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Tue, Aug 12, 2003

Upgraded: Col. Craig Olson

Deputy Moves Up in Osprey Program

It was standing room only in the NAVAIR headquarters building atrium during a ceremony on August 4 where Colonel Dan Schultz, USMC handed responsibility for PMA-275 over to Colonel Craig Olson, USAF. Colonel Olson, who has been the deputy program manager for the last year and a half, is the first Air Force officer to be assigned as Osprey program manager.

"Colonel Olson's selection truly demonstrates that the V-22 program is a joint one," said Brig. Gen. Ted Bowlds, PEO Airlift/Trainers, the first of three keynote speakers at the event.

General Bowlds was followed at the podium by Mr. Tom Laux, PEO(A) who spoke about how far the V-22 program had come during Colonel Schultz's time at the helm, saying, "Dan is personally responsible for the evolution of the revolution."

"Dan Schultz brought leadership to the V-22 program," said Lt. Gen. Mike Hough, the Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Aviation. "He took a program from the brink of absolute failure and made it into an example for all other program managers to follow." General Hough also quoted from a recent memorandum authored by the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics:  "I commend Colonel Daniel Schultz and the V-22 Osprey team for their disciplined management of the restructured program. For this effort, the Department of Defense is sincerely grateful."

As the ceremony also marked the outgoing program manger's retirement from active military service, General Hough reviewed highlights of Colonel Schultz's 28-year career and went on to thank the Schultz family for their sacrifices during that time.

After accepting the colors of the Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and SOCOM from Colonel Schultz, Colonel Olson took the stage and stated that his receiving the nod to be program manger was testimony to how far Colonel Schultz had taken the program. "A year and a half ago no one above PMA-275 would've considered the idea of an Air Force officer in charge of the V-22 program," Colonel Olson said. "I've learned more about leadership from Dan Schultz than any officer I've worked for during my time in uniform."

After thanking his family for their support and the PMA-275 Executive Leadership Team for their efforts in turning the Osprey program around, Colonel Schultz repeated a quote of his that was printed on the back of the program for the event: "The very first time a V-22 deploys aboard an
amphibious ship will be the last time any helicopter will ever do another civilian evacuation from a hostile nation or combat search and rescue operation. Twice as fast, three times the payload, and six times the range of the aircraft it's replacing, the Osprey is not just evolutionary; it's revolutionary."

[Thanks to Ward Carroll, NAVAIR (V-22) Public Affair Officer --ed.]

FMI: www.af.mil

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