WASHINGTON — A longtime U.S. Army acquisition officer and aviator has died in a plane crash near Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

Maj. Gen. Anthony Potts, who until weeks ago led the service’s Program Executive Office Command, Control and Communications-Tactical, or PEO C3T, died at the scene near 3600 Old Level Road in Havre de Grace, according to the Harford County Sheriff’s Office and media reports.

Potts was the only person in the single-engine plane when it went down in a field July 25. No one on the ground was hurt. Dozens of first-responders were dispatched to search for the wreckage, according to the Level Volunteer Fire Company. The National Transportation Safety Board said it is investigating the matter.

Potts, who grew up in Kentucky, planned to retire soon after nearly four decades of military service. He was commissioned as an Army aviation second lieutenant in 1986 and later served in operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. He was also an attack helicopter platoon leader in Germany.

Potts most recently helmed PEO C3T, tasked with developing, deploying and supporting battlefield communications gear. Before that, he led PEO Soldier, which deals in everyday equipment, such as uniforms, body armor, night-vision devices and guns. Both roles were considered critical to protecting troops and modernizing the way the Army fights.

Maj. Gen. Robert Collins, who led PEO C3T prior to Potts, in June 2022 described the Kentuckian as “a truly a strategic and critical thinker, a team builder.”

“He understands the modernization instrument and how it runs,” Collins said at the time, “and he certainly understands that the centerpiece of our modernization is our soldiers.”

Colin Demarest was a reporter at C4ISRNET, where he covered military networks, cyber and IT. Colin had previously covered the Department of Energy and its National Nuclear Security Administration — namely Cold War cleanup and nuclear weapons development — for a daily newspaper in South Carolina. Colin is also an award-winning photographer.

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