News Notes

By: Dale Atkinson and Eric Edwards


In December 2019, long-time aircraft survivability/vulnerability specialist and national and international leader Mr. Alex Kurtz retired from Government service. For more than 34 years, Alex has been a key player in the areas of weapons bay vulnerability reduction, ablative evaluation, warhead and explosive characterization, high-energy lasers, opaque and transparent armor development programs, and man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) quantification. And the results of his vulnerability reduction contributions can be seen on many major air platforms, including the C-5, KC-46, C-17, C-130, C-130J, AC-130U Gunship III, F-16, F-22, F-35, A-10, and numerous helicopters and commercial aircraft.

Alex has also been a widely respected leader in numerous survivability-related organizations. As the Chief of the Survivability Assessment Flight, 704th Test Group, Aerospace Survivability and Safety Office, he was responsible for Title 10, Live Fire Testing & Evaluation, supporting various Air Force program offices. In addition, he served as the Chair, Co-Chair, and Secretary of the American Institute of Astronautics and Aeronautics (AIAA) Survivability Technical Committee (SURTC); as an AIAA Associate Fellow; as the Co-Chair and Air Force Representative of the Joint Aircraft Survivability Program Office (JASPO) Vulnerability Subgroup; and as the Chair of JASP’s Armor Committee. Alex was also the U.S. Technical Lead, Air Force Technical Lead, and Chairman of the International Aircraft Survivability Technology Working Group, Five Powers Long Term Technical Projects.

Furthermore, Alex has been a prolific technical writer and presenter, authoring or co-authoring many articles for the Aircraft Survivability journal, as well as for the AIAA Aerospace America “Year in Review,” and other publications and making numerous presentations on tri-Service survivability and JASP projects at various AIAA and National Defense Industrial Association conferences and symposia, as well as on various technical topics at the JASP Aircraft Survivability Short Course.

Before he joined the aircraft survivability community, Alex served as a U.S. Marine Corps officer and combat engineer platoon commander. In addition, he earned bachelor’s degrees in aeronautics from Miami University (in Oxford, OH) and in aeronautical/astronautical engineering from The Ohio State University.

Thank you, Alex, for your avid support of the survivability community and best wishes to you in your retirement.


Due to the worldwide outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus and related travel restrictions, numerous community events that were reported on (and/or listed in the Calendar of Events) in the spring issue of the Aircraft Survivability journal were postponed or cancelled after the issue was released for printing and distribution. The editors regret any confusion or inconvenience and will pass along the dates and locations of any rescheduled events in future issues. In addition, readers are encouraged to visit the websites of, or otherwise contact, event sponsors for the latest updates and information on all upcoming community events.