Thursday, February 21, 2008

Deppe relieves Brasel at UCAS

U.S. Navy photo
Rear Adm. Timothy Heely, Program Executive Officer for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons, congratulates incoming program manager for the Navy Unmanned Combat Air System (PMA-268) Capt. Martin Deppe and outgoing program manager Capt. Richard Brasel.
Capt. Martin Deppe became the second program manager of the Navy Unmanned Combat Air System Program Office (PMA-268), relieving Capt. Richard L. Brasel during a ceremony Feb. 1 in Hangar 101 here.

Rear Adm. Allen G. Myers, Director, Air Warfare Division was keynote speaker at the event. He said Navy UCAS will bring ‘‘game-changing” capabilities to the carrier air wing of the future, and will play a huge part in future naval operations.

Myers also noted that Navy UCAS will provide a survivable, relevant, deterrent capability to support the U. S. national strategy.

Brasel unveiled a PMA-268 logo and noted ‘‘the logo represents and conveys global range, persistence and network connectivity to the carrier. Three constellations of two stars, six stars and eight stars represent PMA-268.”

‘‘This [unmanned air system] will reflect our efforts to improve the global intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and strike capability of the United States Department of Defense,” Brasel said. ‘‘Since we are still in the demonstration, pre-system development phase, we do not depict a specific aircraft; rather the concept of what an unmanned air system can do to improve the global reach of naval air power.”

Brasel thanked the members of the Navy UCAS team for their dedication and commitment to excellence as an organization. He was effusive in his praise of the team as they chart the future of naval aviation.

Rear Adm. Timothy L. Heely, Program Executive Officer for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons, said Brasel’s personal influence ‘‘was responsible for establishing the acquisition and life cycle management path for development of the Navy’s next generation carrier strike⁄fighter capability. His extraordinary vision and insight into unmanned aviation systems were instrumental in developing a plan for critical technologies required for carrier-based, low-observable, persistent, unmanned operations.”

Brasel was awarded the Legion of Merit for his efforts culminating in the stand-up of the program.

Upon assumption of command, Deppe referenced the President’s 2002 National Security Strategy.

‘‘We now face the greatest challenge of developing and maintaining the capabilities necessary to fight and win not only evolving conventional war, but to provide similarly for asymmetric warfare as well,” Deppe said. ‘‘As such, the aircraft carrier of the future will most likely continue to prioritize and optimize a capability to find and engage emerging and time-sensitive targets.

‘‘If we contemplate attributes for tomorrow’s carrier and its air wing, we come to discussions on extended range, long endurance, persistence in contested airspace, and stealth. In my opinion, such attributes forge an undeniable coupling between unmanned aviation and the aircraft carrier of the future, and that requires change,” he said.

Speaking to program members, Deppe said, ‘‘Standing orders will remain in effect. Our near-term goals are to demonstrate the capability of an autonomous, low-observable unmanned air system in the carrier environment and develop the information necessary to support a potential follow-on acquisition milestone. We will be flying by the end of 2009 and on the carrier in 2011. We have a great deal of work ahead of us but I can think of nothing more gratifying than laying the foundation for the newest frontier of naval aviation and I know of no other team I’d rather have with me on this great journey.”

(Article courtesy of Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons Public Affairs)