NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Md.– The Air-to-Air Missiles Program Office (PMA-259) changed command with Capt. Christopher B. DeBons relieving Capt. Errol A. Campbell Jr. in a ceremony on Aug. 8.

Rear Adm. Shane Gahagan, Program Executive Officer for Tactical Aircraft Programs, served as the guest speaker highlighting the extensive list of program accomplishments under Campbell’s command and the leadership qualities Campbell encompasses.

Capt. Christopher B. DeBons salutes Rear Adm. Shane Gahagan as he relieves Capt. Errol A. Campbell Jr., from command of PMA-259 during a ceremony Aug. 8 in the Atrium of the Rear Admiral William A. Moffett Building at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. Credit: U.S. Navy

“Capt. Campbell and Capt. DeBons are leaders who are there to help move barriers on the way to success and get the most out of their organizations,” said Gahagan to the audience. “What sets them apart is that they practice leadership in their daily actions. They put in the daily and deliberate effort to practice to become great leaders.”

“[PMA-259’s accomplishments] truly are a testament to the tremendous dedication and hard work that this team has put into all they have done day in and day out over the past four years,” said Campbell. “What you see and what you have heard doesn’t even scratch the surface of the exceptional work that has taken place.”

As program manager, Campbell led a team of over 240 members to develop, produce, and sustain joint weapons for the Department of the Navy and the Department of the Air Force. Campbell and his PMA-259 team have delivered over 4,700 Air Intercept Missile (AIM)-9X missiles to the Fleet, Combat Air Forces, and foreign military partners totaling over 10,000 missiles fielded. The AIM-9X team has also executed over $1.3 Billion of funding in support of the development, production, and sustainment of AIM-9X. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers increased by 30 percent, multiplying coalition warfighter capability, and facilitating cost avoidance for the United States Navy and United States Air Force.

During Campbell’s tenure, the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) program awarded four production contracts totaling over $2.2 Billion, resulting in the delivery of 467 Department of the Navy missiles, realized $92 Million in Should Cost savings, and eliminating seven months of negotiations by bundling production lot contracts. Campbell’s leadership also accelerated the delivery of three separate software updates for legacy and current AMRAAM units.

“We have achieved our success through a focus on people, partnerships, and community embedded in all that we do,” said Campbell. “In focusing on people, we strive to become an organization of transformative leaders. We sought to develop and inspire a passionate organization of leaders willing to embrace revolutionary ideas and harness new technologies in the delivery of capability.”

Assuming the position of the program manager, DeBons has vast knowledge and experience as a tester, instructor, and weapons.

DeBons was frocked to Captain on Aug. 8, just before the change of command ceremony. His father, Gene DeBons, is a retired Captain, and read the official oath of the frocking ceremony.

“I look forward to working and learning with the Air-to-Air weapon community, the operators, the platform agencies, and the countries we support. Our future will be both challenging and exciting,” said DeBons. “I am humbled and honored to be your program manager as we unleash our talented workforce to solve hard problems and deliver the best boom stick we can.”

PMA-259 currently has 28 AIM-9X Foreign Military Sales Partner countries that have procured over 4,500 AIM-9X Block I and AIM-9X Block II/II+ missiles, employing these missiles from U.S. origin F-35, F-18, F-15, and F-16 aircraft.

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