News Notes

by Dale Atkinson and Eric Edwards


Long-time aircraft survivability engineer and leader Mr. Charles (Chuck) Frankenberger III retired in February, after more than 42 years of Federal service.  As detailed in the spring 2009 and summer 2020 issues of Aircraft Survivability, Chuck served in many influential roles and made many important contributions to the survivability community throughout his career.  And the impact of his efforts—particularly in the areas of aircraft propulsion system vulnerability, testing, and enhancement—will surely be felt for many years to come.

Chuck was formerly the lead for many turbine engine vulnerability programs at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) in China Lake, applying his specialized expertise in turbine engine functionality, vulnerability assessment methods, and vulnerability reduction techniques to effectively test, evaluate, and improve numerous aircraft engines, including the T406 and F414 engines for the V-22 and F/A-18E/F programs, respectively.

In addition, Chuck’s work with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), commercial aviation industry, and others to develop the Uncontained Engine Debris Damage Assessment Model (UEDDAM) helped provide the community with an unprecedented look at aircraft engine vulnerability and the cascading effects of catastrophic engine failure.

And when U.S. military and industry leaders decided to develop the most lethal, survivable, and effective combat jet ever fielded—the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)—Chuck was instrumental in helping to develop, test, and improve the aircraft’s propulsion and other systems.  Serving as the Propulsion Vulnerability and Live Fire Testing and Evaluation (LFT&E) Lead for the JSF Team and then the F-35 Vulnerability and LFT&E Lead for NAVAIR and the F-35 Program Office, he helped guide everything from specification definition to TEMP development to vulnerability testing to contractor oversight to technology transition for this important new air system.

In Chuck’s final position, as Head of the Aircraft Vulnerability Division (and formerly the Systems Vulnerability Branch) at NAWCWD, he managed the Weapons Survivability Laboratory (WSL) and its state-of-the-art survivability testing programs and capabilities at China Lake.  Under his leadership, the lab made many advancements, including designing and developing an innovative spin fixture to provide unprecedented dynamic ballistic testing of aircraft engine and drivetrain components, expanding its capabilities to include directed energy and other emerging threats, and merging Air Force and Navy vulnerability LFT&E capabilities and support.

Chuck also filled numerous other leadership roles within the Navy and other organizations, including serving as Chairman of the JASP Vulnerability Reduction Subgroup Propulsion Committee, as a member of the JASP Vulnerability Reduction Subgroup, and as a member of the FAA Catastrophic Failure Prevention Program.

For these and many other efforts, Chuck has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions throughout his career.  These include the JASP Excellence in Survivability Award in 2009 and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Survivability Award in 2020.

Congratulations, Chuck, on your retirement and best wishes to you and Kim as you head to sunny Punta Gorda, FL, to enjoy the next chapter in your life.


Mr. Martin (Marty) Krammer has been named the Head of the Aircraft Vulnerability Division within NAVAIR’s Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD), at China Lake, CA.

In his new position—which, as mentioned previously, was formerly held by Chuck Frankenberger, who retired in February—Marty will be responsible for overseeing and leading all technical and managerial aspects of the 37-member division, which specializes in testing, evaluating, and improving U.S. combat aircraft survivability.

With more than 33 years of experience in aircraft vulnerability research, development, testing, and evaluation, Marty formerly served as the Head of NAWCWD’s Vulnerability Engineering/Live Fire Test and Evaluation (LFT&E) Branch, most recently leading efforts to support the CH-53K and CMV-22 development acquisition programs.  Other aircraft vulnerability reduction and live fire test programs he’s supported include the AV-8B, F-15, F-14, F/A-18, Joint Strike Fighter, AH-1, UH-1, H-60, V-22, and CH-53 programs, for which he’s provided numerous instrumental recommendations and improvements.

In addition, with specialized expertise in the fields of aircraft fire, fuel tank self-sealing, and explosion protection, Marty will continue to oversee and conduct related research and development efforts as the Navy Co-Chairman of the Vulnerability Reduction and Analysis Subgroup for the Joint Aircraft Survivability Program Office (JASPO).  He also oversees and serves as the Navy Deputy Test Director for the Joint Live Fire, Aircraft (JLF-Air) program, investigating vulnerability issues associated with fielded Navy aircraft.

Finally, as the NAVAIR Deputy Technical Warrant Holder for Survivability, Lethality, and Vulnerability, Marty will continue to be responsible for establishing, monitoring, and approving technical standards, tools, and processes for air-vehicle (aircraft and weapons) system vulnerability, vulnerability analysis, vulnerability and lethality testing, and LFT&E technical domains.

Marty has been recognized with numerous awards throughout his career, including the PMA-261 Gold Star Award in 2008, the JASPO Excellence in Survivability Award in 2012, and the NAWCWD Innovation Leadership Award in 2020.

Congratulations, Marty, on this well-deserved promotion!


JASPO has seen several personnel changes over the last few months.  At the end of 2022, Mr. Robert Lyons, JASP’s Technical Director, retired after almost 40 years of Government service. JASP thanks Robert for his longtime service and many contributions to the survivability community (many of which were recently detailed in the fall 2022 issue of the ASJ) and wishes him well in this next phase of life.

Likewise, Messrs. Kenneth (Ken) Butler and Andrew (Andy) Kurpik recently moved on from their respective roles as JASP Deputy Program Managers (DPM).  Ken is now focusing on his growing responsibilities at the U.S. Army Aircraft Survivability Equipment program office, and Andy has transitioned to a Modeling and Simulation Lead position supporting the Fighters and Advanced Aircraft Directorate at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.  JASP thanks Ken and Andy for their efforts, wishes them continued success in their new roles, and looks forward to continuing to work with them on survivability matters in the future.

Finally, JASP is pleased to welcome CAPT Stephan (Steve) Bussell, who will be serving as the JASPO/NAVAIR Liaison Officer in an active-duty capacity.  CAPT Bussell previously served as a Joint Combat Assessment Team (JCAT) Assessor in Iraq and as the JCAT Officer-in-Charge in Afghanistan.  In addition, as a 26-year Government civilian, he was the Air Warfare Directorate’s Science & Technology Lead for the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations Warfare Systems (N9).  CAPT Bussell comes from the NAVAIR Reserve Program, holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in aeronautical science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, is a member of the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) Acquisition Professional Corps, and holds a Level C Requirements Officer certification.  Welcome aboard, Steve!