By By Andrew Drwiega, International Bureau Chief | January 28, 2014
Maj. Gen. William “Tim” Crosby stepped down as Program Executive Officer for Aviation on Friday, Jan. 27, handing over the role he has held since 2008 to newly promoted Brig. Gen. Bob Marion. Crosby also retired from the U.S. Army after 35 years of service.
Heidi Shyu, assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology, presided over both ceremonies, making reference to the tough task that Marion was inheriting from Crosby, saying he had to build “on the legacy of his predecessors’ achievements and lead his team through these turbulent times.”
Shyu and Crosby. Photo by Denise DeMonia, PEO Army Aviation, Armed Scout Helicopter Project Office
During Crosby’s tenure, the Army fielded around 1,070 rotary wing aircraft and 3,070 unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). He oversaw the progressive modernization the Boeing CH-47F Chinook, AH-64E Apache, Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk and the unprecedented growth of Army UAS, whose rapid addition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan led to innovations such as communications relay and the use of manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T).
He was an advocate for acquisition streamlining and reform and led the Army’s first Soldier-Focused Logistics Management Team (SFL), revolutionizing the acquisition process and established a single point of oversight and accountability. SFL evolved into Life Cycle Management.
Shyu praised Crosby for many aspects of his leadership. In addition to deepening the bond between Army Aviation and the ground forces they support, she highlighted his focus on technology and candid approach to working with others: “Tim recognized the need to build into our acquisition strategies the ability to upgrade as technology progresses and led his large, complex portfolio and team with both discipline and a great spirit and humor,” said Shyu. “PEO Aviation has the best and most well managed portfolio in the Army. I can always depend on Tim for getting the job done and giving me the unblemished truth of things.”
Crosby’s replacement will immediately face how sequestration will continue to affect Army Aviation’s annual budget, which stands at around $7.5 billion.
Marion already has a working relationship with Shyu as he leaves his previous position as her assistant deputy for Acquisition and Systems Management. Before that he served as project manager for Cargo Helicopters, where helped negotiate the second CH-47F Chinook multi-year contract. Praising his predecessor, Marion said: “You can count on this organization because of the culture Maj. Gen. Crosby has established.”
On his retirement Crosby received the Distinguished Service Medal, the Order of Saint Michael Gold Award, a congratulatory letter from the commander-in-chief and the Presidential Certificate of Appreciation.
Note: The Program Executive Officer for Aviation is the Army manager for eight project offices including: Apache Attack Helicopters, Utility Helicopters, Cargo Helicopters, Armed Scout Helicopters, Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Fixed Wing Aircraft, Aviation Systems, and Non-Standard Rotary Wing Aircraft. The organization’s primary responsibility is to efficiently and effectively manage cost, schedule and performance of the Army’s aviation assets.
Related: Military Helicopter News