Cruz Welcomes Florida Testers

[Yorktown, Virginia] – Cruz Associates is pleased to welcome seven new developmental testers to the Cruz family. Working out of a new Cruz facility in Shalimar, Florida, these professionals support the Special Operations Mission Planning Environment (SOMPE) with software test support ensuring that the mission planning products fielding to the Special Operations community work as advertised. Although the official start date is 1 November, members from Cruz (Yorktown) had the opportunity to enjoy dinner with the test team and their significant others in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Welcome to Cruz!

      Cruz’s Mitch Develops the MH-47 Mitch

[Yorktown, Virginia] – Cruz Associates, Inc. (CAI) is proud to announce the production release of the Modular Integrated Transmission Container, Helicopter or “MITCH” which was specifically designed to transport the MH-47 forward transmission. The MITCH was the brainchild of Cruz’s own Charles “Mitch” Peddicord. Some of the unique features of this container include:

  • A square design which facilitates Air Force 463L pallet loading and allows more than one per pallet.
  • They are stackable.
  • Optional wheel casters.
  • The external dimensions allow loading in a CH/MH-47 aircraft.
  • The lid lifts off and becomes a cradle for transmission (eliminating the requirement for additional GSE in order to replace transmission)

The MITCH concept got its start in 2008. It percolated for a number of years with the users refining their requirements. About three years ago, the opportunity arose to begin the preliminary engineering work. The Aviation Maintenance Support Office (AMSO), in conjunction with the Technology Applications Program Office (TAPO) MH-47 Program Office, contacted the Air Force Packaging Technology and Engineering Facility (AFPTEF) at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH. AFPTEF has on-site engineering support and is able to fabricate, test and qualify containers in a short amount of time. Over the course of the next 90-120 days, TAPO and Mitch (the person…not the box) worked with the folks at AFPTEF to engineer, build, test, and qualify the container. They also built three additional containers for a 160th SOAR(A) user evaluation.

The first MITCH production container was on display at the 2018 Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA) Mission Solutions Summit in Nashville, Tennessee…as was Mitch Peddicord (both shown in the photo below).

There is interest in the MITCH from both PM Cargo and international Chinook users. Additionally, PM Cargo has picked up the funding to develop a combining transmission container and an aft transmission container using the same MITCH concept.

We, at Cruz, are proud to honor the ingenuity and perseverance of Mitch Peddicord in the development of the MITCH. Well done!

      Nick Garcia Memorial Scholarship

[Yorktown, Virginia] A scholarship fund has been set up in memory of former Nightstalker, Nick Garcia, who lost his battle with cancer on 2 February 2018. Mr. Garcia served 25 years as a Special Operations Soldier for his country. He dedicated his life to serving his country and those he loved. Information on eligibility and how to apply for the scholarship can be found at