Naval Undergraduate Flight Training Systems Program

Program Office Description
Naval Undergraduate Flight Training Systems Program Office (PMA-273) was chartered to develop a rigorous, diverse, carrier-capable Naval Flight Training System where student pilots and Undergraduate Military Flight Officers (UMFOs) acquire mission-critical aviation skills necessary to carry out current and future missions of the United States Navy.

The acquisition, development and maintenance of six trainer aircraft fall under the purview of the program office for its customer, the Chief of Naval Aviation Training. Those aircraft are: T-45 Goshawk, T-6/JPATS Texan II, T-44 Pegasus, T-34 Turbomentor, TH-57 Sea Ranger and TH-73A, as well as the UMFO program. These aircraft and programs also include related simulator suites, academic materials, computer-based training integration systems, and contractor logistics support.

For Aviation & Technical Support: 
Click here to access the NAVAIR Aviation Support website.

Captain Duane Whitmer, USN

Program Manager, Naval Undergraduate Flight Training Systems Program

Captain Duane Whitmer assumed command of Naval Undergraduate Flight Training Systems Program Office (PMA-273) in March 2024.

Whitmer graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering and was designated a Naval Aviator in 2002. Following H60F/H training at Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 10, Whitmer reported to HS-4. As a Black Knight, he completed Western Pacific deployments aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. While assigned to HS-4, he served as Legal Officer, Line Division Officer and Assistant Operations Officer.

As a Class 134 graduate of the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, he reported to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (HX) 21, also known as the “Blackjacks,” and served as test pilot for various projects, including developmental test of multiple systems on the MH-60R/S and MQ-8B. In 2012, Whitmer reported to the “Dragonslaysers” of Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron (HS) 11 as a department head; he also served as the Administrative and Maintenance Officer and deployed aboard USS Enterprise (CVN 65) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

After HS-11, Whitmer reported to North American Aerospace Defense Command and served as Vice Division Chief, Maritime Warning. During this tour, he earned his Joint Qualified Officer designation and a graduate certificate in anti-submarine warfare from the Naval Postgraduate School.

Whitmer then reported as Executive Officer to the “Dragon Whales” of Helicopter Sea Combat (HSC) 28 and subsequently served as Commanding Officer from April 2018 to May 2019. At HSC-28, he led all aspects of operations, training, and maintenance for hundreds of Sailors as well as MH-60S Block III helicopters and five worldwide deployable detachments. This was the first HSC squadron to achieve initial mine warfare operating capability.

Following his command tour, Whitmer reported to the MH-60 Multi-Mission Helicopter Program Office (PMA-299) from July 2019 to March 2023. He was first responsible for life cycle management of all MH-60R/S mission systems and mine warfare equipment. He was then selected as Deputy Program Manager for Planning and Integration. At PMA-299, Whitmer earned his Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act Advanced Certification in program management.

Whitmer served as the Executive Assistant for Commander, Naval Air Systems Command, from March 2023 until March 2024.

Whitmer has over 2,000 flight hours in a multitude of rotary and fixed wing aircraft. His personal decorations include two Defense Meritorious Service Medals, three Navy Commendation Medals, two Air Medals and various campaign and unit awards. He earned a Master of Science degree in aerospace engineering and completed Joint Professional Military Education Phase I while attending the Air Force Institute of Technology.


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Elizabeth Fahrner