Members of the Hawkeye, Advanced Hawkeye and Greyhound Program Office, known as PMA-231, delivered a warm welcome to their new program manager during a ceremony May 29 at NAS Patuxent River.
Capt. John “Chet” Lemmon assumed PMA-231 program manager responsibilities from Capt. Shane Gahagan, who now leads the Air Warfare Mission Area/From the Air Program Office, known as PMA-298, here.
Rear Adm. Donald Gaddis, program executive officer for Tactical Aircraft Programs, known as PEO(T), hosted the ceremony and signed the memo to Sean Stackley, assistant secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, marking the leadership change.
“I am confident in Chet’s leadership abilities, and know he will fill the big shoes left by Shane as he transitions to the new challenges in PMA-298,” Gaddis said.
PMA-231 provides the E-2C Hawkeye, E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, Hawkeye 2000 and the C-2A Greyhound fleet with acquisition strategy, logistics and sustainment solutions in support of the warfighter’s mission.
Gahagan helped ensure the E-2D Initial Operational Test and Evaluation was on time, with a mature aircraft weapon system, established best practices in ground and flight test and led a team responsible for $73 million in “should-cost” savings for the Navy’s procurement of four lots of low-rate, initial-production aircraft. He also assisted in saving $53 million in a streamlined training system for the fleet.
Under his program leadership, PMA-231 delivered 12 E-2C and 26 C-2A Communications/Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management aircraft, and completed the service life-extension program for 26 C-2A aircraft.
“Capt. Gahagan has done a tremendous job,” Gaddis said. “Something that was planned 10-plus years ago and delivered exactly as planned is remarkable and unheard of these days.”
Lemmon returned to PMA-231 in 2010 as the E-2D integrated product team co-lead after an individual augmentation tour to the Horn of Africa as the commander of Task Group 67.8.
“I feel blessed to be the program manager for great platforms with great capabilities, but I am most lucky to be joining a great team,” Lemmon said. “We will continue to maintain the open and honest communication that was a foundation for PMA-231 under Shane’s leadership.”
Lemmon’s ashore tours include several acquisition assignments to PEO(T). He also served as military deputy product manager for E-2 and C-2 programs and later as strategic business team leader (production officer) at Naval Air Depot, North Island, Calif. He was chief test pilot and commanding officer of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 20.
During operational tours with Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 122 and Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 124, Lemmon flew the Hawkeye with his squadron assigned to USS Forrestal (CV 59) and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). He served as assistant maintenance officer, safety officer and maintenance officer with Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 123 and deployed with USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67).
Lemmon is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Test Pilot School. He has flown more than 3,400 hours in more than 25 aircraft.
Lemmon’s decorations include three Meritorious Service Medals, four Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals and three Navy and Marine Crops Achievement Medals.
“As we move forward, I expect Chet to focus on the multi-year procurement while we close out IOT&E,” Gaddis said. “What the PMA-231 team does best is the integration piece -- free and open collaboration, excellent coordination and good communication. I am confident that Chet will carry that on.”