Army aviation program honcho to retire

The Army's top aviation program official, Maj. Gen. Joseph Bergantz, will retire July 1, 2004.

Bergantz held a meeting yesterday at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., to officially announce his retirement and to discuss what the Program Executive Office Aviation can achieve during the next 10 months. He first discussed his plans and the meeting in a Sept. 18 e-mail.

"I want to speak to you all about what we can accomplish over my remaining time here to help provide soldiers the best equipment we possibly can and make Army aviation even better," said Bergantz in the e-mail.

PEO Aviation spokesman Bob Hunt confirmed Sept. 24 Bergantz's retirement and the meeting.

The two-star general guided the RAH-66 Comanche reconnaissance-attack helicopter through development and acquisition and the Shadow 200 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) through acquisition, testing and use in Iraq. The Shadow 200 UAV, which is flown by operators using hardware and software in a trailer, was the first drone to pass Defense Department testing.

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