The mission of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two One (HX-21) is to execute developmental flight test and evaluation of rotary-wing and tilt-rotor aircraft, and their associated airborne systems in support of all United States Navy and Marine Corps training, combat, and combat support missions. The goal of HX-21 is to provide the highest quality evaluation and reporting in support of the aircraft program managers and the fleet warfighters. Exemplifying the Navy and Marine Corps' ethos, the pride and professionalism inherent in everything HX-21 does has established it as the "World's Greatest Test Squadron."
Welcome to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two One (HX-21), a component command of Naval Test Wing Atlantic. The test and evaluation of rotary-wing aircraft by the United States Navy traces its beginning to the establishment of the rotary wing section of the flight test division at Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Maryland, on April 25, 1949. In 1975, the rotary-wing test section was renamed the Rotary Wing Test Directorate, and was formally established as an air test and evaluation squadron in 2002. HX-21 continues to build upon its proud heritage conducting rotary-wing and tilt-rotor developmental flight test in support of U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Coast Guard acquisition and fleet support programs.
In 2018, the squadron operated 33 aircraft of nine different Type/Model/Series. Seven of the programs the squadron supported were categorized as Major Defense Acquisition Category ONE programs (ACAT I). These programs were: V-22, UH-1Y, AH-1Z, CH-53K, MH-60R, and MH-60S.
In 2018, HX-21 executed 246 Chief of Naval Operations-directed test and evaluation (T&E) projects on nine different Type/Model/Series aircraft, totaling 1,215 sorties and 1,926.8 flight hours, and surpassing 123,586.9 total flight hours of Class "A" mishap-free flight operations. HX-21 also executed 318 flight tests totaling 692.3 test hours and performed 8,500.0 hours of ground test. Squadron test pilots logged 7,941 landings in squadron aircraft including 229 shipboard landings in support of multiple high risk suitability/compatibility tests. In addition to 87 active duty Navy and
Marine Corps personnel, HX-21 also employs 38 government civilians and 353 contractors over seven different contracts. In support of HX-21 T&E missions, DynCorp contract maintenance personnel performed 25,189 maintenance actions totaling 81,376.9 maintenance man-hours which included 4,272 maintenance actions and 13,544.5 maintenance man-hours in support of NAS Patuxent River Search and Rescue aircraft.
The success of HX-21 depends on mission-critical relationships with our key acquisition partners, including NAS Patuxent River, the Marine Aviation Detachment, NAVAIR competencies, our industry partners and the following program offices: Aircrew Systems (PMA-202), Aviation Training Systems (PMA-205), Air Combat Electronics (PMA-209), Naval Air Traffic Management Systems (PMA-213), Direct and Time Sensitive Strike (PMA-242), Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment (PMA-251), H-53 and Executive Transport Helicopters (PMA-261), Air Anti-Submarine Warfare Systems (PMA-264), Advanced Tactical Aircraft Protection Systems (PMA-272), Presidential Helicopters Program (PMA-274), V-22 Osprey Program (PMA-275), H-1 Helicopter Program (PMA-276), Strike Planning and Execution (PMA-281), Multi-Mission Helicopters H-60 (PMA-299), and Mine Warfare (PMS-495).
Cmdr. Nicholas Green
HX-21 Commanding Officer
Commander Green is a native of Virginia Beach, VA. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy as a member of Class of 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in Physics. He was designated a Naval Aviator at NAS Whiting Field, FL in June 2004.
CDR Green served his first sea tour in Atsugi, Japan operating the SH-60B Seahawk Light Airborne Multipurpose System (LAMPS) MK III with the mighty “Warlords” of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light FIVE ONE (HSL-51). During that time he served onboard USS KITTY HAWK (CV 63), USS VANDEGRIFT (FFG 48), and USS MUSTIN (DDG 89) in support of operations with U.S. 7th Fleet Task Forces, Carrier Air Wing FIVE (CVW-5) and Forward Deployed Naval Forces, Japan.
Following his sea tour, he was assigned to the Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) in NAS Mayport, FL where he was designated an Instructor Pilot with the “Airwolves” of HSL-40. During this tour, CDR Green was selected to attend U. S. Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, MD graduating in December 2009. He then reported to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron TWO ONE (HX-21) and was assigned as lead test pilot for mission system upgrades to the MH-60R including the AN/APS-153(V)1 Multi-Mode Radar and project officer for foreign military sales (FMS) acquisition of MH-60R to Denmark.
In 2013 CDR Green was assigned as a Department Head to the “Blue Hawks” of HSM-78 in NAS North Island, CA where he served onboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and CVW-2 as the squadron training, safety and maintenance officer. Leveraging his test experience, he led Fleet efforts to integrate and effectively employ tactical data link upgrades to CVN 76, as well as transition the MH-60R AN/APS-153(V)1 radar upgrade from operational test to the Fleet as initial operational capability.
In 2015 he returned to HX-21 as the MH-60 Platform Coordinator, and later served as the MH-60 Government Flight Test Director, where he led the developmental test efforts on all USN MH-60R/S aircraft as well as FMS variants. This included the “first-of-class” dynamic interface evaluation of USS GERALD R. FORD (CVN 78), launch and recovery envelope expansion of CG 47 class ships for MH-60S, conduct of the first ever flight test of MH-60R while forward deployed in 5th Fleet with USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN 71), and FMS acquisition of MH-60R to India.
CDR Green was then assigned to Program Manager Multi-Mission Helicopters (PMA 299) serving as Assistant Program Manager for Systems Engineering for capability development for over 600 MH-60R/S aircraft. As Class Desk he led a complex team to reduce Class A mishaps of MH-60R sonar systems, and managed engineering efforts for the Fleet rollout of Link 16 Block Upgrade 2, as well as mission computer upgrades to both MH-60R/S aircraft.
CDR Nicholas “the jones” Green has flown over 2300 flight hours in 27 different T/M/S aircraft.
Lt. Col. Aaron Okun
HX-21 Chief Test Pilot
Lieutenant Colonel Aaron E. Okun, a native of Canton, MA, received a Bachelor of Science with distinction in Aerospace Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy in May 2007 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant. Upon completion of The Basic School in January 2008, he reported to Naval Air Station Pensacola for flight training and was designated a Naval Aviator in October 2009.
After earning his wings, First Lieutenant Okun reported to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204 for initial training in the MV-22B. In June 2010, 1st LT Okun was assigned to the “Raging Bulls” of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 261. He was promoted to Captain in June 2011 and deployed with the Raging Bulls on the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and to OEF 14.1, holding the billets of embark officer, logistics officer, and airframes officer.
Following OEF 14.1, Capt Okun began operational test flight duties for the “Argonauts” of VMX-22 at MCAS New River where he served as the Aviation Safety Officer. In June 2016, Capt Okun became a plank holder of the re-designated Marine Operational Test Squadron One (VMX-1). During his time at VMX-1, Capt Okun conducted multiple V-22 flight tests for hardware and software upgrades and was the lead project officer for Integrated Test (IT) efforts with HX-21 in support of the MV-22B Integrated Aircraft Survivability Equipment (IASE) Universal Urgent Needs Statement (UUNS) fielding.
In January 2017, Capt Okun began training at the United States Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS) and was promoted to Major in June 2017. Upon graduation in December 2017, Maj Okun was assigned to the “Blackjacks” of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two One (HX-21) as an MV-22B project officer. During his tour, he conducted numerous flight tests including aerial refueling envelope expansion, structural and fatigue testing, and five Dynamic Interface (DI) test periods including Minimum Roll on Deck (MROL) shipboard testing. Additionally, he was the lead project officer for Reduced Visibility Landing Symbology upgrades, shipboard envelope expansion, and recirculation investigations. In his final year at HX-21, while serving as the Government Flight Test Director (GFTD), he was responsible for initial CMV-22 testing from delivery through Operational Test Readiness Review.
In July 2021, Maj Okun was assigned to the V-22 Joint Program Office (JPO) as the Survivability Integrated Product Team Lead (IPTL), as well as the military lead for strategic planning for the three variants of the V-22. In September 2022, he assumed the role of Hard Clutch Engagement (HCE) Team Lead, and he was subsequently promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in December 2022. In this role, he led a large team of government and industry engineers on behalf of three services in resolving the HCE risk. Following his selection for command of HX-21, LtCol Okun is reporting back to the “Blackjacks” to assume the role of Chief Test Pilot.
He is a DAWIA qualified practitioner in both Test and Evaluation and Program Management and holds Masters degrees in System Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School and in Leadership Studies from Marshall University. He is also a graduate of the non-resident Expeditionary Warfare School and Command and Staff course. LtCol Okun’s personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, an Individual Strike/Flight Air Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. Additionally, he was the 2022 Tenhoff Award recipient for the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.
Cmdr. James Malvasio
HX-21 Executive Officer
Commander (CDR) James Malvasio was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in New Jersey. Graduating from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2002, he received a commission through the NROTC program and was designated a Naval Aviator in 2004.
Upon completion of H-60F/H training, he served with the “Nightdippers” of Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron FIVE (HS-5) from April 2005 to April 2008 in Jacksonville, Florida. At HS-5, Commander Malvasio completed one deployment on board USS EISENHOWER (CVN 69) to support Operation IRAQI FREEDOM and Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.
From June 2008 to January 2011, Commander Malvasio served as an Operational Test Pilot at Air Test and Evaluation ONE (VX-1) in Patuxent River, Maryland. There he simultaneously led all MH-60S “Armed-Helo” testing efforts as the Operational Test Director and earned an Executive Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Naval Postgraduate School.
From February 2011 to May 2013, Commander Malvasio was by-name selected to transition the “Dusty Dogs” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron SEVEN (HSC-7) from the H-60F/H to the MH-60S in Norfolk, VA. There he served in a Department Head role as the Training Officer and Safety Officer in support of the USS HARRY S. TRUMAN (CVN 75) Strike Group.
From June 2013 to October 2015, Commander Malvasio returned to the “Nightdippers” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron FIVE (HSC-5) in Norfolk, VA, successfully transitioning them to the MH-60S. There he served as the Safety Officer, Training Officer, Operations Officer, and Maintenance Officer and became one of the U.S. Navy’s first H-60 Fixed-Forward Firing Weapons Instructors. He also led four detachments as Officer-in-Charge supporting the USS HARRY S. TRUMAN (CVN 75) Strike Group.
From November 2015 to November 2016, Commander Malvasio earned a Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College. In December 2016, he reported to US Special Operations Command as the Theater Maritime Requirements Manager for all Naval Special Warfare Command equities and Precision Strike Weapon Systems throughout the SOCOM enterprise. Before detaching in February 2020, he deployed to Afghanistan with SOJTF-A/NSOCC-A from May 2019 to October 2019 as the Global Force Manager for all NATO SOF requirements and Lead Planner for the initial drawdown efforts within the Afghanistan AOR.
In March 2020, Commander Malvasio reported to Expeditionary Strike Group TWO (ESG-2) as the Deputy Operations Officer and Lead Scheduler for all 14 East Coast Amphibious Class ships in support of US Fleet Forces (USFF) and Commander, SECOND Fleet. He also coordinated all Defense Support of Civil Authorities efforts and deployed to Louisiana with MARFORNORTH as the USFF Liaison Officer in support of Hurricane Ida relief.
In January 2022, Commander Malvasio reported to HX-21 as Executive Officer. He has accumulated over 2500 flight hours in naval aircraft, and is the recipient of the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (three awards) and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. He is married to Courtney Marie Skidmore of Virginia Beach, Virginia and has three children; Vanessa (9), Lena (7), and James (2).
CMDCS (SW/AW/IW) Eugene J. Lee
Command Senior Chief
A native of New Orleans, LA, Senior Chief Lee enlisted in the Navy in June 2002 and reported to Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, IL.
His sea assignments include aircraft carriers USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), successfully completing two deployments and two humanitarian relief missions to include Hurricane Katrina; USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), where he completed a RCOH period and a nine-month deployment; USS Mesa Verde; USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), where he served as the Supply Department Leading Chief Petty Office and Sale and Service Leading Chief Petty Officer.
His shore assignments include Navy Recruiting District Richmond, Richmond, VA, and Transient Personnel Unit Norfolk.
Senior Chief is currently enrolled at Post University pursuing his bachelor’s degree in business administration and is a graduate of the Navy Senior Enlisted Academy (Class 226) and CMC/COB. He is designated as a specialist in enlisted Surface Warfare, Aviation Warfare and Information Warfare.
Senior Chief Lee is currently assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two One (HX-21) as the Senior Enlisted Leader.
Senior Chief personal awards include three Navy Commendation Medals, and four Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, two Inspirational Leadership awards, Humanitarian Medal, and various other unit and campaign awards.
HX-21 Points of Contact
HX-21 Duty Office: 301-342-1762
HX-21 Administration Department: 301-342-4461
HX-21 Email: Administration Department