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News Release, NAVAIR News

NAS Pax River, MD- Cmdr. Daniel P. Martin took command of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (UX) 24 during a ceremony at NAS Patuxent River’s Webster Outlying Field today. Martin took over from Cmdr. Matthew A. Densing, who served as the squadron’s first commanding officer upon its establishment in 2018.

Col. Richard E. Marigliano, Commodore of Naval Test Wing Atlantic, presided over the change of command ceremony. 

Prior to joining UX-24 as Chief Test Pilot in August 2018, Martin was assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 20 supporting MQ-4C Triton flight test operations as Government Flight Test Director. During his tenure, the Triton test team completed over 450 flight test hours and 1,100 ground test hours culminating in Triton’s transition to operational test ahead of initial fleet deployment. Martin previously served as Triton’s Communications lead and the Interoperability and Cybersecurity lead at the Persistent Maritime Unmanned Aircraft Systems program office.

Cmdr. Matthew A. Densing, the first commanding officer of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (UX) 24 “Ghost Wolves,” speaks during a change of command ceremony at NAS Patuxent River’s Webster Outlying Field April 17, 2020.

A 2011 graduate of the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, Martin has over 2,350 hours in 18 models of jet, prop, rotary wing, and unmanned aircraft. His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (Strike/Flight), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (1st award with combat distinguishing device), and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

Densing also served a program office tour at the Persistent Maritime Unmanned Aircraft Systems program as an Aerospace Engineering Duty Officer beginning in January 2013. He also served as the MQ-4C Triton Communications lead and the Interoperability and Cybersecurity lead. In June 2015, he reported as director to NAWCAD’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Directorate. 

From 2016 to 2018, Densing worked to gain the navy’s approval for official transition of the Directorate to the Navy’s first dedicated UAS test squadron, achieving success in March 2018 with an order from the Chief of Naval Operation’s to establish UX-24. Densing assumed command as the first commanding officer of the new squadron October 18, 2018.

While leading UX-24, Densing oversaw test of the MQ-8B/C Fire Scout and RQ-21A Blackjack unmanned systems, as well as creation of the navy’s counter-UAS test team, and providing test support for navy installations globally. Densing soon promotes to Captain and next reports to the Airborne Electronic Attack program to serve as military deputy program manager for the Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band program.

Naval Test Wing Atlantic Commodore Col. Richard E. Marigliano, left, closes in for an “elbow bump” with Cmdr. Daniel P. Martin, the new commanding officer of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (UX) 24 “Ghost Wolves” during a change of command ceremony on Friday.

Densing has over 1,900 hours in 20 models of manned and unmanned aircraft. His awards include the Navy Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medals, and other campaign and unit awards.

The U.S. Navy’s newest test squadron, UX-24, is the service’s only dedicated UAS test unit. The squadron currently provides research, development and test services for Groups 1-4 UAS, including fielded platforms such as RQ-20B Puma, RQ-21 Blackjack, and MQ-8 Fire Scout. Located at NAS Patuxent River’s Webster Outlying Field (WOLF), the squadron takes advantage of the installation’s unique facilities featuring two 5,000-foot runways, direct entry into restricted operating areas with no Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) coordination needed, exclusive-use areas available for small UAS’, proximity to water for UAS maritime operations, and a dedicated UAS operations center.

UX-24 is a component of Naval Test Wing Atlantic, test wing under Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division. With facilities in Patuxent River, Maryland; Lakehurst, New Jersey; and Orlando, Florida NAWCAD advances capability and operational readiness for naval aviation.

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David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...