Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md.– Local Marine Corps Aviation Association (MCAA) John Glenn squadron presented Cora White with the first-ever Thomas E. Laux Acquisition Civilian-of-the-Year award for 2020 during the annual banquet, held June 2, in Solomons Island, Maryland.

The MCAA squadron honored White for her strong initiative and sustained professional performance as the Navy and Marine Corps Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems (PMA-263) deputy program manager for RQ-21A Integrated Product Team (IPT) overseeing the capability development and sustainment of the Marine Corps’ only Group 3 Unmanned Aircraft System.

Cora White (centere), recipient of the Thomas E. Laux Acquisition Civilian-of-the-Year award for 2020, at the annual award banquet hosted by the Local MCAA John Glenn squadron held June 2 in Solomons Island, Maryland. Credit: U.S. Navy

“PMA-263 is filled with people whose focus is always on the warfighter,” White said. “It’s a privilege to work alongside a team that takes pride in giving it everything they have to make big things happen, regardless of the obstacles. Our success is a direct result of this team’s unwavering dedication, and I am honored to be recognized for the work we have done together.”

According to the nomination, she was influential in rapidly improving the mission capable (MC) and full mission capable rates for the RQ-21A platform. She worked closely with the fleet support team and original equipment manufacturer to identify impediments to readiness. Her efforts directly increased RQ-21A’s mission capability from 61 percent in June 2020 to 96 percent in December 2020.

“Cora’s outstanding leadership across the RQ-21A IPT set the example for work ethic and devotion to get the job done so the fleet could keep flying,” said Col. Vic Argobright, PMA-263 program manager. “She has been an integral player to improve RQ-21A Blackjack’s readiness and capabilities.”

The MCAA John Glenn squadron annually recognizes active-duty Marines for their significant contributions to Marine Aviation Acquisition. In 2020, realizing the equally significant contribution given by the civilian employees and contractors that support Marine Aviation Acquisition, the squadron authorized the presentation of civilian awards as well.

“Every team has that one individual that seems to hold everything together and that as a leader you feel you can’t live without,” Argobright said. “For PMA-263, that is Cora. She is extremely hardworking and dedicated. Cora is a bulldog at getting stuff done, and always puts the needs of the warfighter first. Cora is most deserving of this honor.”


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