With one leader pledging to ensure the continuation of the organizational mission and the other reflecting on its legacy, the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School hosted a change of command ceremony March 16.
TPS staff and family gathered in Hangar Bay 110 to welcome Cmdr. Brandt Moslener as he took the reins from Cmdr. Andrew Lynch, who will march into a new role supporting NAVAIR’s H-60 Helicopters program.
“We are the stewards of one of the finest organizations in the world and we must continue to look forward while preserving the rich heritage of the past,” Moslener told the audience gathered for the afternoon ceremony. “Your most significant contribution is not necessarily your technical expertise or your years of experience. It’s your passion for what you do that makes the school greater than the sum of its parts.”
TPS provides instruction to experienced pilots, flight officers and engineers in the processes and techniques of aircraft and systems test and evaluation. The school investigates and develops new flight-test techniques, publishes manuals for the aviation-test community for standardization of flight-test techniques and project reporting and conducts special projects.
Outgoing commander Lynch noted in his remarks that Cmdr. Sid Sherby, the first TPS commander, was tasked with solving a problem, not with establishing a school.
“His ingenuity backed by technical rigor and education … still lives in all of us at the Test Pilot School,” Lynch said. “It is that special brand of critical thinking that enables our graduates to pilot … air and space vehicles; create aerospace textbooks and even steer high, and sometimes cumbersome, organizations toward a great goal.”
The former executive officer for TPS, Moslener’s operational tours include Patrol Squadron Eight, known as VP-8, NAS Jacksonville, Fla., as ordnance branch officer and pilot Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization officer; and Patrol Squadron 26, known as VP-26, NAS Brunswick, Maine, as safety/NATOPS officer and maintenance officer.
His deployments include Sigonella, Sicily, supporting various operations over the former republic of Yugoslavia as well as Operation Enduring Freedom; and Keflavik, Iceland, in support of Commander Fleet Air Keflavik initiatives.
Moslener’s shore tours include TPS, both as a student of Class 120 and as a staff instructor pilot; Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 20, known as VX-20, as operations officer and as a project officer; and the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft Program Office, known as PMA-290, where he served as P-3 Class Desk, P-3 Acoustics Integrated Product Team lead and P-8 IPT lead.
A native of Pennington, N.J., Moslener holds a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Auburn University and a master’s in the same discipline from the University of Alabama. He was commissioned in December 1992 and upon completion of flight training, was designated a naval aviator in December 1995.
-- Gary Younger contributed to this report