From the Director’s Desk

by Dennis Lindell

Welcome to another issue—and another year—of the Aircraft Survivability journal (ASJ), the survivability community’s quarterly publication for sharing technical information; providing updates to ongoing programs; and reporting on relevant events, personnel changes, and awards.

The release of this issue is bittersweet for many of us in the community as we pause to recognize two well-known survivability pioneers and long-time community leaders—Jerry Bennett and our own Editor-in-Chief, Dale Atkinson—who both passed away last fall. Together, these men embodied more than 110 years of survivability experience and expertise, and both will be greatly missed.

Much has been written here and elsewhere about the “pioneers of survivability.” And rightfully so. All of the major U.S. survivability organizations, programs, repositories, and tools we know today are directly or indirectly rooted in the efforts of a small group of visionaries who, beginning in the mid-60s, worked to make survivability a priority in the combat aircraft design, development, and testing process. These individuals then continued to work over the ensuing decades to grow the field and establish it as the mature engineering discipline it is today.

In this issue, we have memorial tributes to Jerry from his son (and fellow survivability practitioner) Michael Bennett, as well as to Dale from our Managing Editor, Eric Edwards. As we consider the chronologies and accomplishments of these men’s careers, may their example of, passion for, and dedication to supporting the Warfighter both inspire and challenge each of us to keep the pioneering spirit alive in all of our survivability efforts.

This issue also includes an article from Naval Air Warfare Center leader Marty Krammer on the CH-53K Full-Up System-Level Live Fire Testing and Evaluation program, as well as a discussion by Brawler Model Manager Dale Johnson on the potential role of some of our current air combat models in the development of software for current and future unmanned air systems.

In our JCAT Corner article, LCDR Mike Allen details some of the recent activities of the Joint Combat Assessment Team’s Navy component (JCAT-N), including its support of the Northern Edge 23-2, Talisman Sabre 23, and Marine Aviation Support Activity 23 training exercises.

Finally, we have a report from Robert Gierard and Bart Huffman of the NDIA Combat Survivability Division on the 2023 Aircraft Survivability Symposium in Monterey, as well as News Notes on several notable promotions, retirements, and recognitions from around the community.

Thank you again for reading, and be sure to catch future issues this year, which are planned to include topics such as crash-tolerant fuel bladder testing, ontologies for modeling test and evaluation, fundamentals of survivability requirements, extreme climate survivability testing, and some historical stories in survivability.