NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md.– The Specialized and Proven Aircraft program office (PMA-226) welcomed a new program manager during a ceremony held on 7 April in Cherry Point, N.C. 

Program Executive Officer for Aviation Common Systems and Commercial Services (PEO(CS)), Mr. Gary M. Kurtz, presided over the change of command ceremony during which Capt. Gregory Sutton assumed command of PMA-226 from Capt. Ramiro Flores. 

Capt. Gregory Sutton, incoming program manager, left, shakes hands with outgoing program manager Capt. Ramiro Flores, right, as Sutton assumes command of the Specialized and Proven Aircraft program office (PMA-226) on 7 April in a small change of command ceremony held in Cherry Point, N.C. Credit: U.S. Navy

Kurtz said he credits Flores’ emphasis on team-building skills and his unwavering fleet-focus as the keys to his program’s success. “Flores served as the glue to bring his team together for mission success – bringing tactical training capability and contracted air services to the warfighter and our international partners.” 

As the Specialized and Proven Aircraft program manager, Flores led a workforce of more than 130 team members who powered through the challenges of COVID and transitioned into the hybrid work environment the command is in today. Under his leadership, those changes were transparent to the fleet. According to Kurtz, Flores’ program performance was “Consistently outstanding, he made it look easy to manage a $611 million annual budget, lead a team of more than 130 personnel and oversee 10 different type/model/series (T/MS) aircraft in the Navy and Marine Corps inventory, five different T/M/S operated by six international customers, and $2 billion in contracts for contracted air services”.  

“I cannot take all the credit for our achievements,” said Flores. “They’re the result of the hard work my dedicated team puts in every day to deliver increased capability to the warfighter.” He said, “It’s been my honor to be part of this team, delivering cutting-edge tactical training, services, and support to the warfighter and our partners,” said Flores. I know this office is in good hands and ready for the future. 

Flores will retire from the Navy after 38 years of service to our nation. 

Sutton joined the NAVAIR workforce in 2003 as an integrated project lead for E-2C airborne wide-band internet protocol-based networking and rapid prototyping, responsible for the integration of prototype efforts into fleet experiments to advance technology and requirements development. 

In 2009, Sutton reported to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron ONE (VX-1) in support of operational test & evaluation of the E-2D. While at VX-1, he was assigned as the administrative department head, which included planning and management of personnel changes and increases to support not just the arrival of E-2D, but also P-8A, MQ-4, and MQ-8 in addition to existing platforms. During his time at VX-1, the Navy selected Sutton for aerospace engineering duty officer.

In 2010, Sutton served as an operations analyst supporting the warfare analysis & integration department, responsible for warfare studies via research, modeling, and simulation for program sponsors, and he was assigned as the deputy director for the Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike analysis of alternatives. 

In 2012, he served as the miniature air-launched decoy-Navy integrated product team lead (IPTL) for the Airborne Electronic Attack Systems and EA-6B program office (PMA-234), then subsequently selected as the Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) Low-Band Pod IPTL until the team was established, and was then later reassigned as the NGJ Mid-Band Pod test and evaluation lead. 

In 2015, Sutton served as the assistant deputy program manager for the Unmanned Systems Common Control System to the Strike Planning and Execution Systems program office (PMA-281) and was then later assigned as the deputy program manager for the Tomahawk Theater Mission Planning Center program. 

In 2019, Sutton supported the E-2/C-2 Airborne Tactical Data System program office (PMA-231) as the E-2D Advanced Systems deputy program manager, responsible for transitioning advanced technology and modernizing the mission systems architecture.  

Prior to assuming command of PMA-226, Sutton supported Naval Air Force Atlantic as the director, of aviation material and engineering for Naval Air Forces responsible for directing and orchestrating technical, logistics planning, and inventory distribution for all aircraft, and aircraft engines, avionics, and aircrew life support systems. 

Sutton graduated from The Citadel, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Physics, and was commissioned through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps in 1998. He later graduated from Johns Hopkins University, receiving his Master of Science in Systems Engineering.  

“We have an important mission here at PMA-226 – we provide our warfighters with tactical training they need to win the high-end fight, provide contracted air services in support of fleet missions, and support our international partners in a time we need to think globally,” said Capt. Gregory Sutton.  “I am excited to be joining this team is working hard to achieve our mission.” 

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