Capt. Duane Whitmer (left) relieved Capt. Holly Shoger (right) as program manager of the Naval Undergraduate Flight Training Systems Program Office (PMA-273) during a change of command March 7 with Rear Adm. John Lemmon, Program Executive Officer for Tactical Aircraft Programs (center). U.S. Navy photo

Naval Undergraduate Flight Training Systems Program Office Conducts Change of Command

Capt. Duane Whitmer relieved Capt. Holly Shoger as the Naval Undergraduate Flight Training Systems Program Office (PMA-273) program manager during a change of command ceremony in California, Maryland, on Thursday, March 7.

PMA-273 develops and oversees diverse and carrier-capable naval flight training systems for student pilots and undergraduate military flight officers to acquire mission-critical aviation skills for current and future missions of the U.S Navy. Shoger assumed command of the office in March 2020.

“It has been a tremendous honor to serve as PMA-273's program manager for the past four years,” said Shoger. “The program’s exceptionally dedicated team has made this tour both memorable and rewarding. We learned to work together while quarantined at the height of the pandemic; we overcame obstacles when aircraft needed repairs; and we developed new aircraft to train the next generation of flight officers.”

During Shoger’s tenure, the program office laid the groundwork to replace many of its aging aircraft systems. The team delivered the first TH-73A Advanced Helicopter Training System (AHTS) in 2021, which will replace the TH-57B and TH-57C rotary aircraft. The first AHTS instructor pilots earned their wings in 2023. Also in 2023, the program office awarded a contract for the development of the T-54A Multi-Engine Training System to replace the T-44C aircraft. In January 2023, the Navy released a request for information regarding the program office’s next-generation training aircraft, the Undergraduate Jet Training System, which will replace the T-45.

“Capt. Shoger led the program office through several important milestones in the advancement of Naval flight training,” said Whitmer. “I am thrilled to take the reins and lead this ‘can-do’ team through the next round of milestones as we develop and sustain aircraft systems that will be used across commands to train pilots into the future.”

Whitmer joins PMA-273 after serving as executive assistant for Commander, Naval Air Systems Command, since March 2023. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in aerospace engineering and was designated a Naval Aviator in 2002. He has over 2,000 flight hours in a multitude of rotary and fixed wing aircraft.

Lemmon presents Shoger a Legion of Merit award during the ceremony. U.S. Navy photo

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