U.S. Naval Test Pilot School Class 155 graduation

The U.S. Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS) held a graduation ceremony for Class 155 at the Rivers Edge Conference Center on Friday, June 7. Thirty-three students successfully completed an intense 11-month course of instruction and were designated as Engineering Developmental Test Pilots, Test Flight Officers and Test Engineers.

Retired Capt. Bob Stoney, a USNTPS Class 90 graduate and former USNTPS instructor, safety officer, chief flight instructor, executive officer and commanding officer, delivered the keynote address. Stoney is currently a test pilot with the FAA’s Seattle Flight Test section; the FAA’s test pilot representative to the international Flight Test Harmonization Working Group; and is a recognized expert in Handling Qualities, stability and control and advanced flight controls. He is also a fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.

Rear Adm. John Lemmon, Commander, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division; Marine Corps Col. Richard Marigliano, Commander, Naval Test Wing Atlantic; and Cmdr. Glenn P. Rioux, Commanding Officer, USNTPS, presented diplomas and offered congratulations to the new “testers.” Graduates included members of the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force; students from Italy; and civil service engineers from the Departments of the Army and Navy.

U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Charles T. Smith was presented the Outstanding Developmental Phase II Award from Lt. Cmdr. Henry M. Parkinson, Royal Navy, representing Empire Test Pilots’ School in Boscombe Down, UK. This award recognizes that individual in the class who produced the best final report and is symbolic of the long standing and mutually supporting relationship between the Empire Test Pilots’ School in the United Kingdom and USNTPS.

Maj. Smith was also awarded the Cmdr. Willie McCool Outstanding Student award, recognizing the top performing student in the categories of academics, flight performance, and technical report writing. The award is named after Cmdr. Willie McCool, a USNTPS alumnus tragically lost in the space shuttle Columbia accident.

U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Michael J. Dixon was presented with the Syd Sherby Leadership Award. Mr. James S. Moran representing the Patuxent River Council of the Navy League of the United States presented the award. The award is named after Capt. Sydney Sherby who established the test pilot training division, now the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, in 1945. It is presented to the student who displays exemplary leadership in the class.

  • Twenty-five students completed the requirements for the engineering test pilot course, and the new test pilots are:

U.S. Navy Lt. Matthew A. Abeling

U.S. Air Force Maj. Jonathan R. Appleby

U.S. Navy Lt. Matthew J. Arnsberger

U.S. Army Maj. Thomas J. Boehm

U.S. Army CW3 Ryan P. Boehringer

Italian Air Force Capt. Francesco Buscemi

U.S. Navy Lt. Sean P. Cawley

Italian Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nicola D’Amico

Italian Air Force Capt Dario Del Nero

U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Michael J. Dixon

U.S. Army Capt. Brandon N. Dotson

U.S. Navy Lt. Austin N. Fick

U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Joshua L. Foxton

U.S. Navy Lt. Blake C. Glass

U.S. Army Capt. Brian J. Haley

U.S. Navy Lt. Daniel J. Hunziker

U.S. Navy Lt. Baileigh E. Kimball

U.S. Navy Lt. John B. Kramb

U.S. Navy Lt. Evan S. Lundstrom

U.S. Navy Lt. Christopher W. Sheehan

U.S. Navy Lt. Steven H. Slaugh

U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Charles T. Smith

U.S. Navy Lt. Karl J. Suabedissen

U.S. Navy Lt. James K. Wheeland

U.S. Marine Corps Maj. John E. Willett

  • Four students completed the engineering test flight officer course:

U.S. Navy Lt. David Babka

U.S. Navy Lt. Joshua J. Geiman

U.S. Navy Lt. Elliot T. Hall

U.S. Navy Lt. Devin H. Schaefer

  • Five students fulfilled the requirements for the test project-engineering course:

Italian Air Force Lt. Francesco Disciglio

NAWCWD Engineer Matthew A. Gross

NAWCAD Engineer Michael A. Morton

NAWCAD Engineer Christopher M.