Air Test and Evaluation Squadron TWO ZERO (VX 20) is a proud member of Naval Air Systems Command and traces its roots to the founding of Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Maryland. Recognizing the need for Navy flight test effort consolidation, NAS Patuxent River was established on April 1, 1943. The location was selected due to coast proximity, air traffic congestion and isolation. On June 16, 1945, Naval Air Test Center (NATC) (Flight Test Division, Weapon Systems Test Division, Service Test Division, and the United States Naval Test Pilot School) was designated as the center for Navy flight test. In April 1975, NATC was reorganized into the Antisubmarine Aircraft Test Directorate, Strike Aircraft Test Directorate, Rotary Wing Aircraft Test Directorate, Systems Engineering Test Directorate, and the United States Naval Test Pilot School. In June 1986, the directorate was renamed Force Warfare Aircraft Test Directorate. In May 1995, the organization officially became a squadron and was renamed Naval Force Aircraft Test Squadron. In May 2002, the squadron was designated Air Test and Evaluation Squadron TWO ZERO. Throughout its history, the squadron supported the Fleet through the full spectrum test and evaluation of VS, VP, VAW, VRC, VQ, VR, VUP, VMGR, and VT community aircraft.
Current aircraft supporting test at VX-20 are the C-2A, C-12M, C-38, E-2C/D, E 6B, C/KC-130J/T, MQ-4C, P-8A, and T-6A.
Cmdr. John A. Walsh
VX-20 Commanding Officer
Commander John A. Walsh, a Somers Point New Jersey native, attended the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland and graduated in May 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering.
Following commissioning, he attended flight training in Pensacola, Florida; Milton, Florida; and Corpus Christi, Texas. He was designated a naval aviator in 2003. He then attended P-3 Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) training with Patrol Squadron THREE ZERO (VP-30) at Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Florida. He reported to Patrol Squadron EIGHT (VP-8) at NAS Brunswick, Maine. While attached to VP-8, CDR Walsh deployed to Misawa, Japan; Kadena, Japan; Al Udied, Quarter; and conducted detachment operations in Iraq, Thailand, South Korea, and Philippines in support of OPERATIONS IRAQI FREEDOM, and ENDURING FREEDOM. During his tour, he was selected for and completed the Weapons Tactics Instructor Course (WTI).
After a short tour in Special Project Patrol Squadron ONE (VPU-1), CDR Walsh was selected for United States Naval Test Pilot School. He graduated USNTPS in 2008 with class 133 and reported to Test and Evaluation Squadron TWO ZERO (VX-20), Patuxent River, MD. He was assigned as the lead test pilot and project officer for an ACAT-1D MPRA CNO Special Project and multiple MPRA Special Projects. During this time, CDR Walsh earned a Masters of Science in Systems Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. He was selected as an Aerospace Engineering Duty Officer (AEDO) in 2010 and became Aide to Naval Air Systems Command. CDR Walsh was then selected for the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Sea Duty Component (BUPERS SDC) in Dallas, TX to work as the Integration and Modified Aircraft Integrated Product Team (IPT) Lead for P-8A Advanced Airborne Sensor (AAS) and P-3C Littoral Surveillance Radar System (LSRS).
In July 2014, he transitioned to become the Ground Systems IPT Lead for an ACAT-ID equivalent national space program at the National Reconnaissance Office ensuring operational delivery of advanced capabilities to the joint warfighter. During this time, he also completed a Service Chief Fellowship with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). In 2017, CDR Walsh joined the Advanced Sensor Technology Program Office as the Level 1 IPT Lead for an ACAT-1D equivalent program while leading multiple quick reaction efforts for the CNO.
CDR Walsh has more than 1,800 hours in 23 models of jet, prop, and rotary wing aircraft. His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Air Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two awards), and numerous campaign, service, and unit awards. He is a member of the Acquisition Corps with more than 13 years of acquisition experience and is Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act Level III certified in Program Management and Level II certified in Test and Evaluation.
Cmdr. Jason D. Wells
VX-20 Executive Officer
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, CDR Wells is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology with a BS in Management in 1999, and Hawaii Pacific University with a BS in Computer Information Systems in 2001. CDR Wells was commissioned from Officer Candidate School in March 2002, attended flight school in Corpus Christi and Kingsville, TX and was designated a Naval Aviator in December 2003.
Operational assignments include a junior officer tour flying the E-2C Hawkeye with Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron One Two Three (VAW-123 Screwtops) onboard USS Enterprise (CVN-65) in 2006 & 2007, individual augment tour supporting NATO Training Mission Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012, department head tour with Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron One Two Five (VAW-125 Tigertails), the first squadron to operationally deploy the E-2D on USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) in 2015, and assignment onboard USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN-71) as the Air Operations Officer from 2018 to 2020.
Combat highlights include multiple tours supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Inherent Resolve and being the first E-2D aircraft commander to fly the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye into combat in 2015.
Shore tours also include duty as a flight student at VAW-120, T-6A Texan Instructor Pilot at VT-4, Air Force Command and Staff College, and duty on the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) J-7 Deployable Training Division.
CDR Wells has logged over 3,000 flight hours, including over 1,000 hours in the T-6A and over 1,700 hours in the E-2C/D, and over 250 carrier arrested landings. He holds a post-graduate degree in Military Operations Art and Science from Air University in Montgomery, AL. Military awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal, Strike Flight Air Medal (four awards), the Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards) in addition to various unit and campaign awards.
Cmdr. Charles A. Larwood III
VX-20 Chief Test Pilot
Commander Charles A. Larwood III, a native of Roswell, GA, is a 2004 graduate of the United States Naval Academy where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Quantitative Economics. He also attended the Naval Post Graduate School, graduating with a Master of Science in Operations Research. He earned his Naval Aviator wings in December 2006.
Commander Larwood’s P-8A operational tours include Patrol Squadron FOUR FIVE (VP-45) as Commanding Officer and Patrol Squadron EIGHT (VP-8) as Operations Officer. During his P-3C operational tour, he served in Patrol Squadron FOUR FIVE (VP-45) as NATOPS Officer, Pilot Training Officer, Instructor Pilot, and Mission Commander.
His shore assignments include two tours at Test and Evaluation Squadron TWO ZERO (VX-20) where he served as Government Flight Test Director and Test Pilot for various projects such as envelope expansion flights on both P-8A and MQ-4C; in-flight refueling compatibility testing with KC-30; HAAWC weapons separation and development; Harpoon II+ missile testing; and various upgrades to fleet aircraft. Additionally he served as NATOPS, Out-of-Control Flight, and Formation/Chase Instructor in the T-2C. Prior to his first test assignment, he graduated from United States Test Pilot School with Class 141 during which he flew various heavy and fighter aircraft, including a DT-II evaluation of the L-39C for the light attack mission.
Commander Larwood has served overseas in FOURTH, SIXTH, and SEVENTH Fleet areas of responsibility, leading crews supporting deployments, combined and joint exercises, and operations to provide critical intelligence in support of US regional interests. His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (4), Navy and Marine Association Leadership Award, and recipient of the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution Prize. He has flown approximately 2600 flight hours in over 25 type aircraft and is a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. In November of 2021, Commander Larwood reported to VX-20 as Chief Test Pilot.
William J. Lang
VX-20 Chief Test Engineer
A native of Middleburgh New York, Mr. Lang is a 1999 graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering. Following graduation, he began working at the Naval Air Warfare Center on Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland as a Flying Qualities and Performance Flight Test Engineer assigned to the E-2 and C-2 platforms.
Mr. Lang attended United States Naval Test Pilot School and subsequently graduated in June 2003 as a member of Class 123. Upon graduation, he returned to the E-2/C-2 test team where he served as the Lead Test Conductor on the C-2 NP2000 flight test program.
In 2008, he graduated from the Florida Institute of Technology with a Master’s of Science in Aerospace Engineering. In 2006, he joined the fledgling P-8A Poseidon Integrated Test Team where he became Air Vehicle Lead in 2009. Over the next six years, Mr. Lang led his team through P-8A first flight, System Development and Demonstration flight-testing and initial fleet fielding.
Beginning in 2015, Mr. Lang supervised over 15 Flight Test Engineers and provided technical support to the P-8A, E-6B, and C-130 platforms as the Maritime Aeromechanics Test and Evaluation Branch Head. In 2017, he moved to the position of Maritime Propulsion and Subsystems Test and Evaluation Branch Head, where he supervised 12 Flight Test Engineers and supported all VX-20 platforms.
From 2017 to 2018, Mr. Lang also served as the lead coordinator of employee developmental programs for all Air Vehicle Flight Test Engineers at the Naval Air Warfare Center. Since 2018, Mr. Lang has served as the VX-20 Chief Test Engineer, overseeing all testing efforts for the squadron’s six platforms along with multiple special programs.
Senior Chief Michael Avallone
VX-20 Command Senior Chief
Senior Chief Avallone is a native of Cape Coral, FL, where he graduated from Cape Coral High in 2003. He enlisted in September 2003 and completed Basic Training/Machinist Mate “A” School in Great Lakes, IL.
His previous assignments include USS Detroit (AOE-4), USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67), USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), NRD Philadelphia, USS Enterprise (CVN-65), and Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center (MARMC).
He is a graduate of the Senior Enlisted Academy and Command Master Chief Leadership Course in Newport R.I. He is a graduate of Regent University with a Bachelor’s Degree of Science focused on Paralegal Studies.
His personal decorations include Two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Four Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Five Good Conduct Medals and various other unit awards. He has attained his Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist and Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist designations.
Deborah L. Adams
VX-20 Director of Resources and Operations
Ms. Adams graduated from North Carolina State University in May 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering. Immediately following graduation, she reported to the Flight Simulation Group at the Strike Aircraft Test Directorate, where she had been a Pax-Tenn Cooperative Education Student since 1990. She assumed the role at F/A-18 ‘Hornet’ Flight Simulation Engineer at the Manned Flight Simulator. Within a year, she was promoted to the role of F-14 ‘Tomcat’ Lead Simulation Engineer where she lead the efforts to fully test and regress the F-14 ‘Tomcat’ Digital Flight Control System computers in a lab and simulation environment prior to flight test.
In 1999, she participated in the Executive Leadership Development Program where she participated in various rotations to the National Transportation Safety Board and to PMA-205. Following graduation, she promoted to PMA-205 as the F-14 ‘Tomcat’ Assistant Program Manager. This assignment was the first of several from 1999-2012 in the Program Management field across several program offices within Naval Air Systems Command. Those included the Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems Requirements Lead (PMA-263), the C-2/E-2C ‘Greyhound/Hawkeye’ Communication Navigation Surveillance & Air Traffic Management Integrated Production Team Lead (PMA-231), E-2D ‘Advanced Hawkeye’ Cooperative Engagement Capability/Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air Co-Integrated Production Lead (PMA-231), and the PEO (U&W) Lean Six Sigma Deployment Champion.
In 2013, Ms. Adams returned to Engineering and Flight Test as the F/A-18E/F ‘Super Hornet’ Assistant Program Manager for Test & Evaluation in PMA-265. In this role, she led test efforts of multiple software system control sets, the Super Blue Angels Transition, and India Ski Jump Demonstration. Additionally she led the Multifunctional Information Distribution Joint Tactical Radio System Concurrent Multinetting-4 upgrade/modification, the final software load of Precision Landing Modes, and other efforts that directly influenced Fleet upgrades of the Super Hornet, across VX-9, VX-23, and VX-31.
Ms. Adams is a graduate of Defense Systems Management College (2002), Florida Institute of Technology (2003) where she earned her Masters of Science in Management, and Senior Executive Management Development Program (2010). She is Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act Level III certified in Program Management, Systems Engineering and Test & Evaluation and she holds her Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification.
In November of 2020, Ms. Adams assumed the current role as the VX-20 Director of Resources & Operations. This is the first role of its kind within Naval Test Wing Atlantic.