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MCSC engineers earn top Navy honors

By Monique Randolph, Office of Public Affairs and Communication | Marine Corps Systems Command | June 10, 2015


Two engineers—one from Marine Corps Systems Command and another from Program Executive Officer Land Systems—will be recognized by Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition Sean Stackley for their contributions in the areas of science and engineering.

Francis Bonner and George Moreno Pineda are recipients of the 2014 ASN RDA Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers Award in the individual and emergent investigator categories, respectively.

Established in 2006, the award is named after Dr. Delores Etter, a former assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition. It recognizes Navy civilian and military personnel for exceptional science and engineering achievements.

“It is an incredible accomplishment for any engineer or scientist to be recognized with a Dr. Etter award, and these two engineers are certainly deserving,” said Jim Smerchansky, executive director of MCSC and chief engineer of the Marine Corps.

“Fran Bonner brought technical credibility to a failing program, turning it around and giving Marine Corps leadership confidence to continue to invest in it,” he said. “George's efforts to tactically exploit full-motion video are a game changer that paves the way for future capabilities and flexibility in [Marine Air-Ground Task Force] operations in ways that we are only now beginning to realize.”

Bonner, lead engineer for Air Command and Control and Sensor Netting in PEO Land Systems, led engineering efforts in the development, testing and fielding of the Common Aviation Command and Control System. CAC2S provides enhanced situational awareness and improved aircraft control for Marine Corps air controllers, and air command and control agencies.

Bonner and his team incorporated open-system architecture for CAC2S, which allows upgrades and new capabilities to be seamlessly integrated into the system as technologies evolve. Implementation of CAC2S speeds the retirement of four legacy Marine Corps air command and control systems, and will save the Marine Corps $59 million over the next five years.

“I’m really excited about receiving this award,” Bonner said. “It’s not every day you get called up to the Pentagon to receive an award. It’s a big deal, not just for me, but for my entire staff. I’m nobody without my staff, and I owe them part of this award.”

Bonner’s supervisor Jeanette Evans-Morgis, assistant program executive officer for engineering in PEO Land Systems, said Bonner’s intelligence and dedication to his team and his craft are his strongest professional qualities.

“Fran has seen CAC2S from its beginning to what is being delivered now,” she said. “I think the Marine Corps is going to be amazed at how much this system will help them do their jobs. CAC2S is built based on the latest and greatest technology now, but with the ability to expand. So it’s not just the solution for right now, it’s the solution for the next couple decades.”

Moreno Pineda is the lead engineer for Full Motion Video Optical Navigation Exploitation, or FMV-ONE, in MCSC’s Marine Intelligence. He was recognized for leading the effort to explore, prototype, mature and transition the new application, which will allow faster, accurate exploitation of full-motion video from orbiting unmanned aerial systems. The technology can be used to generate updated maps of a current operating area, or create new maps of austere areas where imagery may not already exist.  

Scott Bey, assistant program manager for engineering in Marine Intelligence, nominated Moreno Pineda for the award.

“I really appreciated George’s work with FMV-ONE because he tried to really understand it in the context of what our mission needs were in intel,” Bey said. “FMV-ONE is revolutionary because it breaks the dependency on overhead imagery from satellites; no other system does that today. George was able to bridge a gap and steer the application toward meeting imagery analysts’ needs.”

Moreno Pineda said he is honored to receive recognition for his work on FMV-ONE and attributes his success to both superiors and peers who have played a role in his development.

“I strongly believe it is our duty to continuously search for technology that can give our Marines even the slightest edge,” he said. “I’m committed to delivering the best capability technology can provide in a timely manner to our Marines. I’m also excited to see how the actionable, quality information generated by FMV-ONE will benefit expeditionary operations.”

Bonner and Moreno Pineda will receive their awards during a ceremony June 12 at the Pentagon.