Originally from Louisville, Ky., Capt. Dean Peters graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1985. Following winging as a Naval Aviator in 1986, he flew the SH-2F in support of multiple detachments to the North Atlantic, Persian Gulf and Gulf of Mexico, completing Anti-Submarine Warfare, tanker escort missions and Counter Narcotics operations from four different ship classes. He served as Detachment Officer-in-Charge aboard USS Thomas C. Hart.
Following test pilot training in 1992, Peters was assigned to the Rotary Wing Test Directorate, serving as Model Manager for the HH-60H Combat Search and Rescue Helicopter. In response to emergent world events, he qualified Army Special Operations Blackhawks aboard U.S. Navy ships. In 1995, he reported to the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School as a flight instructor, flying the H-6, H-58, U-21 and UH-60. He subsequently completed a Department Head tour at Naval Rotary Wing Aircraft Test Squadron and served concurrently as Integrated Program Team Lead for the SH-60R Navigation and Self-Defense Teams within the H-60 Program Office, PMA-299.
From 1998 to 2002, Peters was assigned to the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Program Office, PMA-263, at Naval Air Systems Command Headquarters, serving first as Deputy Program Manager for the Vertical Takeoff and Landing UAV Demonstration Program, and next as Lead Engineer for all Naval UAVs.
From 2002 to 2004, Peters served as the Rotary Wing Class Desk Officer for Commander, Naval Air Forces at NAS North Island, Calif. In this position, he directed the material readiness management of over 600 USN and USMC helicopters in support of three Type Wings, five Carrier Air Wings and three Marine Air Groups during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Peters reported to HX-21 as the Chief Test Pilot in April 2004 and assumed command in July 2005. During his tenure, the squadron accomplished 11,000 flight test hours and 30,000 ground test hours, and was the recipient of the 2006 CNO Safety Award.
From November 2007 thru July 2011, Peters served as Program Manager, H-60 Helicopters Program, PMA-299, providing world-wide support for the Navy’s H-60 Seahawk helicopters and user communities. During his tenure, the program delivered over 150 helicopters, fielded numerous upgrades, and supported the first three Carrier Strike Group Deployments of the MH-60R and MH-60S. In August 2011, Peters assumed command of the Presidential Helicopters Program, PMA-274.
Peters has over 3,800 flight hours and 800 shipboard landings and is a graduate of U.S. Naval Test Pilot School Class 102.