P-8A MMA Program Gets New Leadership

The NAVAIR program that is delivering the Navy’s next-generation sub hunter has a new leader.

Cmdr. Michael Moran relieved Capt. Joe Rixey in September as the deputy program manager for the P-8A Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA) in NAVAIR’s Maritime Surveillance Aircraft Program Office (PMA-290). Rixey will remain in PMA-290 as the program manager following a change of command ceremony Thursday when he will relieve Capt. Steve Eastburg. P-8A is the Navy’s replacement for its fleet of P-3C Orions.

“I am honored to lead this extraordinary team of professionals as we transform the way the Navy’s maritime patrol force trains, mans and operates with the acquisition of the P-8A MMA,” Moran said.

P-8A, currently just over a year into its System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase, will use state-of-the-art simulation and training systems and implement innovative performance based logistics concepts. The platform will provide more combat capability with a smaller force and less infrastructure than the venerable P-3C. Successful execution of SDD is critical toward getting the first operational aircraft squadron forward deployed in 2013. Full operational capability is slated for 2019.

“It is imperative that we deliver this essential capability to the warfighter on time,” Moran said.
The P-8A program continues on schedule and on budget. It successfully completed its Systems Requirements Review in September 2004, Integrated Baseline Review in February 2005, and Systems Functional Review in April 2005
Moran, a native of Nyack, N.Y. and a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, brings the necessary experience to his new position as the program heads toward its next major milestone – Preliminary Design Review, set for the end of October.

Following flight training and his designation as a naval flight officer (NFO) in February 1986, Moran's first assignment was with Patrol Squadron 23 based at Naval Air Station Brunswick, Maine. During that tour, he participated in fleet operations at deployment sites in Keflavik, Iceland; Rota, Spain; and Lajes, Azores. He served as the public affairs officer, NFO training officer, readiness officer, NFO tactics officer, and NFO NATOPS officer.

In May 1990, Moran reported to Patrol Squadron 30 (VP-30), the P-3 Fleet Replacement Squadron at NAS Jacksonville, Fla. as an in-flight instructor, fleet instructor team lead, and NFO training officer.

Upon completion of his tour in VP-30, Moran then completed a tour as a project officer for an operationally sensitive, high-priority Chief of Naval Operations Program. He served two years in this position before attending the Air Command and Staff College (ACSC), Montgomery, Ala. from July 1994 to June 1995. In addition to completing the ACSC Curriculum, he attended Troy State University and earned a Master of Science Degree in Human Resources Management.

In March 1996, Moran joined Patrol Squadron 16 where he served as tactics officer, training officer and operations officer. He participated in deployments to Sigonella, Sicily and Keflavik, Iceland. Following this tour, Moran was ordered to Naval Air Systems Command in April 1998 where he served as the P-3 Deputy Program Manager for Systems Engineering.

In July 2001, Moran joined Training Squadron 10 in Pensacola, Fla. as the executive officer and assumed command of the Wildcats in July 2002. During this tour, his squadron won the CNET Training Excellence Award and CNO Safety "S" for both 2001 and 2002.

Moran returned to PMA-290 in November 2003 as the P-3 Aircraft Improvement Program (AIP) deputy program manager before taking on his current role as P-8A lead.

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