-shelf quadcopters to the MQ-8 Fire Scout. 

Maintenance Chief Petty Officer of the Year
Senior Chief Petty Officer Markisaac Bugarin
Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23

Senior Chief Petty Officer Bugarin, the squadron’s quality assurance and assistant maintenance officer, led 44 sailors in performing government oversight of 300 personnel across three independent contracts, enabling them to maintain 43 test aircraft in support of 61 Chief of Naval Operations RDT&E projects.

Test Pilot of the Year
Lt. Cmdr. Sean M. Delaney
Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23

Lt. Cmdr. Delaney tested and fielded multiple software and hardware weapon system upgrades for the EA-18G Growler, as well as conducted high-risk test operations in support of advancements to the ALQ-99 tactical jamming system, thereby delivering superior combat capability to the fleet.

Test Naval Flight Officer of the Year
Lt. Sarah Gunn
Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 20

Lt. Gunn, an E-2D Integrated Test Team project officer, coordinated 33 government and contractor personnel in writing deficiency reports and support publications for multiple projects, representing 80 percent of the E-2D mission systems flight tests completed in calendar year 2019.

Flight Test Engineer of the Year
Susan Thompson
Mk-15 Advanced Arresting Gear program

Thompson coordinated test assets of five different type aircraft across two test squadrons and one fleet squadron to lead test teams through five separate detachments at Joint Base McGuire/Dix/Lakehurst in the performance of aircraft compatibility test of the Mk-15 Advanced Arresting Gear. The team’s Aircraft Recovery Bulletins enabled fleet operations aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78).

Test Pilot School Instructor of the Year
Lt. Cmdr. Allan Jespersen
U.S. Naval Test Pilot School

Lt. Cmdr. Jespersen led the execution of seven exercises across all syllabi impacting 100 test pilots and naval flight officers under instruction across three long-course classes. Jespersen continued the development of Unmanned Aerial Systems exercises, and the modernization of legacy exercises that helped improve the quality of education received by students.

Naval Test Wing Atlantic serves as fleet advocate supporting test and evaluation of the Navy’s principal aviation systems ranging from unmanned to rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft.

NAWCAD provides the talent, tools and technologies to advance capabilities and operational readiness for naval aviation. The command supports the research, development, engineering, test, and evaluation of all Navy and Marine Corps air vehicle systems and trainers. With facilities in Patuxent River, Maryland; Lakehurst, New Jersey; and Orlando, Florida, the command delivers high-quality, affordable products in support of military operating forces worldwide.


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