Naval Air Systems Command's new Commander, Vice Adm. David A. Dunaway, intends to keep NAVAIR on course developing and delivering integrated and interoperable capabilities for the warfighter, he said during the NAVAIR change-of-command ceremony Sept. 20.
Dunaway relieved Vice Adm. David Architzel, who retired after more than 40 years of naval service. Historic and future naval aircraft served as the ceremony's backdrop inside the Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 20 hangar at NAS Patuxent River.
"Architzel has set a good course and speed for you, Dunaway," said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, who spoke at the ceremony.
Greenert described Dunaway as "just the kind of leader we need here. (He) has a lot of energy, he's innovative, he has bold ideas, and he's willing to be accountable." Dunaway has also been around aircraft test and evaluation for almost 24 years, he said.
Greenert and Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, or ASN (RDA), Sean Stackley, along with Rep. Steny Hoyer, offered their congratulations, praise and appreciation for Architzel's service. Gen. James F. Amos, commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, also attended.
Greenert summarized Architzel's "unprecedented portfolio" by highlighting his NAVAIR accomplishments in three areas: integration and interoperability, reduction of total ownership costs and development of a long-term workforce strategy.
"Architzel properly integrated payloads, systems and capabilities into existing naval aviation platforms as well as integrated new platforms on old ships, such as the MQ-8B Fire Scout on the 30-year-old (Guided Missile Frigates (FFG)). They are out on deployment, way ahead of schedule.
"NAVAIR brought the F-35B, the short take off and landing (STOVL) variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, onboard the 23-year-old USS Wasp (LHD 1). He brought new payloads to the F/A-18A-D Hornet and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft, modernizing them not only for today, but for the next couple of decades by adding jamming, search and track, and infrared capabilities," Greenert said.
"Second, Dave reduced the total ownership costs, which means the entire cost, not just the cost to buy the aircraft. He looked at the trends, understood the long-term costs and was able to find significant savings in the MH-60S Seahawks, the F/A-18 Hornets and the AIM-9 Sidewinder missile programs," Greenert said.
Greenert also praised Architzel for his workforce leadership skills.
"No one understands his community and his people better than Dave Architzel," he said. "NAVAIR leads the Navy in diversity, has the best Equal Employment Opportunity Program in the Navy and has increased wounded warrior hires by 40 percent in the last year."
On behalf of the president of the United States, Greenert presented Architzel with the Distinguished Service Medal (Gold Star in lieu of Third Award) for "expertly directing operations of one of the Navy's seven major claimants and deftly executing an annual budget of $40 billion, leading more than 33,000 employees, and overseeing vast real estate and industrial assets."
During his remarks, Architzel said, "I accept this award on behalf of those who earned it here at NAVAIR. The strength of our competency aligned organization is NAVAIR's foundation for accomplishing its mission. Whether it's the commands, the integrated product teams or the competencies, collectively, you excelled on my watch."
"Just look around at the capability in this hangar," Architzel said. "It represents just a small sample of the platforms, systems and weapons you have delivered over the past couple of years. In the end, it's the people who get the job done."
On display in the hangar were a S-3B Viking bearing the markings of Architzel's Sea Control Squadron (VS) 30 "Bloodhounds," the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS), an F/A-18E Super Hornet, and the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter aircraft BF-04, which conducted initial ship trials aboard Wasp.
Before coming to NAVAIR, Architzel served with Stackley as the Navy's principal military deputy to the ASN (RDA). Stakley shared his admiration for his friend and colleague.
"Take pride that you have laid the keel for the next half century and helped shape the future of naval aviation with the extension of the service life of our F/A-18 Hornets, the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, EA-18G Growler, the P-8A Poseidon and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter," Stackley said. "Your impact on the Navy and Marine Corps is huge and enduring, and I thank you for it."
Dunaway acknowledged NAVAIR's accomplishments after relieving Architzel.
"NAVAIR has a proven record of excellence; we have proven development and test facilities; we have proven sustainment facilities," Dunaway said. "We are a great organization. While no change is required, we need to execute."
He summarized his plan of execution in three focus areas: increase speed to the fleet through program of record planning and execution and rapid response to urgent warfighter needs; consistently deliver integrated and interoperable warfighting capabilities; and improve affordability. To see more on the Commander's Intent, visit www.navair.navy. mil/CmdrsIntent2012.