In honor of the U.S. Air Forces’ 76th birthday, Bell Textron Inc. (“Bell”) employees joined together to commemorate their dedicated service during a company-wide celebration. Bell’s military-employee resource group (ERG), VORTEX, hosted the event and was attended by veterans across the enterprise, ranging from engineers to pilots, coming together to commemorate the day and enjoy the cookout.

“VORTEX is proud to help connect Bell’s veterans with opportunities to honor their sacrifices and service,” said Aaron Vincent, VORTEX co-chair, Bell. “Today’s event highlights the strong, interconnected military community at Bell. Seeing people come together to celebrate their coworkers, supervisors, and themselves, is why we do what we do.”

At Bell, nearly 1 in 5 employees are military veterans or reservists. VORTEX is dedicated to providing veteran employees with a multitude of mentorship and volunteer opportunities throughout the year, including celebrating their accomplishments, hosting networking events, and assisting with the transition from military service to the civilian sector.

In honor of the Air Forces’ birthday, hear from a few veterans on how they are still aiming high – now, while at Bell.

Meet David Albin, Bell’s V-22 Nacelle Readiness Program Manager

For 20 years, David Albin served active-duty and in the New Mexico Air National Guard as a helicopter and tiltrotor instructor pilot. During his Air Force career, David flew over 2,200 flight hours and completed more than 200 combat sorties in the Bell UH-1H, Bell UH-1N, Bell Huey II, and Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey. Following his flight career in the Air Force, David joined Bell as the Bell Boeing V-22 Nacelle Improvement (NI) program manager.

When asked about why he chose to start his journey at Bell, David shares, “I chose to work at Bell due to the opportunities to continue solving challenges and leading teams while supporting the same aircraft I proudly flew throughout my military career. Since joining Bell, my work has been highly relatable to my military experience since I have handled sustainment of the fielded V-22 platform as well managing the CV-22 Nacelle Improvement program,” said David. “Bell’s assistance transitioning from active duty to civil service was outstanding. In fact, while here at Bell I continued flying CV-22s in the New Mexico Air National Guard for 8 years until I retired in 2022. The flexibility, understanding and support to continue flying CV-22s in the Guard while working at Bell was phenomenal, and the support network of fellow Veterans here at Bell is awesome.”

Meet Jay Hernandez, Bell’s Sr. Military Communications Strategist

After working as an Air Force military journalist in the Pacific covering stories such as medical training missions in remote villages and interoperability between forces, Jay Hernandez became one of the few journalists selected to embed within forward operating bases in Afghanistan to report on combat and trainings. From there, Jay taught at the Defense Information School (DINFOS) where he trained more than 300 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines in broadcast journalism. After making his transition to civil service, Jay joined Bell’s Strategic Communications department as the senior military communications strategist.

For Jay, diligently choosing where he wanted to work after he took a leap into the civilian world was important. He shares, “there were two main things I was looking for in an employer before moving to Bell. First was culture. Military culture is a team mindset and operates like every person is vital to success. I wanted to work at a place that had the same team mentality. Second, I wanted to work at a place that believed in the value of strategic communications. Bell had one of the most impressive teams I had ever seen, with the right culture and commitment to strategic communication,” said Jay. “My favorite part about what I do now is the close collaboration with the U.S. and allied militaries to share news and information that is mutually beneficial to all, maintaining our positive standing with the public image and supporting all our strategic objectives.”

Meet David Penuela, Bell’s Aircraft Flight Performance Liaison

For 20 years, David Peñuela served active duty in the Air Force as a pilot, flying aircraft such as the Bell UH-1N, Bell UH-1H, and the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey. He also flew combat missions during operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. He is actively serving as an Air Force reservist alongside his career at Bell. David brings his years of expertise to Bell’s Innovation team as an aircraft flight performance liaison for the High-Speed Vertical Takeoff and Landing (HSVTOL) concepts.

When asked about his transition from his active-duty Air Force career to his career at Bell, he shares, “I leverage my Air Force operational and acquisition experience and knowledge to try to gain advocacy for the HSVTOL concept. Conversely, working as an industry member alongside the awesome Bell engineers has increased my full understanding of how an aircraft system is designed and created, therefore growing my acquisition acumen as a current Air Force reservist,” said David. “My Bell teammates and leadership have tremendously assisted me in understanding Bell processes and quickly integrated me into the HSVTOL effort. Their patience and mentorship have been critical during my successful transition from active duty to becoming a Bell employee.”

Gianna Messina

General Inquiries
All Media Contacts

About Bell

Thinking above and beyond is what we do. For more than 85 years, we’ve been reimagining the experience of flight – and where it can take us.

We are pioneers. We were the first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter. We were a part of NASA’s first lunar mission and brought advanced tiltrotor systems to market. Today, we’re defining the future of advanced air mobility.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas – as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., – we have strategic locations around the globe. And with nearly one quarter of our workforce having served, helping our military achieve their missions is a passion of ours.

Above all, our breakthrough innovations deliver exceptional experiences to our customers. Efficiently. Reliably. And always, with safety at the forefront.

About Textron

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Pipistrel, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, and Textron Systems. For more information, visit:

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements which may project revenues or describe strategies, goals, outlook or other non-historical matters; these statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, changes in aircraft delivery schedules or cancellations or deferrals of orders; our ability to keep pace with our competitors in the introduction of new products and upgrades with features and technologies desired by our customers; changes in government regulations or policies on the export and import of our products; volatility in the global economy or changes in worldwide political conditions that adversely impact demand for our products; volatility in interest rates or foreign exchange rates; and risks related to our international business, including establishing and maintaining facilities in locations around the world and relying on joint venture partners, subcontractors, suppliers, representatives, consultants and other business partners in connection with international business, including in emerging market countries.