NAVAL AIR WARFARE CENTER AIRCRAFT DIVISION, Patuxent River, Md. – Col. Joseph Alexander, the commander of the U.S. Army Redstone Test Center (RTC), recently embarked on a two-day visit to Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland. The purpose of his visit was to fly with the U.S. Naval Test Wing Atlantic (NTWL) aviators and gain first-hand insights into Naval Aviation and the capabilities of naval aviators.

During his time at the base, Col. Alexander familiarized himself with NTWL and its U.S. Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS), further solidifying the bond between Army and Navy aviation. The visit provided a remarkable opportunity to showcase the interoperability of the two branches, which is crucial in an era of joint and coalition warfare.

Employees from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS) show U.S. Army Redstone Test Center Commander Col. Joseph Alexander around the schoolhouse during a tour on April 17 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. Alexander visited to familiarize himself with the school and check out Naval Test Wing Atlantic where naval and Marine Corps aviators test all aircraft for the Navy and Marine Corps after they graduate. USNTPS is the Army’s dedicated education center for the service’s test pilots. Credit: U.S. Navy photo by Jonathan Bass

Capt. Elizabeth Somerville, NTWL commodore, expressed gratitude for Col. Alexander’s visit, stating, “It is critical that we communicate and understand our mission partner’s capabilities. I am incredibly thankful to Col. Alexander for his time and proud of what our team was able to provide him with.”

Apart from gaining knowledge about NTWL and its mission, Col. Alexander’s visit also allowed him to become acquainted with the next generation of Army test pilots who are undergoing training at USNTPS, the Army’s dedicated test pilot school. He praised the leadership of NTWL and USNTPS, describing them as organizations deeply committed to producing exceptional testing professionals for the Army, Navy, and foreign militaries.

“NTWL and USNTPS are incredibly well-led organizations intensely focused on producing the best Army, Navy, and foreign military testing professionals,” Col. Alexander remarked. “This trip reinforced the academic and technical rigor these exceptional U.S. and foreign military specialists receive. I have tremendous respect for the command and the brilliant graduates of this elite school, many who will join RTC upon graduation.”

Assuming command of the RTC in March of this year, Col. Alexander has been proactive in strengthening partnerships and exploring opportunities for collaboration between the Army and Navy. His visit to Naval Air Station Patuxent River serves as a testament to his commitment to fostering cooperation and knowledge-sharing between the two branches.

The Naval Test Wing Atlantic, which is part of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD), plays a vital role in the test and evaluation of the Navy’s primary aviation systems, including unmanned, rotary-wing, and fixed-wing aircraft. NAWCAD, headquartered in Patuxent River, Maryland, employs over 17,000 military, civilian, and contract personnel. The command operates test ranges, laboratories, and aircraft to support the comprehensive testing, evaluation, research, development, and sustainment of aviation assets utilized by the Navy and Marine Corps.

With major sites in St. Inigoes, Maryland, Lakehurst, New Jersey, and Orlando, Florida, NAWCAD is at the forefront of advancing military aviation and space capabilities. The collaboration between the U.S. Army Redstone Test Center and NTWL underscores the mutual dedication to excellence and the shared goal of strengthening national defense through enhanced interoperability and cooperation between the Army and Navy.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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