News Release, NAVAIR
NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md.–The Naval Aviation Training Systems and Ranges program office (PMA-205) welcomed a new program manager during a ceremony held June 5, 2019 in Patuxent River.
Vice Adm. Michael T. Moran, principal military deputy assistant secretary of the Navy (research, development, and acquisition), served as guest speaker and Mr. Gary Kurtz, Director, Common and Commercial Systems, presided over the change of command where Capt. Lisa Sullivan assumed command of PMA-205 from Capt. Jason Lopez.
Moran said he credits Lopez’s collaborative leadership style and commitment to innovation and transformation for his program success. Moran said his team “plays a critical role in training our next generation of warfighters – delivering the most advanced training systems in the world to maintain our maritime superiority”.
As the Aviation Training Systems and Ranges program manager, Lopez has had the superior ability to lead, challenge, and inspire his multi-disciplined, geographically dispersed team. Collectively, the Naval Aviation Training Systems “one-team family”, as Lopez calls it, predominantly resides at Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) Patuxent River, Maryland and Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division Orlando, Florida.
When NAVAIR sought a volunteer to address the current and future space challenges on the Patuxent River campus, Lopez embraced the challenge and under his leadership, the implementation of the Space Transformation Pilot program had a huge impact on not just PMA-205, but NAVAIR as a whole. Not only were the PMA-205 physical spaces cleared of clutter, teammates were also permitted to telework and work flexible hours, workload permitting. These changes not only improved work-life balance, but also resulted in increased collaboration and enthusiasm. Other program offices followed suit by instituting their own clean-out days, removing unnecessary filing cabinets and discovering usable workspace for better collaboration.
With limited access to classified spaces within building 2272, Lopez found the need for an innovative solution to collaborate in a secure environment. He reached out to the PMA for a conceptual solution that resulted in a Common and Commercial Systems secure area for all program offices to use located within the current PMA-205 space footprint. The secure space is an area big enough to meet all classified IT requirements of all Common and Commercial Systems programs.
Lopez has served as a mentor to many throughout the program office. His literal open-door policy has allowed anyone, no matter their position within the program office, to have one-on-one meetings with him.
Mr. Gary Kurtz, Director, Common and Commercial Systems, describes Lopez as, “keeping Common and Commercial Systems on the precipice of transformation, reducing bureaucracy and increasing speed to the fleet”.
“These achievements are certainly not just my own,” said Lopez. “They’re the work of my people, those who work hard at delivering increased capability to the warfighter every day.” It is not just about meeting metrics; it is about relationships. “It’s given me great happiness watching people meet milestones and receive fleet feedback,” said Lopez. He said that he knows this office is in good hands for the future.
Lopez will continue his career in support of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Joint Program Office.
Throughout her career, Capt. Lisa Sullivan has spent many tours at NAVAIR, where she was first assigned to the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft program office (PMA-290) as the P-8A Mission Systems Avionics Systems project officer and conducted interoperability testing in support of initial operational test and evaluation and fleet introduction. As the chief operational test director for Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX)-1, Sullivan oversaw testing of fixed wing, rotary, unmanned aircraft systems, and ASW sensors completing major platform and sensor testing on P-8A, E-2D, MQ-8B, RQ-21A, and Multistatic Active Coherent sensor. She then joined the Persistent Maritime Unmanned Aircraft Systems program office (PMA-262) as the production lead responsible for awarding the first low rate initial production contracts for MQ-4Cs.
Her most recent assignment was as the Program Executive Officer, Assault and ASW Programs (PEO(A)), Chief of Staff, where she advised PEO(A) leadership and managed a staff that supports 10 major program offices and all acquisition category program levels.
Sullivan graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1996 where she earned a Bachelor of Science in ocean engineering. She was designated a naval flight officer in 1997. She holds a Master of Science in systems engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School.
Sullivan thanked her family and friends for their support, providing the foundation for the status of her career today. “Because I was raised without a ceiling, ceilings did not exist for me.” She said, “Our mission at PMA-205 is to provide the most advanced training solutions to enable warfighting readiness. I am excited to be joining a team that is so unafraid to take risks and challenge the status quo, one that is leaning into the task of working hard to achieve this mission.”
PMA-205 is responsible for acquisition and life-cycle management of training systems, including flight simulators, part-task trainers, maintenance trainers, and associated training curricula to ensure optimum performance for naval aviation.