The Aviation Systems Project Office, within the Program Executive Office for Aviation, changed leadership Aug. 29 during an assumption of charter ceremony at Bob Jones Auditorium.

Col. Johnathan Frasier assumed management from Jimmy Downs, who took over in January following the retirement of the former project manager, during a passing of the colors ceremony symbolizing the passing of authority.

"Aviation Systems is unique -- it touches every platform we have," Brig. Gen. Thomas Todd, program executive officer for aviation, said to AS workers. "You are the heart and soul of combat aviation, and I thank you for what you do each and every day."

Todd commended Downs for stepping in as the project manager and said he was the "right man for the mission."

"There are two characteristics I expect out of a leader," Todd said. "Jimmy embodies both -- character and competency."

Downs will resume his role as the deputy project manager.

"Anytime you're able to be in command is truly an honor and I have been blessed to have a great team," Downs said. "I've had the privilege to work with Col. Frasier before and we are blessed as an organization to enjoy his expertise and leadership."

Frasier recently graduated from the Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, with a master's in strategic studies, but is no stranger to PEO Aviation.

"It is no surprise to me to see John back here today," Todd said. "He is the right person, at the right time for the right program."

Frasier's 23 year military career includes serving as the assistant product manager for AS's Air Traffic Control Systems, as product director for Fixed Wing's Transport Aircraft and as the product manager for Air Traffic Control within the AS project office.

"The aviation team is an awesome team," Frasier said. "I look forward to working each and every day to make a positive impact not only on the aviation enterprise but to each and every Soldier out there in our great Army."

The AS office was established in 2001 as a project office within PEO Aviation and manages 49 distinct products, through five product offices and directorates, that touch every rotary wing aircraft in the Army inventory.