Members of Helicopter Mine Countermeasures (MCM) Squadron 15 position the AN/AQS-24C Mine Detecting Set to ready it for loading aboard the MH-53E Sea Dragon MCM helicopter for at-sea testing in the Gulf Test Range June 3, 2018. U.S. Navy photo by Ron Newsome. (Photo by Ronald Newsome)
The AN/AQS-24C Mine Detecting Set Airborne Mine Countermeasures In-Service Engineering Activity test team posed for a photo at the conclusion of a successful test event in Panama City, Florida. Pictured from left to right are: Mark Gibbons, Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD), Jason Niemczura (NSWC PCD), Kelly Williams (NSWC PCD), Corey Fife (NSWC PCD), Justin Grimes (NSWC PCD), Brett Thach (NSWC PCD), and Gregg Volpe (Northrop Grumman). U.S. Navy photo by Anthony Powers. (Photo by Anthony Powers)
The AN/AQS-24C Mine Detecting Set test team, along with Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron-15 (HM-15), posed for a team photo at the conclusion of a successful test event in Panama City, Florida June, 24, 2018. Personnel pictured by groups from left to right are: HM-15 Pilots and Aircrew, Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division Test Team, and HM-15 Maintainers. U.S. Navy photo by Anthony Powers. (Photo by Anthony Powers)
Flight Test crew member of Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 15 shown in flight ready to begin Government Acceptance Testing of the AN/AQS-24C Mine Detecting Set June 19, 2018. U.S. Navy photo by Anthony Powers. (Photo by Anthony Powers)
PANAMA CITY, Fla. —
Brett Thach, Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division’s (NSWC PCD) Airborne Mine Countermeasures (AMCM) AN/AQS-24 Project Engineer, and his team, recently worked in concert with Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 15 (HM-15) to successfully complete government acceptance testing for the AN/AQS-24C Mine Detecting Set.
According to Thach, the success of this government acceptance testing, which took place during June of 2018, is quite an important milestone achievement because it marks the completion of the developmental phase of the program and also serves as a government decision point for proceeding into the production phase of the program.
“The successful completion of this test event marked the culmination of a lot of hard work by a lot of good people,” said Thach. As a result, the program management office received the needed approvals to award the production contract; which was awarded to original equipment manufacturer Northrop Grumman Undersea Systems.
NSWC PCD’s AMCM branch serves as the In-Service Engineering Agents for the operational Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadrons, HM-14 and HM-15; which both fly the MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter. These squadrons are capable of rapidly deploying anywhere in the world within just 72 hours so they can use this sonar system, along with the other AMCM systems, to clear the waterways of underwater mines deployed by adversaries.
Thach said working in NSWC PCD’s AMCM branch is extremely rewarding.
“I feel very blessed,” said Thach. “I’m thankful to be able to work directly with the Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadrons. Getting to support and interact with sailors that are making daily sacrifices to keep Americans safe is truly an honor.”
NSWC PCD is considered the nation’s premier technical center for mine warfare and mine countermeasures. In addition, our geographical location, with near-perfect year-round testing conditions makes us ideally suited for AMCM testing and training.