NAVAIR

Team ‘heavy lift’ welcomes new program manager

Col. Henry “Hank” E. Vanderborght, left, and Col. Jack D. Perrin, right, stand at attention as the official duties of the H-53 Heavy Lift Helicopters (PMA-261) program manager are passed, uninterrupted, between the two officers during a change of command ceremony July 12 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. Perrin is the 17th PMA-261 program manager, relieving Vanderborght. Also pictured (from the left) is Vice Adm. Dean Peters, Commander, Naval Air Systems Command; Brig. Gen. Gregory Masiello, Program Executive Officer for Air Anti-Submarine Warfare, Assault & Special Mission Programs; and Col. Paul Croisetiere (USMC Ret.), former PMA-261 program manager and the ceremony's retiring officer.  (U.S. Navy photo)

Col. Henry “Hank” E. Vanderborght, left, and Col. Jack D. Perrin, right, stand at attention as the official duties of the H-53 Heavy Lift Helicopters (PMA-261) program manager are passed, uninterrupted, between the two officers during a change of command ceremony July 12 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. Perrin is the 17th PMA-261 program manager, relieving Vanderborght. Also pictured (from the left) is Vice Adm. Dean Peters, Commander, Naval Air Systems Command; Brig. Gen. Gregory Masiello, Program Executive Officer for Air Anti-Submarine Warfare, Assault & Special Mission Programs; and Col. Paul Croisetiere (USMC Ret.), former PMA-261 program manager and the ceremony's retiring officer. (U.S. Navy photo)

Jul 18, 2018

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Col. Henry “Hank” E. Vanderborght, left, and Col. Jack D. Perrin, right, stand at attention as the official duties of the H-53 Heavy Lift Helicopters (PMA-261) program manager are passed, uninterrupted, between the two officers during a change of command ceremony July 12 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. Perrin is the 17th PMA-261 program manager, relieving Vanderborght. (U.S. Navy photo)

Col. Henry “Hank” E. Vanderborght, left, and Col. Jack D. Perrin, right, stand at attention as the official duties of the H-53 Heavy Lift Helicopters ...

NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND PATUXENT RIVER, Md. – The H-53 Heavy Lift Helicopters Program Office (PMA-261) welcomed a new program manager during a change of command ceremony July 12.

Guests gathered at the Presidential Helicopters Support Facility to watch Col. Jack D. Perrin become the 17th PMA-261 program manager, relieving Col. Henry “Hank” E. Vanderborght of his duties.

Vice Adm. Dean Peters, Commander, Naval Air Systems Command, presided over the ceremony.

“Hank, over and over again you have shown extreme dedication to the [H-53] mission,” said Peters, during his remarks. “Your passion for the Marines and the H-53 tribe show so much about your character.”

In conjunction with the change of command, Vanderborght retired from the Marine Corps with 26 years of service to the country. Throughout his career, he supported the H-53 community as a pilot, engineer and program manager, including roles within PMA-261 preceding his time as its leader.

During his tenure as program manager, Vanderborght’s leadership led to the first flight of the CH-53K King Stallion, the heavy-lift replacement for the CH-53E Super Stallion. Since that first flight, six additional aircraft have started flying, and the test program has successfully transitioned from the contractor facility in West Palm Beach, Florida, to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. In March 2017, the program passed its Milestone C designation, moving the aircraft into low-rate initial production. To date, the CH-53K has logged more than 1,000 flight hours.

Also within his portfolio are the CH-53E and MH-53E Sea Dragon.

Vanderborght’s leadership was key in the standup of the CH-53E ‘reset’ program, designed to improve aircraft readiness within the fleet. Under his guidance, 18 aircraft were reintegrated back into the fleet; the program will conclude when all 142 CH-53E complete the reset effort.

“Each morning, as I looked in the mirror wearing this uniform, I thought ‘how cool is this’; I am so proud to be a Marine.” said Vanderborght, during his farewell speech. “Nothing I have achieved in my career was alone; my family, friends, mentors and colleagues made each milestone possible.”

Like Vanderborght, this is not Perrin’s first time in PMA-261. His time with the program began as the CH-53K helicopter lead systems engineer, then as the aircraft’s program manager during the critical design review. Perrin most recently served as the Commander, Defense Contract Management Agency Sikorsky Aircraft, leading a major field activity that covers seven operating sites in three states.

“I am proud and humbled to be here,” said Perrin. “Together we will deliver the most powerful helicopter within the department of defense while improving readiness within the heavy lift community.”

PMA-261 manages the life-cycle procurement, development, support, fielding and disposal of the entire family of H-53 helicopters.

PMA-261 Public Affairs
(301) 995-2774

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CH-53E coming aboard the USS San Antonio while undergoing aircraft dynamic interface testing off the coast of Virginia and Maryland as part of the post delivery test and trials period.

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Col. Henry “Hank” E. Vanderborght, right, accepts the US flag, flown in his honor from the United States Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia. Presenting the flag is the ceremony's retiring officer, Col. Paul Croisetiere (USMC Ret.). The retirement was in conjunction with the H-53 Heavy Lift Helicopter (PMA-261) change of command ceremony, July 12 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.  Vanderborght retired from the Marine Corps with 26 years of service to the country. (U.S. Navy photo)

Col. Henry “Hank” E. Vanderborght, right, accepts the US flag, flown in his honor from the United States Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virgi ...

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