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AVIAN teams recognized for test and evaluation excellence of U.S. Navy unmanned systems

Dec 19th, 2017

LEXINGTON PARK, Md. – What is more apropos than two teams of unmanned aviation experts receiving awards for innovation and technical excellence? We’d like to think it’s having AVIAN experts as part of both winning teams.

On Dec. 13th, at the 17th annual Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Commander’s Award and Innovation Award ceremony, the MQ-8 Fire Scout and the MQ-4 Triton test teams were recognized for outstanding fleet support in the areas of technical, business and leadership excellence during 2017.

Between the two teams, there were fourteen AVIAN employees providing air vehicle operations, mission payload operations, project management, risk management, engineering, operations and scheduling support.

“AVIAN has a long-standing commitment to U.S. Navy unmanned aviation,” said Kevin Switick, owner and president of AVIAN. “I am very proud of our team for their support. In part, their meaningful roles led to the team selections for this year’s Commander’s Awards.”

Fire Scout Excellence

According to the award justification, the Fire Scout team was awarded based on the completion and consolidation of MQ-8B and MQ-8C test programs to a single site; successful execution of MQ-8B Developmental Test for the Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance and Analysis (COBRA) sensor; and a safe completion of the MQ-8C Dynamic Interface testing aboard a Littoral Combat Ship.

As an operational asset afloat and ashore, the MQ-8 Fire Scout system is designed to provide reconnaissance, situational awareness, and precision targeting support for ground, air and sea forces.

“AVIAN is proud to be at the forefront of the growing community of unmanned aviation and honored to be part of a great team of folks who made this award possible,” said Freeman Dodsworth, AVIAN’s program manager for the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Directorate (UASTD).

AVIAN is the sole provider of test and evaluation services for the UASTD and has provided prime contractor support services since 2013.

In 2013, The Fire Scout test team, include five AVIAN employees, was recognized during the 13th annual NAWCAD Commander’s Awards for their outstanding test and evaluation of the integration of the Advance Precision Kill Weapon System II, also known as APKWS II, on the MQ-8B Fire Scout.

Triton Excellence

The Triton test team was awarded for a variety of test activities. According to the award justification, the integrated test team accomplished several firsts for the Triton program air vehicle, sensor and data transfer achievements, which directly support delivery of a new Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance capable weapon system.

The MQ-4C Triton will provide combat information to operational and tactical users as well as respond to theater-level operational or national strategic tasking.

AVIAN has been part of the Triton test team for more than 5 years. The AVIAN support to the Triton program has doubled in the past calendar year.

The Ceremony

During the ceremony, NAWCAD Commander, Rear Adm. Shane Gahagan, reminded award recipients that, “we must be able to innovate and operate differently than everyone else.”

“At AVIAN, we operate in a culture that thrives on innovation, creativity and the entrepreneurial spirit. We move fast, take risks and don’t settle for the status quo,” Switick said. “We are excited about our future endeavors on these two trailblazing test teams.”

All awards given recognized achievements in specific problem areas, a breakthrough enabling mission accomplishment or outstanding fleet support in the areas of technical, business or leadership excellence during 2017.

A total of ten teams and two individuals were recognized during the ceremony. For more about all award recipients, visit

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