SkyRunner Hires Michael Jensen as Chief Strategy Officer to Lead its Global Defense Strategy
SHREVEPORT, La., June 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- SkyRunner, LLC, designer and manufacturer of the SkyRunner MK 3.2, Special-Light Sport Aircraft, named retired Lt. Col. Michael Jensen as Chief Strategy Officer to spearhead an aggressive Global Growth Strategy through strategic international partnerships. ( www.flyskyrunner.com ).
A longtime advocate for integrating light aviation into Special Operations, Jensen named SkyRunner in his 2012 Naval Postgraduate School Thesis as exactly the type of vehicle that SOCOM needed. He recognized that vehicles like SkyRunner, “represent an opportunity to distribute risk across a special operations team to dramatically reduce the risk to mission. They provide a unique capability that is complementary to current aerial platforms but have significant advantages in certain mission sets. Using simple aircraft with the right blend of technology and innovative tactics, special operators could achieve decisive tactical advantages in specific threat environments.”
SkyRunner CEO Stewart Hamel received a copy of the thesis and immediately implemented many of its concepts. “That paper really changed our company’s ‘why,’” Hamel explained. “I originally built this aircraft to fuel epic adventures with my kids, but when we read Michael’s paper, we saw a bigger vision. We could save lives!”
Hamel continued, “Lt. Col. Jensen’s distinguished and decorated career with the United States Air Force and SOCOM forged an innovative and entrepreneurial leadership style. His bold leadership combined with a dense international network and passion for tech-driven, multi-functional aviation organizations make Michael ideally suited to lead SkyRunner’s Global Defense Strategy.”
Prior to joining SkyRunner, Col. Michael Jensen served for 20 years as a Special Tactics Officer in Air Force Special Operations command, culminating his career as the Deputy Commander of the 724th Special Tactics Group; an elite 700-person special operations unit based at Ft Bragg, NC.
He also served as a Lead Strategist for CHECKMATE; a hand-picked cell at the Pentagon charged with challenging and reconstructing Air Force war plans. CHECKMATE shapes military advice to the Secretary of Defense & The White House by providing strategic options during crises.
Michael’s expansive operational background builds on a solid foundation of field experience. He led special operations missions on four continents during numerous deployments before founding and commanding the 26th Special Tactics Squadron; he assembled a crack team to build the 200-person Special Operations Unit from concept to combat deployment in less than 2 years. A Military Freefall Jumpmaster while on active duty, he is also an active private pilot, United States Parachute Association Accelerated Free Fall Instructor, and holds a PRO parachutist rating. After graduating from the United States Air Force Academy in 2001 with double majors in business and law, Michael earned three Master’s degrees in business, strategy, and defense analysis.
Jensen will employ his operational experience and academic training to optimize SkyRunner’s warfighting configuration by integrating low probability of intercept/detection mesh networking, secure communications, arming options, and by realizing government customers’ bespoke requirements through SkyRunner’s exceptional design and engineering team. “We are especially excited about SkyRunner’s partnership with Collins Aerospace to roll out fully- automated optionally-manned SkyRunners and complete integration of the TASE 400 EO/IR (electro-optical/infra-red) sensor. These technologies open up a world of use-cases all around the globe,” Jensen said.
Jensen chose to join SkyRunner because he sees the value that the aircraft brings to a complex and rapidly changing strategic competition landscape. He added, “As our national strategy pivots toward equipping our partners and allies around the world, SkyRunner represents an incredible amount of sustainable capability that our partners can use now and maintain in the future. The team specifically designed ruggedness and redundancy as core features. It burns automotive gas and is maintained with simple hand tools and off-the-shelf parts.”
Hamel said, “Michael’s insights will be valuable in evaluating and infusing new technologies with the SkyRunner platform. These strategic partners offer force multiplier capabilities to the benefit of our US special operation forces, and partner nation warfighters.”
SkyRunner, LLC is a privately held aircraft manufacturing company headquartered in Shreveport, LA, USA. SkyRunner designs and manufactures the MK 3.2, a special light sport aircraft for civilian and military end users. Founded by Stewart Hamel, SkyRunner earned S-LSA FAA certification June 2016, and full approval as a two-occupant aircraft July 2017. Public use aircraft will have the option of the seats. Today, SkyRunner has become one of the fastest growing aircraft manufactures in the world based on class & category.
SkyRunner has been Recognized by Collins Aerospace, Ubisoft, 5.11 Tactical, SOFREP, BBC, the Military Chanel, Top Gear, Fox News, CNN, Discovery, Flying Magazine, Digital Trends Magazine, Hammacher Schlemmer, the Light Aircraft Manufacturing Association, RedBull among other industry publications. www.FlySkyRunner.com
International Adventure Vehicle of the Year 2020
-- Corporate Visions, Aviation and Aerospace Awards
Best Aircraft Manufacturing Firm, South East USA 2019
-- CV Magazine, Aerospace Awards
One of the Greatest Adventure Vehicles of All Time
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