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A change in leadership has taken place at the Program Executive Office for Aviation.

Brig. Gen. Robert Barrie assumed the charter and became the 13th program executive officer for the organization during a private ceremony July 1 at the PEO Aviation headquarters. Pat Mason, who served as PEO since January, will return to his former role as deputy PEO.

Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology’s Bruce Jette virtually presided over the ceremony via video and lauded Mason’s accomplishments as PEO.

“Pat Mason effectively managed an annual budget of eight billion dollars, led a global workforce of 3,000 military, civilian and contractor professionals, and was responsible for more than 60 programs and the largest number of FMS (foreign military sales) cases in the entire Department of Defense,” Jette said.

Prior to joining PEO Aviation in 2017 as deputy PEO, Mason was chief of staff for the Aviation Development Directorate at the then Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center and was also the director of Redstone Test Center.

“Serving as a program executive officer requires a special blend of skills, especially in today’s environment,” Jette said. “The job requires strong leadership, sound business judgment, effective communication skills, integrity and technical expertise.”

In assuming the responsibilities as the PEO, Barrie will be the Army’s aviation acquisition officer responsible for purchasing and managing the life cycle of the Army’s aviation weapon systems and equipment. He will oversee 10 project offices including: Apache Helicopters, Aviation Mission Systems & Architecture, Cargo Helicopters, Utility Helicopters, Improved Turbine Engine, Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft, Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft, Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Fixed Wing Aircraft and Multi-National Aviation Special Projects.

“Rob Barrie is an accomplished officer who has held several high profile and challenging assignments,” Jette said. “He not only understands aviation well, he also understands my world, having served with distinction as my chief of staff.

“Barrie’s top level knowledge of acquisition, coupled with his valuable experience will enable him to continue PEO Aviation’s tradition of strong and effective leadership.”

Recent restrictions on travel and large group gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic prevented a widely attended ceremony by family, friends and the PEO Aviation workforce. However, Barrie’s wife and children, as well as Mason and his wife, were present to witness the event. An invocation was virtually delivered by Barrie’s brother, Jason, who lives in Montana.

“On behalf of the entire team at PEO Aviation, I humbly accept the responsibility and will do everything in my power to honor that trust that you have put in me and our workforce,” Barrie said on accepting the charter.

“To our aviation enterprise, to our fellow Redstone Arsenal teammates, we commit and pledge to continue collaboration and work with you towards delivering capability to our Soldiers,” Barrie said. “And we look forward to continuing what you have seen from PEO Aviation – it will be a seamless transition as we go forward.”

Barrie, who was promoted to brigadier general June 2, was the deputy PEO under Mason after serving as the military deputy for the organization. He has served in various assignments throughout PEO Aviation, to include the assistant project manager for the UH-60M product office, as executive officer to the PEO, and as the project manager for Cargo Helicopters.

Established in 1987, PEO Aviation’s top priority is reducing the burden on our Soldiers with a mission focus to design, develop, deliver and support advanced aviation capabilities for operational commanders and our allies. PEO Aviation’s workforce is made up of military, civilian and contractors specializing in acquisition, logistics and technical fields, to include 1,300 people deployed throughout the world supporting combatant command requirements.

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