Retiring Capt. Thomas R. Tennant (left) and Col. Richard E. Marigliano (right) shake hands during the change of command ceremony where Marigliano assumed leadership of Naval Test Wing Atlantic at Patuxent River, Md. on Friday, April 5, 2019.

Navy’s ‘most technically diverse air wing’ changes command

Capt. Thomas R. Tennant turned over command of Naval Test Wing Atlantic to Col. Richard E. Marigliano during a change of command ceremony April 5 at Patuxent River Naval Air Station.

Naval Test Wing Atlantic (NTWL)is considered the Navy’s most technically diverse air wing as it’s comprised of four test and evaluation squadrons, including the Navy’s first dedicated UAS squadron, the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, and operates the largest and most varied portfolio of aircraft.

Retired Rear Adm. Mark W. Darrah presided over the change of command and retirement ceremony. Darrah formerly led the Program Executive Office for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons.

“The value of NTWL to our nation cannot be understated,” said Darrah. “Everything that drives lethality for our naval forces comes through this organization.”

Marigliano is a New York native and graduate of Dowling College, University of Tennessee and the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School(USNTPS). He began his career as a naval aviator in 1998 and flew with multiple marine helicopter training, heavy helicopter and developmental test squadrons.

He previously served in multiple engineering and acquisition roles notably as CH-53K’s flight test director, HX-21 commanding officer and most recently as military assistant to Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition. Marigliano has accumulated more than 2,300 hours of   flight time in 25 aircraft models.

“It is a privilege to serve with and for you as commander of Naval Test Wing Atlantic,” said Marigliano. “I look forward to our complex mission – one that directly impacts the strength of naval aviation. The magnitude of this resonates every time I hear one of our platforms flying.”

Tennant, retiring after 29 years of service, is an Oklahoma native and graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Naval Post Graduate School and the USNTPS. Beginning his naval aviation career in 1993, he flew with multiple strike fighter and developmental test squadrons.

At Pax River, he served as commanding officer of VX-23 Salty Dogs, where he led carrier qualification of the X-47B, the first unmanned air vehicle ever launched and recovered from an aircraft carrier. While at NTWL, he saw completion of the Joint Strike Fighter’s system development and demonstration, first catapult and arrested landing aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford, E-2D’s first flight demonstrating aerial refueling and dedication of the Navy’s first UAS squadron. Tennant has accumulated more than 3,700 hours of flight time in 33 aircraft models and more than 640 carrier landings.

“They say that leading NTWL, the Navy’s most technically diverse air wing, is one of the most coveted positions at NAVAIR,” said Tennant. “I certainly agree. It fills me with incredible pride and satisfaction to have closed out 29 years alongside the men and women of these squadrons.”

NTWL supports test and evaluation of the Navy’s principal aviation systems ranging from unmanned to rotary and fixed-wing aircraft.

NAWCADsupports the research, development, engineering, test and evaluation of all Navy and Marine Corps air vehicle systems and trainers. With facilities in Patuxent River, Maryland; Lakehurst, New Jersey; and Orlando, Florida, the command delivers high-quality, affordable products in support of military operating forces worldwide.

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Retired Rear Adm. Mark W. Darrah presides over the change of command ceremony during which Col. Richard E. Marigliano assumed leadership of Naval Test Wing Atlantic from Capt. Thomas R. Tennant, who retired after 29 years of service at Patuxent River, Md. on Friday, April 5, 2019.

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