Tomahawk program welcomes new leader

Capt. John Red, new Tomahawk program manager, delivers welcome remarks during his change of command ceremony June 13 at NAS Patuxent River.

Capt. John Red relieved Capt. Mark Johnson as commanding officer of the Tomahawk Weapons System Program Office (PMA-280) June 13 during a ceremony at Naval Air Station Patuxent River.

“This [PMA-280] is a really diverse, geographically dispersed, multi-national team that work together to get the job done for our warfighter everyday,” said NAVAIR Commander Vice Adm. Dean Peters, who provided remarks at the ceremony.

Peters recognized Johnson for his accomplishments as program manager and expressed his confidence in incoming leader Red.

“You positioned this program to successfully field this capability and Capt. Red will continue that legacy,” he said. “PMA-280 is getting a proven leader in Capt. Red.”

As PMA-280 program manager, Johnson led a workforce of more than 800 employees. Under his leadership, the program office efficiently planned, developed and executed three new major defense programs, implemented a rapid strategy for the Maritime Strike Tomahawk upgrade and delivered the first modernized Block V Tactical Tomahawk.

“What I witnessed since my first day in the program was the insatiable commitment to the weapon system and commitment to integrating it into the fleet,” said Johnson. “The heritage of success of the Tomahawk weapon is because of the people that work here.”

Johnson is retiring from the Navy after 27 years of service.

Red will begin his third tour with PMA-280 after serving as the Maritime Strike Tomahawk co-lead and deputy program manager for the Tomahawk Block IV modernization effort. Since he joined NAVAIR in 2008, he also served as integrated product team lead for the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft Program Office (PMA-290) and military class desk for the Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) system in the Precision Strike Weapons program office (PMA-201). Red also completed an assignment as executive assistant to Principal Military Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development, & Acquisition).

Red is a distinguished graduate of Embry-Riddle University and the Naval Postgraduate School. He has accumulated more than 3,000 flight hours as a P-3 Orion and EP-3 Tactical Coordinator.

“During my time within the program office, we have seen incredible strides in this capability and continue to elevate the weapon system,” said Red. “It’s been a great honor to be part of a team at the forefront of weapons development. I am excited to lead the highly experienced professionals at PMA-280 going forward.”

PMA-280 is responsible for the procurement, development and sustainment of Tomahawk weapons system. Tomahawk is the U.S. Navy’s surface and subsurface launched, long-range, precision strike standoff weapon.