Small Tactical UAS program workplace adjustments management – Drones Information
Col. John Neville comments on his command change and retirement ceremony on July 23 on NAS Patuxent River, Md. (U.S. Navy photo)
NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md–
The Navy and Navy Unmanned Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program Office (PMA-263) welcomed a new program manager during a July 24 command change ceremony at Naval Air Station (NAS) in Patuxent River, Maryland.
A small ceremony was held for the family to witness the transfer of leadership from Colonel John Neville to Colonel Victor Argobright. Due to COVID 19 restrictions, employees, large families and friends participated in the ceremony virtually via a livestream.
“Advances in unmanned systems in recent years have enabled our warriors to move around the battlefield with unprecedented skill and agility to really deal with a very adaptable set of threats,” said guest speaker Rear Adm. Brian Corey, who oversees the Program Executive Office for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons. “One of the most important reasons why you can do this safely is an unmatched situational awareness that gives the warfighter the ability and confidence to know what lies ahead. This awareness of the situation is due to the leadership of Col. Neville and the efforts of the PMA-263 team over the past three years. “
During Neville’s tenure, he accelerated the deployment of 800 InstantEye Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) systems in response to the command of the Marine Corps’ Quads for Squads “to provide each infantry squad with a Quadcopter for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS) ability).
He directed the opening of a new SUAS training facility for marines based in the Pacific, the third training and logistics support activity (TALSA) of this type. The establishment of TALSA Pacific offers the opportunity to train Marines to use SUAS skills effectively during operations be carried out throughout the area of responsibility of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.
Neville successfully led the RQ-21A blackjack program through its final system deliveries to the Marines at Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, North Carolina, and to the Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron (VMU) 3 in Hawaii to complete the relay deliveries. His leadership saw that the production phase of the RQ-21A program was successfully completed, and he expertly maneuvered the team into the maintenance phase for the fleet, focusing on system readiness, affordability, and capability improvements.
Neville, a native of Pompano Beach, Florida, also celebrated his resignation after 28 years of military service as part of the command change ceremony.
“Team PMA-263, I am very proud of your accomplishments,” said Neville during the ceremony. “Most of all, I’m grateful for the relationships you build and work with for the fleet that give them the skills they need.”
Ohio Navigator, graduate of the US Naval Academy, Argobright, received his assignment in May 1994. He graduated from the US Navy Test Pilot School on NAS Patuxent River in 2001 and was assigned to the Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two One (HX-21). as a development test pilot and AH-1Z platform coordinator.
In 2009, Argobright was named Aviation Acquisition Professional and in 2012 John Glenn Squadron Acquisition Officer of the Year from the Marine Corps Aviation Association. Most recently, he was the commanding officer of the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) for Bell Textron.
In his new role, Argobright will manage a complex portfolio of 13 different unmanned systems that are used worldwide and will lead training courses for all service branches.
“I am incredibly humble to be part of the PMA-263 team. The products and services that you all offer affect the Warfighter and our national defense every day, ”said Argobright. “This is an exciting time as we are concerned with the future of unmanned systems and the expansion of their role in our military operations.”
Col. Victor Argobright takes command of the Program Office for Small Tactical Unmanned Air Systems (PMA-263) during the ceremony on NAS Patuxent River, Md. (U.S. Navy photo). Public Affairs Officer contact: 301-757-9703