The Program Executive Office Aviation’s Apache Development and Modernization (DevMod) Product Office welcomed a new leader during a change of charter ceremony Feb. 24 at Redstone Arsenal’s Bob Jones Auditorium.
Outgoing product manager Lt. Col. Matt Peterson relinquished responsibility of the office to Lt. Col. Nick Yerby, who most recently served as a Program Management instructor with the Army Acquisition Center of Excellence at Fort Belvoir, Va. Col. Jay Maher, Project Manager of the Apache Project Office, hosted the ceremony.
“This is a bittersweet day,” said Maher about the outgoing Peterson. “We’re saying goodbye to a phenomenal leader, but welcoming another great leader. The successes of the DevMod Product Office was a direct result of Matt’s outstanding leadership. There were all kinds of challenges through the pandemic, but the Apache is postured for future success because of his leadership.”
As the Product Manager for DevMod, Peterson’s leadership finalized the Version 6 Apache Operational Test and enabled completion of all development requirements necessary to enable fielding the 1-229th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, the first unit equipped with the upgraded aircraft. He also completed design activities necessary to integrate the T901 Improved Turbine Engine in the V6 and federated the SPIKE missile system on the aircraft, enabling increased reach and lethality.
Peterson also oversaw the successful development of the latest Apache Operational Flight Profile Software-Version 6.X. Established using A Modular Open Systems Approach the upgrade adds adding a variety of new capabilities to the platform.
“The V.6.X will leverage open system architecture, enabling rapid technology insertion timelines while reducing overall software development costs,” Maher said.
Peterson, who retired from the Army following his relinquishment of leadership duties after 20 years received the Legion of Merit and Army Aviation Association of America’s Order of Saint Michael, Bronze Award for significant contributions to the Army Aviation community his after 20 years of service.
As Maher welcomed the incoming product manager during he remarks, he said he looks forward to working with Yerby. He added he anticipates Yerby will continue to build the relationships to take DevMod to the next level.
Yerby, a Huntsville native, received his commission into the Aviation Branch through the ROTC program in 2002. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, a Master’s degree in Management from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Alabama, Huntsville.
Following flight school, Yerby held multiple Battalion level positions from Flight Platoon Leader, Maintenance Platoon Leader, Staff, and Headquarters and Air Traffic Control Company Command at various duty stations, including Fort Campbell, Ky; Fort Rucker, and Redstone Arsenal. He also deployed to Iraq. He assessed into the Army Acquisition Corps in 2010, serving as a Systems Engineer, Contracting Officer, Assistant Product Manager, Program Executive Office Soldier, and Senior Professor of Program Management for the Army Acquisition Center of Excellence.
In accepting responsibility for the organization, Yerby remarked that he looks forward to his new assignment.
“I want to capitalize on the momentum that Lt. Col. Matt Peterson and his team have created for the Apache helicopter, and meet the evolving needs of the Army by integrating new and improved technology on the helicopter,” he said. “I want to foster an environment of equal opportunity, inclusion and acceptance among my workforce where everyone feels like a member of the team.”