The Non-Standard Rotary Wing Aircraft Project Office, within the Program Executive Office for Aviation, welcomed a new leader and closed a chapter in its short history during a ceremony July 12 at Bob Jones Auditorium.
Col. John Vannoy's first act as the incoming project manager was to case the Non-Standard colors, and uncase the colors of the newly designated Multi-National Aviation Special Project Office.
In explaining the philosophy behind the redesignation, Brig. Gen. Thomas Todd, who presided over the ceremony, talked about the scope of the office's mission that supports more than 30 allied nations around the world. At any given time, the office has up to 60 foreign military sales cases ongoing, which differ in size, scope, product, service and urgency of what is being delivered.
"There is nothing standard about working in Non-Standard and what they have to do and the things they have to accomplish every day in order to be successful," Todd said. "No customer is alike. No requirement is alike. No original equipment manufacturer is alike. You take all of this and do what we are asked to do by the secretary of defense, and that is to build partner capacity."
When established in 2010, the project office mainly focused on leading the procurement and support activities surrounding the Mi-17 aircraft in support of operations in Afghanistan. Since then, fleet of aircraft it supports has vastly expanded along with the customer base.
Today the project office provides aircraft procurement and support activities for customers around the world and services a fleet that includes a wide variety of rotary and fixed wing aircraft such as the Mi-17s, MD-500Es, MD-530Fs, MD-600Ns, AH-1Fs, AH-6i's, IA-407s, Bell 412s, S-333s, Bell 206s, UH-1s, Huey IIs and AW-139s.
"You have a great legacy," Todd said. "As you continue to grow, remember that no matter where the aircraft go to, there's a high potential a U.S. Soldier is on the ground."