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EADS North America Lakota program manager to receive leadership award from the National Defense Industrial Association

16th April 2009 - 17:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


EADS North America’s Light Utility Helicopter Program Manager and Vice President, John Burke, has been selected to receive the 2009 Leadership Excellence Award from the National Defense Industrial Association’s (NDIA) Tennessee Valley Chapter.

Burke was nominated for this recognition by the US Army’s Aviation Program Executive Office and the Army’s Utility Helicopter Project Manager.

The award recognizes Burke’s service to industry, as well as his 28-year career in the US Army and contributions to national defense. Since 2007, he has been managing EADS North America’s UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopter program, which represents one of the most rapid introductions of a new aircraft in the US Army’s history.   

“John’s selection for the NDIA award is a well deserved recognition, underscoring his leadership both in industry and as a commissioned officer in the US Army,” said Ralph D. Crosby, Jr., EADS North America’s chairman and chief executive officer. “He‘s been instrumental in the success of our UH-72A Light Utility Helicopter program – a key element of Army aviation modernization – which remains on schedule and budget.”

Through March 2009, EADS North America has delivered 62 UH-72As to active Army and National Guard units throughout the United States for missions that include homeland security, medical evacuation, logistics and VIP flights.

The UH-72A fleet has flown more than 10,000 flight hours for Army missions, demonstrating this rotary-wing aircraft’s performance, reliability and versatility. The Army plans to procure a total of 345 Lakotas through 2016. Five Light Utility Helicopters also have been ordered by the US Navy, with deliveries beginning this fall for use in helicopter training at the Naval Test Pilot School.

Burke joined EADS North America in September 2007, and is located at the company’s Huntsville, Ala., office – which he also leads as part of his managerial duties.

Prior to working at EADS North America, Burke was Deputy Director of Army Aviation, and concurrently, Director of Army Unmanned Systems Integration in the Pentagon. In this capacity, he was strategically responsible for Army Aviation current operations, systems, transformation, and unmanned aircraft systems. As the Unmanned Systems Director, he was the Army Headquarters subject matter expert for the service’s unmanned aircraft and unmanned ground systems.

Previously, Burke served as the Army’s Project Manager for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems – including the Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (Shadow), Small UAV (Raven), medium altitude/endurance unmanned aerial vehicles (Hunter, I-GNAT, Extended Range/Multi-Purpose System) and Future Combat Systems unmanned aerial vehicles.

His 18 years of Army program management experience included the fire control radar and radio frequency interferometer for Apache and Comanche helicopters; Apache simulators and trainers; command, control, communications, and computers (C4) systems; and the Army Data Management program. He held key leadership positions in the Army Acquisition Executive Office, Army Aviation Program Executive Office, and the Army Corporate Information Officer/G6 Office in the Pentagon. Burke retired from the Army as a colonel.

The NDIA award will be presented to Burke at the association’s Tennessee Valley Chapter annual awards banquet on April 20 in Huntsville.

The Shephard News Team


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