The Army aviation community welcomed a new Fixed Wing leader on Aug. 1. Col. Steve Clark relinquished responsibility as the Fixed Wing project manager to Col. Tal Sheppard during a change of charter ceremony at Bob Jones Auditorium. "A big part of the successes of the Fixed Wing Project Office was Col. Clark's leadership and his ability to think strategically and act tactically," Brig. Gen. Bob Marion, program executive officer for aviation, said before performing the traditional passing of the project office flag. A native of East Tennessee, Clark has been in the service for almost 25 years. The master Army aviator has served in a variety of command and staff positions and has flown in nine helicopters and three fixed wing aircraft. In speaking about his fixed wing team, Clark said there was "exceptional talent and a commitment to excellence." He said his team was "motivated to work and passionate about its mission." Clark is looking forward to his new assignment and feels strongly that the fixed wing office will continue to make great achievements. He participated in a change of charter later that afternoon where he took the reins of the non-standard project office. Sheppard has served in the Army for over 25 years. He has held three previous jobs in the Program Executive Office for Aviation, first as an assistant product manager for the Longbow Apache, then as the executive officer to the program executive officer and most recently as the product manager for the AH-64E Apache production and fielding office. Marion said Sheppard was "exactly prepared for this job. The Army has put you in places, given you the opportunity to lead, and you've responded every time." Sheppard thanked his new fixed wing family for giving him a great welcome over the last couple of weeks and he looks forward to "not only managing the organization but leading." He said his priorities are "faith, family and fixed wing." The Fixed Wing Project Office is responsible for the life cycle management of the Army's diverse fleet of 307 airplanes comprised of 30 aircraft type designations.