NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, Patuxent River, Md.– The Advanced Tactical Aircraft Protection Systems Program Office (PMA-272) held a change of command ceremony Aug. 19 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.

Marine Corps Col. Tamara Campbell, Advanced Tactical Aircraft Protection Systems Program Office (PMA-272) program manager. Credit: U.S. Navy photo

Marine Corps Col. Tamara Campbell relieved Capt. Laura Schuessler, who will remain at Pax River as the head detailer for aviation engineering duty/aviation maintenance duty officer communities.

Guest speaker Vice Adm. Mike Moran, principal military deputy for the Assistant Secretary of the Navy Research, Development & Acquisition (ASN(RDA)), spoke of the many successes under Schuessler’s leadership during the event.   

“I can’t congratulate you enough on a job well done,” he said.  “You have delivered, you have driven your team, and you have exercised the leadership and expertise that we selected you for. The Navy, the Marine Corps, the Army, the Air Force and 30 of our partners and allies are in much better shape because of your leadership.”

During her command tour, Schuessler managed a total obligation authority for a budget totaling approximately $1.2 billion. She directed the analysis, design, development, integration, testing, procurement and transition efforts of 13 Aircraft Survivability Equipment (ASE) acquisition programs and 30 foreign military sales customers across all Navy and Marine Corps type model series. She also ensured the PMA looked to the future and set the vision “to be the leader in developing and fielding future-scalable-integrated EW capabilities to win the war of tomorrow.”

 “I can tell you unequivocally it has been the most rewarding position I have had in my naval service and I’d do it again if asked to serve the Navy in that way,” Schuessler said. “Where else can you look at yourself every day and know you are making a real difference for our Sailors, Marines, Airmen and Soldiers across the world to bring them home safe but also execute their mission in heavily contested environment. A true honor.”

The Advanced Tactical Aircraft Protection Systems Program Office (PMA-272) held a change of command ceremony Aug. 19 where Marine Corps Col. Tamara Campbell relieved Capt. Laura Schuessler as the program manager. The change of command official party, from left, Rear Adm. Shane Gahagan, Program Executive Officer for Tactical Aircraft Programs; Col. Campbell, PMA-272 program manager; Capt. Schuessler, outgoing PMA-272 program manager; and Vice Adm. Mike Moran principal military deputy for the Assistant Secretary of the Navy Research, Development & Acquisition (ASN(RDA)).

Vision and effective program management were the cornerstones of Schuessler’s tour at PMA-272 which proved successful by the numerous and effective ASE programs currently underway in the fleet and supporting the joint warfighter.    

Campbell congratulated Schuessler on a job well done, and thanked her for her friendship, mentorship and stewardship.

“Today you are leaving me with big shoes to fill, and you worked tirelessly to ensure I got a good handoff and a strong team, I am excited to take the baton and run with it,” Campbell said.

A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and the Naval Post Graduate School, Campbell’s past assignments highlighted her path to program office command. She qualified as an air intercept controller in 1998, serving in that capacity until her lateral transfer and re-designation as a Marine acquisition officer. She has held numerous acquisition leadership roles, to include deputy program manager for Air Traffic Control Systems with the Naval Air Traffic Management Systems Program Office (PMA-213), and the product manager for Integration, Interoperability and Situational Awareness within Marine Corps Systems Command Marine Air-Ground Task Force Command, Control and Communications. She has also served as the chief of staff for the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Expeditionary Programs and Logistics Management. Most recently, Campbell served as the PMA-272’s strategic integrated program team lead.

In taking the reins as commander of PMA-272, Campbell will manage a portfolio of 13 ASE systems and lead a team of nearly 500 personnel dispersed across the U.S. She will also continue to advance the PMA-272 mission of “delivering affordable airborne defensive electronic warfare self-protection solutions to enable the global warfighter success against an evolving adversary.”

“In these uncertain times where we are faced with challenges from all fronts, I couldn’t have chosen better professionals with whom to tackle these challenges and to capitalize on new opportunities,” Campbell said. “Our focus will remain on affordability while providing critical aircraft protection capabilities to the Navy and Marine Corps, sister services, our partners and allies, today and in the future. We will endeavor to be a world leader in providing dominant flexible scalable integrated EW [electronic warfare] capabilities and will align our objectives with the fleet, our sponsors, and other programs supporting our EW mission.”

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