Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, MD – The Navy’s Aerial Targets program office (PMA-208) witnessed a change of command ceremony, with Greg Crewse taking over as the new program manager from Don Blottenberger. Rear Adm. Stephen Tedford presided over the ceremony, praising Blottenberger’s leadership and contributions to the program. Crewse, an experienced acquisition specialist, now leads the team into the next era of aerial targets development, supporting the Navy’s combat readiness.

Rear Adm. Stephen Tedford, who oversees the Program Executive Office for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons, observes as Greg Crewse, left, assumes leadership of the Aerial Targets program office from former program manager Don Blottenberger, right, during a change of command ceremony Aug. 1 at Patuxent River, Md. Credit: U.S. Navy

The Naval Air Systems Command’s Aerial Targets program office (PMA-208) marked a significant transition as they welcomed a new program manager, Greg Crewse, during an official change of command ceremony on August 1 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. Rear Adm. Stephen Tedford, the Program Executive Officer for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons (PEO (U&W)), presided over the ceremony, praising the outgoing program manager, Don Blottenberger, and expressing optimism about the future under Crewse’s leadership.

In his speech, Rear Adm. Tedford highlighted the remarkable contributions made by Don Blottenberger during his tenure as the PMA-208 program manager. Blottenberger’s innovative approach expanded the program’s portfolio, leading to new and unique applications of aerial targets in various programs across the portfolio. This expansion played a crucial role in assisting other programs, and Tedford acknowledged Blottenberger’s exceptional leadership and his team’s accomplishments.

The new Aerial Targets program manager, Greg Crewse, addresses attendees during remarks at his change of command ceremony Aug. 1 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. Credit: U.S. navy

As the program manager, Don Blottenberger led a team across different locations to acquire subsonic, supersonic, full-scale, and moving land targets. These targets were used in testing, training, and tactics development for United States Navy (USN) surface and air systems. Under his guidance, the team successfully met all operational requirements, supporting 84 exercises with 207 targets. These targets were vital in providing presentations for air-to-air and surface defense capabilities, significantly contributing to the U.S. Navy, Joint Force, and international warfighting capabilities.

Addressing the significance of these targets, Blottenberger emphasized their role as enemy cruise missiles and highlighted their ability to simulate the world’s best fighter aircraft. With their blazing speeds and radar mimicry, these targets provided critical testing scenarios, honing the skills of Navy aviators and surface navy warriors. Expressing immense pride in leading the target community, Blottenberger reflected on the honor and responsibility it entailed.

Greg Crewse, a seasoned professional with over 43 years of acquisition experience, is stepping into the program manager role. Crewse’s Navy career began as an air traffic controlman, and he went on to earn his naval aviator wings in 1986 after completing Officer Candidate Training. Over the years, he has supported multiple operational tours in both Pacific and Central Commands, and he has held several staff positions at Pax River, including deputy program manager for the EP-3E program and executive assistant to NAVAIR’s commander.

Rear Adm. Tedford expressed his confidence in Crewse’s leadership abilities and the valuable experience he brings to the PMA-208 team. With a wealth of knowledge and noble intent, Greg Crewse’s appointment is expected to enhance the program’s capabilities further. His recent position as deputy program manager for the Navy and Marine Corps Multi-Mission Tactical Unmanned Air Systems program office (PMA-266) has given him valuable insights into leading complex projects.

Having served on multiple platforms, including the MQ-4C Triton, EP-E3, and aircrew systems, Crewse brings a deep understanding of unmanned systems. His most recent role involved overseeing the MQ-8 Fire Scout and the Marine Air-Ground Task Force UAS Expeditionary family of systems. With this extensive acquisition experience, Crewse is well-prepared to guide the team into the next generation of aerial targets development.

Greg Crewse expressed his humility and excitement about leading the PMA-208 team in his statement. As the program manager, he primarily aims to support the Navy’s combat readiness by developing and delivering threat-representative targets for fleet training, testing, and evaluating weapons systems. With his leadership, the Aerial Targets program is poised to continue its critical role in preparing the Navy for future challenges and ensuring its continued dominance in the maritime domain.

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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