Mark Ward joined Sikorsky in 2008 as a production test pilot. Since 2013, Mark has been the lead development/project pilot for both the Sikorsky Autonomy Research Aircraft (SARA) and the optionally piloted Black Hawk programs. In 2014, Mark accepted assignment as the chief pilot at the Stratford Flight Center. Mark retired from the U.S. Coast Guard at the rank of commander. During his service, Mark was involved with several search-and-rescue campaigns, including the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. He is credited with saving 17 lives over his service career.