PMA-213 change of command

Capt. Kevin Watkins, right, relinquishes command as Program Manager of the Naval Air Traffic Management Systems Program (PMA-213) to Capt. Beau Massenburg, left, during a change of command ceremony Aug. 9 at NAS Patuxent River.

PMA-213 welcomes new leadership

Capt. Beau Massenburg relieved Capt. Kevin J. Watkins as the Program Manager of Naval Air Traffic Management Systems Program (PMA-213) during a change of command ceremony Aug. 9 at NAS Patuxent River.

Rear Admiral Joseph Hornbuckle, Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers, who served as the event guest speaker, lauded Watkins for his leadership that drove outcomes for the fleet.

“In this dynamic environment, Captain Watkins listened, learned and championed innovative ideas to advance and execute the PMA-213 mission,” Hornbuckle said. “His innovative leadership enabled the team to achieve incredible outcomes for the fleet.”

Watkins, the eighth PMA-213 program manager, has led the team since August 2019, managing a portfolio of 71 systems and a collective budget of $4 billion to develop, produce and sustain essential air traffic management and cooperative combat identification systems.

Among the many PMA-213 accomplishments under his leadership, the team delivered to the fleet the first GPS-based precision approach and landing system known as Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (JPALS); fielded the first the AN/SPN-43C replacement, known as Ship Air Traffic Radar AN/SPN 50, aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69); and upgraded and fielded eight separate Shore Air Traffic Control landing systems. They also directed and developed a new precision approach and landing capability roadmap for enhanced shipboard systems to support the Air Wing of the Future, and enabled a fleet-wide upgrade to Mode 5 Identification Friend or Foe capability that ensured all deployed Navy air, surface, and submarine platforms were Mode 5 capable ahead of the National Security Agency’s 2020 mandate.

“It has been a tremendous honor and privilege to be a part of this PMA-213 team for the last four years,” Watkins said. “I am still humbled and impressed, even to this day, of what this team is capable of and continues to do to ensure our Warfighters have the capabilities they need. Despite the unprecedented challenges we have collectively faced over the past several years, this team – the program, warfare center and industry – has successfully achieved the outcomes they planned, delivering the decisive, relevant Air Traffic Management systems needed on time and affordably.

“With a continued fleet focus on the integrated capabilities that our Navy, Marine Corps and international allies will need to support Air Wing of the Future, they have defined and set the North Star roadmap and will continue to ensure that Naval Aviation and Naval Air Traffic Control has the foundational capabilities needed for decades to come,” he said. “I am absolutely confident this team will continue to succeed, and I look forward to celebrating the outcomes they will deliver for our Warfighters under Captain Massenburg’s leadership.”

Massenburg earned his commission through the Navy ROTC program in 1998 after graduating from the University Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering. He earned his wings in 2000, completing P-3C training at Patrol Squadron (VP) 30 in Jacksonville, Florida, and joined Patrol Squadron (VP) 10, The Red Lancers, in 2001.  After completing his test tour at Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 20, he served aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) as a Catapult and Arresting Gear Officer (Shooter) followed by a Department Head Tour in Jacksonville with Patrol Squadron (VP) 45, The Pelicans.    

After transitioning to the Aerospace Engineering Duty Officer community, Massenburg held many positions with Program Executive Office Air, ASW, Assault and Special Mission Programs (PEO(A)) and Program Executive Office Tactical Aircraft Programs (PEO(T)), with a bonus operational tour with CSG-5/CTF-70 as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Materiel, Maintenance, Ordnance & Readiness (N4) embarked on the forward deployed USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76).

Prior to assuming the Program Manager position at PMA-213, Massenburg served as the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Rapid Capabilities Engineering & Integration/Webster Out Lying Field Military Director.

“I am humbled and honored to assume command of this amazing team of true professionals who will continue to provide relevant, sustainable and decisive Air Traffic Management Capability at the right cost,” Massenburg said. “Captain Watkins’s steadfast support of the Air Traffic Control Community and the aviators that rely on those systems was exceptional. His tireless efforts to sustain the many diverse systems while developing the next generation of Air Traffic Management Systems to support the Air Wing of the Future has set the roadmap for years to come.”

Massenburg holds a Master of Systems Engineering from Johns Hopkins University, and has over 2,200 pilot hours in eight models of jet and prop aircraft. His awards include a Legion of Merit, four Meritorious Service Medals, four Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals and various other campaign medals and unit awards.

Watkins will be reporting as the NAVAIR Military Director of Systems Engineering/NAWC AD Systems Acquisition Group Military Director and said he is looking forward to continuing to support the Naval Aviation Enterprise and NAVAIR. 

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