AV-8B Program Office

AV-8B Weapon Systems Program Office (PMA-257) is responsible for life cycle sustainment of the AV-8B Harrier weapon systems for the U.S. Marine Corps and its allied partners: Spain and Italy. The program office's charge is to engineer, procure, field, and sustain readiness and capability improvements at a reduced cost to provide a reliable, safe and tactically relevant Vertical/Short TakeOff and Landing (V/STOL) attack capability.

Colonel Mark R. Amspacher, USMC

Program Manager, AV-8B Weapon Systems Program Office

Marine Corps Col. Mark R. Amspacher, a native of Mount Joy, Pennsylvania was commissioned upon graduation from the United States Naval Academy in May 1999, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering. He was designated a naval aviator Aug. 9, 2002, and reported to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington, for EA-6B Prowler Pilot training.

In February 2004 he was assigned to Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron (VMAQ) 2 serving in the Logistics and Operations Departments.

Amspacher has deployed to Iraq on three separate occasions and earned multiple designations to include Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI), Night Systems Instructor (NSI), and Landing Signals Officer (LSO) (Field Qualification).

Following his fleet tour, Amspacher reported to NAS Whidbey Island as a Fleet Replacement Squadron Instructor. He was selected to United States Naval Test Pilot School Class 138 at NAS Patuxent River and reported in August 2009. Following graduation, he transferred to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) Department where he served as project officer flying the EA-6B Prowler, EA-18G Growler and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.

In April 2013, Amspacher assumed the duties as the VX-23 Operations Officer where he coordinated and led the efforts of the squadron’s eight departments to develop a consolidated operations plan for 56 aircrew and 48 aircraft to include the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) and the X-47 Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration (UCAS-D). In November of 2013, Col Amspacher was selected to the 8059 Acquisitions Management Professional career field.

Following his tour at VX-23, Amspacher assumed the duties as the EA-6B Deputy Program Manager with the Airborne Electronic Attack Systems Program Office (PMA-234) at NAS Patuxent River on Jan. 31, 2014. During this tour he lead major EA-6B program upgrades and sustainment efforts for the final Navy EA-6B Squadron transition to EA-18G in 2015 and continued sustainment initiatives for the Marine Corps for a 2019 sundown.

In June 2017, Amspacher assumed the duties as the Marine Aviation Detachment (MAD) Executive Officer leading a diverse team of Marines supporting and managing the Marine acquisition professionals of NAS Patuxent River until he reported to VX-23 on March 22, 2018, as the Chief Test Pilot.

On Oct. 11, 2019, Amspacher assumed Command of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23. He lead VX-23 through one of the most challenging times executing throughout the COVID pandemic. He ensured the safety of the workforce, the job stability of all personnel and ultimately mission execution. VX-23 executed comparable flight hours as to the 16 months prior to the Pandemic showing that the team never quit and continued to support the fleet.

In July 2021, Amspacher assumed command of the AV-8B Program Office (PMA-257) as Program Manager.

Amspacher has flown over 25 different type aircraft and has amassed greater than 2,600 total flight hours. In the EA-6B, he has accumulated over 1,700 hours, in which over 1,000 of those hours are combat. Amspacher holds a Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) Level III certification in Program Management and Test and Evaluation. He earned a Master of Science in Engineering Science (Aerospace Engineering) from the Naval Postgraduate School. His personal decorations and additional qualifications include, two Meritorious Service Medals, 15 Strike/Flight Air Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, and U.S. Army Jump School certification.


47123 Buse Rd.
Bldg 2272
Patuxent River, MD 20670
United States


Connie Hempel