Navy realigns critical support workload to 'Specialized and Proven Aircraft' Program Office

The Navy’s Specialized and Proven Aircraft Program Office (PMA-226) has expanded its mission, taking over management of the F-5 N/F and F-16 A/B adversary aircraft as well as the acquisition of Contracted Air Services (CAS) , a move that became effective Oct. 1, naval officials said.

The realignment of the two programs, which were previously executed by Naval Air Systems Command’s (NAVAIR) Tactical Airlift, Adversary and Support Aircraft Program Office (PMA-207), will allow PMA-207 to focus on its core mission supporting KC-130J and other multimission aircraft, officials said.

“Our commitment to excellence, coupled with our history of sustained support for the fleet, will continue as we transition the people and the workload from PMA-207 to PMA-226,” said Cmdr. Anthony Jaramillo (pronounced haw-raw-MEÉ-yo), who leads PMA-226 from Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point, North Carolina. “I am confident we will continue to provide this critical support for the warfighter.”

CAS provides commercial aircraft to fly missions in support of naval requirements. The CAS program coordinates airworthiness — or flight safety — assessments of contract aircraft and crew, ensuring safe, timely and efficient support to the Navy and Marine Corps. The support missions range from adversary training to testing and aerial refueling.

The seven CAS contracts managed by NAVAIR provide more than 15,000 flight hours of support to the Navy and Marine Corps for fleet exercise support, training and testing, Jaramillo said.

The F-5 adversary program consists of 44 F-5N/Fs operating from Naval Air Station (NAS) Fallon, Nevada; NAS Key West, Florida; and MCAS Yuma, Arizona. The F-16 program includes 14 F-16 A/Bs attached to Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center, (NSAWC) NAS Fallon. The adversary mission supports Red Air Carrier Air Wing Training and Graduate Level Air Combat Training support. The PMA-226 team manages total life cycle support for adversary aircraft, including a maintenance labor contract for the three F-5 squadrons, an F-5 depot maintenance contract and a maintenance contract supporting NSAWC's multiple aircraft platform organization.

“A program office with experience in sustainment can focus on extending the service life of the F-5 and F-16s in support of naval training missions,” Jaramillo said. “We also have the experience with nonstandard platform aircraft.”

After more than two decades supporting the retiring H-46 “Sea Knight” helicopter, PMA-226 broadened its mission in November 2011 , assuming responsibility for several aircraft at the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS) , the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) and out-of-inventory Foreign Military Sales (FMS).  PMA-226 FMS teams support more than six different aircraft — fixed and rotary-wing — providing critical capability to allied and coalition armed forces.

The office also manages five types of fixed and rotary-wing aircraft at USNTPS, including T-38 Talons, UH-72 Lakotas, U-6A Beavers, an NU-1-B Otter and X-26 Frigates. Supporting NPS’ Center for Interdisciplinary Remotely Piloted Aircraft Studies , PMA-226 also oversees O-2A Pelicans, UV-18A Twin Otters and Sentry Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

Though headquartered at MCAS Cherry Point, PMA-226 also has teams at NAS Jacksonville, Florida, and NAS Patuxent River.

Source: Naval Air Systems Command
Date: Oct 6, 2014