The U.S. Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS) held a graduation ceremony for Class 149 June 17 at the River’s Edge Catering and Conference Center at NAS Patuxent River.
The 34 students in the class successfully completed an intense 11-month course of instruction and were designated as Engineering Developmental Test Pilots; Test Flight Officers; and Test Engineers.
Retired U.S. Marine Corps Col. Robert Cabana, Kennedy Space Center director, NASA astronaut and USNTPS Class 80 graduate, was the guest speaker. Rear Adm. Shane Gahagan, commander, NAWCAD; Capt. Brett Pierson, commander, NTWL; and U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Timothy Davis, commanding officer of USNTPS, presented diplomas and offered congratulations to the new “testers.”
Graduates included members of the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force; students from Brazil, Italy and Switzerland; and civil service engineers from the Departments of the Army and Navy.
Jason Parcus, a Department of the Army engineer was presented the Outstanding Developmental Phase II Award from Royal Navy Lt. Cmdr. John Holder, representing Empire Test Pilots’ School in Boscombe, Down, United Kingdom. This award recognizes the individual in the class who produced the best final report and is symbolic of the long standing and mutually supporting relationship between Empire and USNTPS.
Parcus was also awarded the Commander Willie McCool Outstanding Student Award which recognizes the top performing student in the categories of academics, flight performance and technical writing. The award, presented by retired Capt. Jeff Davila, representing the Association of Naval Aviation, is named after a USNTPS alumnus who was lost in the space shuttle Columbia accident.
U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Allen D. Wold was presented the Syd Sherby Leadership Award by James S. Moran, representing the Patuxent River Council of the Navy League of the United States. That award, presented to the student who displays exemplary leadership in the class, is named after Capt. Sydney Sherby, who established the test pilot training division – now the USNTPS – in 1945.
The following 23 students completed requirements for the engineering test pilot course, and the new test pilots are:
U.S. Navy Lt. Todd J. Aitkins
U.S. Navy Lt. Rebecca A. Bennett
U.S. Navy Lt. Timothy G. Boyce
Italian Air Force Capt. Jonathan Canestrini
U.S. Army Capt. David A. Daniels
U.S. Navy Lt. Tyler L. Grell
U.S. Navy Lt. Ian R. Higgins
U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Taylor L. Kiel
U.S. Navy Lt. Patrick J. Lakusta
Brazilian Air Force Capt. Thiago F. Macedo
U.S. Navy Lt. Daniel A. Marsik
U.S. Navy Lt. Ngua V. Nguyen
U.S. Navy Lt. Scott M. Reider
U. S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 Ryan M. Richardson
U. S. Army Maj. Clifton E. Rogers
U.S. Navy Lt. Rebecca R. Shaw
U.S. Navy Lt. Erik T. Smith
U.S. Navy Lt. Michael J. Smith, Jr.
U.S. Navy Lt. Gregory T. Stammen
U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Hayden T. Stevens
U.S. Navy Lt. Robert S. Wolcott
U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Allen D. Wold
U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Todd D. Wolfe
Four students completed the engineering test flight officer course:
U. S. Marine Corps Capt. Kristine S. Hall
U.S. Navy Lt. Michael W. Marschall
U.S. Navy Lt. Bradley S. Pennington
U.S. Navy Lt. William C. Vey III
Seven students fulfilled the requirements for the test project-engineering course:
Marc Dürr, armasuisse
Ryan G. Hedges, NAWCAD
U.S. Air Force Capt. David D. Lynes
Timothy S. Marge, NAWCAD
Jason R. Parcus, DAC
Peter A. Plashko, NAWCAD
Italian Navy Lt. Cmdr. Domenico Vinci