Fleeger named Marine Corps acquisition officer of the year

Deputy Commandant for Aviation Lt. Gen. Steven Rudder, center, presents Lt. Col. Kate Fleeger the Marine Corps Aviation Association John Glenn Squadron Acquisition Officer of the Year award at the annual banquet held Feb. 8 at NAS Patuxent River. Also pictured are Col. Steven Girard, Marine Corps Aviation Detachment Commanding Officer, left, and Phil Fickes, Bell Helicopter representative and award sponsor.

Lt. Col. Kate Fleeger played a key role in increasing the fleet’s future capabilities and readiness, earning her the title of Marine Corps’ Acquisition Officer of the Year.

Local Marine Corps Aviation Association (MCAA) John Glenn squadron presented Fleeger the award during the annual banquet, held Feb. 8, at River’s Edge Catering and Conference Center, NAS Patuxent River.

Fleeger, a native of Olney, Maryland, was honored for her exceptional work as Navy and Marine Corps Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems (PMA-263) deputy program manager for Medium UAS, managing both the RQ-21A Blackjack and MQ-27A Multi-mission Tactical UAS programs of record (PoR).

“PMA-263 spends much of its time on the cutting edge of technology and has the unique opportunity to work very closely with forward deployed warfighters. To be recognized for work in this critical arena is truly an honor,” Fleeger said.

According to the nomination, she was influential in delivery and management of seven RQ-21A systems to fleet units, and she directly supported the successful deployment of three Marine Expeditionary Unit detachments providing critical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operational capability to the fleet. She also planned and led the first delivery of the RQ-21A to Naval Special Warfare and oversaw the first RQ-21A PoR foreign military sales case for the Department of the Navy.

“Lt. Col. Fleeger’s exceptional aviation acquisition knowledge, fleet experience, and superb leadership reach beyond her current duties as Medium UAS lead,” said Col. John Neville, PMA-263 program manager. “She has become the direct point of contact for operational commanders as they employ the RQ-21A system, directly tackling issues ranging from supply support to engineering investigations. Her competence and demeanor have been crucial in maintaining a productive relationship with the fleet and Headquarters Marine Corps, Aviation.”

The MCAA John Glenn Squadron annually presents the awards to recognize Marines who have exemplified themselves through the most significant contribution to, or professional achievement in the field of Marine aviation acquisition during the preceding calendar year.

“Lt. Col. Fleeger’s performance over this past year has been inspirational,” said Neville. “In addition to all her work-related efforts, she continues to be a driving force in the development of new Marines in the program office, many of whom are receiving their first exposure to the acquisition community.”

Fleeger was recently selected to lead the VH-92 helicopter integrated product team and will be transitioning to the Presidential Helicopters Program Office (PMA-274) later this month.