Contract Field Teams Power Hush House Performance
By: Emily Pataki

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Thirty years ago, Vital Link dedicated itself to the mission of supporting U.S. warfighters by supplying and maintaining Hush Houses and Noise Suppressors needed for aeroengine testing.  Since our founding in 1990, we have continuously pursued this mission, delivering the highest quality products and services to our customers on time and on budget. Our work in Hush House sustainment is unrivaled, and our service rankings are among the highest in the industry. Vital Link’s customers trust us to get the job done right, and that trust has earned us the privilege of working with such entities as the United States Air Force (USAF) alongside America’s service men and women.

To be able to deliver the best products to USAF and others, Vital Link has developed exceptional industry knowledge and experience on the teams that work directly on our jobs in the field. Our Contract Field Teams (CFTs) are made up of special individuals who deploy worldwide to build and maintain our Hush Houses. They travel the United States and to OCONUS sites year-round to support our customers’ projects and be available to answer any questions or solve any problems that might arise.  They not only make sure our acoustic enclosures provide a safe, indoor aeroengine testing platform, but they also make sure the Hush Houses themselves protect the community from excessive noise. A dedicated senior project management staff, whose members began their careers in fieldwork, leads the Vital Link CFTs. These men bring their deep knowledge about our products and services to every project they manage, along with an appreciation of the needs and sacrifices made by our CFT members in deploying away from their families and homes.

Vital Link Vice President Johnny Gunnels has spent the last forty years supporting the USAF Hush House programs and knows the work our CFTs do is crucial to the success of our nation’s air fighters.

The level of service and product quality that VLI delivers are unparalleled in the industry in large part due to the hard earned experience and knowledge of our field teams,” says Gunnels. “We pride ourselves on our ability to retain a core of key employees – many of us have been together over twenty years – that have been integral to our excellence in aerospace and strong customer relationships. We consider ourselves blessed to work with so many wonderful people, vendors, and customers.”

Vital Link CFTs understand pride of product and service, and their hard work and dedication to our customers makes it possible for us to keep meeting our mission year after year.


Meet our Hush House Program Team:

Rodney deMontigny

Sr. Field Engineer
35 years in aeroengine test
30 years at VLI

RD started in the aerospace industry out of college in 1985. He began as an assembler installing new test cells and promoted through the ranks at into management. In addition to his time at Vital Link, he spent several years gaining knowledge and experience at IAC and EEC. Currently RD is the Sr. Field Engineer working with an exceptional Field Project Management team managing the USAF long term maintenance contract.

Personal Motto: at VLI, we do not have problems. We have solutions! Go Team Vital Link!


Jason Redden

Project Manager

27 years in aeroengine test

17 years at VLI

Originally from Helena, MT, Jason departed for Tyndall AFB (Florida) in 1993 to begin a lifelong career in the aerospace industry. While at Tyndall, he participated in his first Hush House construction assignment. Ever since that first project, Jason has traveled the world to learn, assist, and lead numerous engine test cell and hush house builds. He now oversees projects in support of the US military as Project Manager for Vital Link Inc.

Fun Fact: Jason once walked off an airplane at 14,000 ft!


Jesse Katsilas

Project Manager
29 years in aerospace

21 years at VLI

Jesse began his career in aerospace in 1991 with a summer job that awakened in him a passion for the industry. He turned his internship into a bigger opportunity to gain experience in multiple facets of engine testing. After a few years learning blueprints and design, he joined VLI in 1999 as a drafter before transitioning into fieldwork. Jesse moved into his current role as project manager in 2003 and has been leading teams to support the US military and commercial customers ever since. Jesse has visited every US state and traveled the world working on hush houses, but his favorite projected involved relocating a Hush House from Bitburg to Spangdahlem for the USAF.

Fun Fact: Rodney, Jason and Jesse are all from Montana originally and knew each other growing up.


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Emily Pataki, is a 7th generation Houstonian working as a freelance writer. An honors graduate of St. Agnes Academy and Yale University, she has written on subjects of American history. Her thesis on the early frontier days of the Texas Rangers was received to much acclaim. She was elected in 2014 to the agency governing board of the Pedernales Electric Co-op, the nation’s largest electric co-op dealing with electrical and water resources for central Texas, where she now serves as board president. In October 2017, Ms. Pataki was appointed to the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission, which reviews the mission and continuance of all state agencies. Her popular blog can be followed at itsyourcoop.com.

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