Rear Admiral Scott Dillon

Commander, NAWCWD

NAVAIR Assistant Commander for Test and Evaluation

 

Rear Adm. Scott Dillon is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1991, is a graduate of U.S. Naval Test Pilot School Class 117 and holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago and a Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School.

After designation as a naval aviator in 1994, he reported to Patrol Squadron (VP) 1 at Barber’s Point, Hawaii, where he completed deployments as a P-3 tactical coordinator and mission commander. Dillon was then assigned to the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School/Naval Postgraduate School Cooperative Program and subsequently to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 20. He later deployed to Djibouti, Africa during Operation Enduring Freedom.

Dillon was selected as an aerospace engineering duty officer (AEDO) in 2002 and served in a series of acquisition billets including P-3 class desk and integrated product team lead at PMA-290 and MH-60R team lead at PMA-299. His acquisition tours also included assignment as the AEDO community detailer at Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tennessee.

From May 2012 through March 2016, Dillon served as program manager, PMA-290, responsible for all P-8A and P-3 programs. During his tenure, the P-8A completed initial operational testing and evaluation, initial operational capability and full-rate production milestones.  He subsequently served tours as military assistant to the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics and as vice commander for Naval Air Systems Command. 

Dillon has served a previous flag tour as commander, Naval Safety Center, Norfolk, Virginia.  In April 2018, he assumed his current position as commander, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake/Point Mugu, California and assistant commander for Test and Evaluation, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR).

Dillon is authorized to wear the Legion of Merit (two awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), and other various personal, unit and service awards.

 

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Daniel Carreño

Acting Executive Director

Director, Research and Development Group

 

Daniel Carreño is the Research and Development Group director for Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division and acting executive director.

Carreño entered the Senior Executive Service in March 2016 after more than 25 years of naval aviation experience across multiple phases of weapons system life-cycle support. He began his career at China Lake as a Junior Professional in 1990. Carreño worked in the field of energetics for several years and provided propulsion analysis for multiple weapons systems, including the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM). From 1995 to 1996, he served as the NAWCWD Technical Representative for the AMRAAM Propulsion Enhancement Program at the Air-to-Air Joint Systems Program Office at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Upon his return to China Lake, Carreño was assigned as the branch head of the Propulsion Performance Office. From 1997 to 2000, he held the position of AMRAAM Projects Integrated Product Team lead, in which he was responsible for all NAWCWD development efforts in support of the program. He later served as Project Director for the Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) and Standoff Land Attack Missile—Expanded Response (SLAM-ER)/Harpoon Technical Project Offices at NAWCWD.

Additional assignments include a Naval Scientist Training and Exchange Program rotation on the staff of the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center at Fallon, Nevada. After serving two years as the NAWCWD Range Safety Officer in AIR-5.2, Carreño transferred to the AIR-4.1 Systems Engineering Department to lead the Synthetic Guidance Demonstration Program, resulting in the successful demonstration of Tomahawk anti-ship capability. In 2015, he was chosen as the AIR-4.7 Associate Director for Weapons, prior to selection to his current position.

Carreño earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Tennessee. He has been a member of the Acquisition Professional Community since 2001. He received the Michelson Laboratory Award in 2009, the Dr. L.T.E. Thompson Award in 2015, and the NAVAIR Commander’s Award in 2015.

 

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Capt. Matthew Sniffin

Vice Commander, NAWCWD

 

Capt. Matthew M. Sniffin, a native of Jacksonville, Florida, graduated from the University of Florida in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. He earned his commission through Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida, in February 1997, and his “Wings of Gold” at Naval Air Station Meridian, Mississippi, in 1999. He graduated from Touro University while in Yokosuka, Japan, with a Master of Business Administration in 2007.

Sniffin reported to the “Ironmen” of Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron (VQ) 3 at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, in November 2001, where he was the squadron’s lead NATOPS pilot evaluator and operations flight officer. In November 2004, he joined Training Squadron (VT) 31 in Corpus Christi, Texas, as a joint squadron instructor pilot flying the T-44 King Air 90. During his time as VT-31’s aviation safety officer, the squadron earned the 2004 CNO Safety Award and 2005 Safety Excellence Award.

Sniffin transferred to Yokosuka, Japan, in September 2006, to serve as plans officer for Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet aboard USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19). He was lead planner for the Joint Operations Planning and Execution System; humanitarian mission Mercy 2008; and for combined exercises with the Australian Defense Forces, Republic of Korea military, and Japanese Self Defense Forces.

In April 2008, he joined the “Shadows” of VQ-4, where he served as the safety officer, administration department head, and maintenance officer. He was also Task Force 124 Forward Detachment Officer-in-Charge in Qatar, flying missions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom where Sniffin personally flew 23 combat sorties, earning the Air Medal.

In March 2011, he became J39 Information Operations Branch chief, planning and directing all U.S. Pacific Command’s strategic communications, information operations and non-lethal fires.

In May 2013, Sniffin took command of the “Roughnecks” of VQ-7. There, he oversaw the rewrite of the NATOPS, the creation of a Naval Aviation Technical Information Product, and revamped the community’s Crew Resource Management program. Following command, he reported to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander 5th Fleet as the executive assistant to the commander.

Sniffin took over as Vice Commander for Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division in January 2018.

Personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, two Meritorious Service medals, Air Medal, Joint Commendation Medal, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, four Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and various other service and unit awards.

 

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Command Master Chief Scottie Cox

Command Master Chief, NAWCWD

Command Master Chief Scottie L. Cox, a native of Salem, Oregon, enlisted in the Navy in September 1990, attending basic training in San Diego, California, before reporting to Builder “A” school in Gulfport, Mississippi.

His previous assignments include Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1 where he deployed to Guam; Rota, Spain; Operation Restore Hope in Somalia, Africa; Naples, Italy; and Diego Garcia. He was reassigned to Naval Air Station (NAS) Keflavik, Iceland Public Works Department and then NAS Whidbey Island, Washington Public Works Department. Assigned to NMCB 5, he deployed to Okinawa, Japan; Rota, Spain; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and Sasebo, Japan. He was then assigned to 31st Seabee Readiness Group, in Port Hueneme, California, as the R75 tactics leading chief petty officer. Cox then redeployed with NMCB 3 to Balad, Iraq; Rota, Spain; and the Congo in Africa.

Cox was assigned to Naval Construction Training Center in Port Hueneme, California, where he served as the Charlie Company LCPO. He was then reassigned to serve as the Senior Enlisted Leader (SEL) and instructor at the Civil Engineer Corps Officer School, also in Port Hueneme.

Cox served as the Operations Chief for the 1st Naval Construction Division, then Operations Chief for Navy Expeditionary Combat Command in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He then completed a second tour with NMCB 5, this time as the Command Master Chief, where he deployed twice to Okinawa, Japan and deployed detachments across the Pacific theater.

His most recent tour was at Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering (CSFE), in Port Hueneme California, where he helped establish Ready Relevant Learning (RRL) for the Naval Construction Force and Civil Engineer Corps Officers school.

His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards), Army Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (five awards), Navy Unit Commendation, Navy Battle Efficiency Ribbon (two awards), Good Conduct Medal with a silver star, two National Defense Service Medals, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (two silver stars), Navy Overseas service Ribbon (two awards), Navy Expert Rifleman Medal, and Navy Expert Pistol Medal.

 

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Melissa Finnell

Chief of Operations
 

Melissa Finnell is a graduate of Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. She currently serves as the chief of operations for Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division and reports directly to the NAWCWD commander.

In the private sector, Finnell worked as a mortgage banker and with the state of California’s Employee Development Department before beginning her federal career in 1980 with the 2750th Air Base Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Finnell joined the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Department at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in 1993 as a human resources personnel management specialist. A year later, she was promoted to serve as the MWR deputy director. She subsequently took over as MWR director in 2000.

In 2001, Finnell became the Community Support director for NAWS China Lake. She was responsible for the development and execution of appropriated fund program operating budgets in excess of $8 million, appropriated fund maintenance and repair budgets in excess of $3 million annually and non-appropriated fund program operating budgets in excess of $4.5 million.

Finnell was selected as the Deputy Public Works Officer at NAWS China Lake in 2004, where she oversaw the successful execution of a $133 million annual operating budget.

Finnell’s NAWCWD career began in 2009, where he was the Education Partnership Program manager and led the command’s participation in the National Defense Education Program. By formalizing the program, she allowed the command to highlight the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics annual efforts of more than 150 scientists and engineers, for more than 50 professors and teachers, serving in excess of 2,500 students in more than 32 schools. 

Finnell took on the role of NAWCWD’s Corporate Communications director in 2009 before being selected for chief of staff in 2012.

 

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Harlan Kooima

Product Director, Targeting and Kinetic Effects

Harlan Kooima is the acting executive director at Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division and NAWCWD's product director for Targeting and Kinetic Effects. He has more than 30 years of combined experience in the private sector and the Department of Defense

He began his career in private industry with the McDonnell Douglas Corporation in St. Louis, Missouri where he joined the F/A-18 Program and worked system integration activities on upgrade projects before moving to China Lake in 1990 to accept a field assignment as the McDonnell Douglas lead systems engineer for all F/A-18 flight test programs.

Five years later, Kooima became a government employee working at the F/A-18 & EA-18G Advanced Weapons Laboratory (AWL) as a project manager for major systems upgrades. His first assignment was fielding System Configuration Set (SCS) 09C to the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and seven foreign counties. He then managed the next $150M upgrade (SCS 13C) through its entire life cycle. Both projects were finished at a cost, schedule, quality, and performance level that rivals the best in the industry.

From 1998-2003 Kooima led the conversion of the F/A-18E/F SCS from Assembly Language to Higher Order Language with SCS H1E. This involved convert over 1.5 million source lines of code and has made the development of subsequent SCSs much more cost effective. He was then selected as the AWL’s project manager for the development, test, and evaluation of the EA-18G Growler. The multi-million dollar Growler program came in ahead of schedule and below cost, providing the warfighter with an upgraded, state-of-the art electronic warfare platform.   

In 2008, Kooima became the NAVAIR F/A-18 AWL Integrated Product Team Lead responsible for the development, test, and evaluation of the legacy F/A-18 A/A+/B, current F/A-18 E/F, and EA-18G aircraft, a role he held until his appointment to the Senior Executive Service. Kooima provided the vision and strategic leadership to the workforce while focusing on critical investment and capability strategies for future readiness, and managing well over $518M annually as well as Foreign Military Sales projects partnering with over 25 countries. 

Kooima is a magna cum laude graduate of Iowa State University where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in 1988.  Mr. Kooima’s awards include the Ned Conger F/A-18 Distinguished Service Award, the Michelson Laboratory Award, the Dr. L.T.E. Thompson Memorial Award, and the David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award.

 

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Thomas C. Dowd

Director, Range/Targets Operations, Instrumentation and Labs Group

 

Thomas C. Dowd is the director, Range/Targets Operations, Instrumentation and Laboratories Group at Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division. He has more than 30 years of civilian service with the Department of the Navy and was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in November of 2014.

Dowd began his civilian career in 1988 as an aerospace engineer with the Point Mugu Missile Test Center after graduating from Boston University in 1987 with a bachelor’s of science degree in aerospace engineering. He worked for five years as a flight test engineer performing test and evaluation of Navy cruise missile systems such as the SLAM, HARPOON and Penguin missiles.

From 1992-2001 Dowd worked in the Airborne Threat Simulation Division, Threat/Target Systems Department at Point Mugu, seven of those years as the division head. The division focused on the exploitation and hardware simulation of foreign threat electronic warfare systems. The ATSO-produced simulators were used for the test and evaluation of Navy, Army and Air Force platform radar and missile seeker systems.

From 2001-2003 Dowd worked in the NAVAIR Network Centric Warfare (NCW) Office at Patuxent River. In 2002 Mr. Dowd became the civilian deputy for the NCW office in support of the expanding office and its role in bringing about the FORCEnet initiative for the Navy and other capabilities for naval aviation.

After returning to Point Mugu in 2003 and completing his MBA at Pepperdine University in 2005, Dowd became the Associate Department Head for the Threat/Targets Systems Department at NAVAIR and was selected as the Department Head in April of 2007.

Dowd is a graduate of NAVAIR’s Senior Executive Management Development Program and is a recipient of the DoN Meritorious Civilian Service Award.

 

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Rear Admiral Scott Dillon

Commander, NAWCWD

NAVAIR Assistant Commander for Test and Evaluation

 

Rear Adm. Scott Dillon is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1991, is a graduate of U.S. Naval Test Pilot School Class 117 and holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago and a Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School.

After designation as a naval aviator in 1994, he reported to Patrol Squadron (VP) 1 at Barber’s Point, Hawaii, where he completed deployments as a P-3 tactical coordinator and mission commander. Dillon was then assigned to the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School/Naval Postgraduate School Cooperative Program and subsequently to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 20. He later deployed to Djibouti, Africa during Operation Enduring Freedom.

Dillon was selected as an aerospace engineering duty officer (AEDO) in 2002 and served in a series of acquisition billets including P-3 class desk and integrated product team lead at PMA-290 and MH-60R team lead at PMA-299. His acquisition tours also included assignment as the AEDO community detailer at Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tennessee.

From May 2012 through March 2016, Dillon served as program manager, PMA-290, responsible for all P-8A and P-3 programs. During his tenure, the P-8A completed initial operational testing and evaluation, initial operational capability and full-rate production milestones.  He subsequently served tours as military assistant to the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics and as vice commander for Naval Air Systems Command. 

Dillon has served a previous flag tour as commander, Naval Safety Center, Norfolk, Virginia.  In April 2018, he assumed his current position as commander, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake/Point Mugu, California and assistant commander for Test and Evaluation, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR).

Dillon is authorized to wear the Legion of Merit (two awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), and other various personal, unit and service awards.

 

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Daniel Carreño

Acting Executive Director

Director, Research and Development Group

 

Daniel Carreño is the Research and Development Group director for Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division and acting executive director.

Carreño entered the Senior Executive Service in March 2016 after more than 25 years of naval aviation experience across multiple phases of weapons system life-cycle support. He began his career at China Lake as a Junior Professional in 1990. Carreño worked in the field of energetics for several years and provided propulsion analysis for multiple weapons systems, including the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM). From 1995 to 1996, he served as the NAWCWD Technical Representative for the AMRAAM Propulsion Enhancement Program at the Air-to-Air Joint Systems Program Office at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Upon his return to China Lake, Carreño was assigned as the branch head of the Propulsion Performance Office. From 1997 to 2000, he held the position of AMRAAM Projects Integrated Product Team lead, in which he was responsible for all NAWCWD development efforts in support of the program. He later served as Project Director for the Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) and Standoff Land Attack Missile—Expanded Response (SLAM-ER)/Harpoon Technical Project Offices at NAWCWD.

Additional assignments include a Naval Scientist Training and Exchange Program rotation on the staff of the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center at Fallon, Nevada. After serving two years as the NAWCWD Range Safety Officer in AIR-5.2, Carreño transferred to the AIR-4.1 Systems Engineering Department to lead the Synthetic Guidance Demonstration Program, resulting in the successful demonstration of Tomahawk anti-ship capability. In 2015, he was chosen as the AIR-4.7 Associate Director for Weapons, prior to selection to his current position.

Carreño earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Tennessee. He has been a member of the Acquisition Professional Community since 2001. He received the Michelson Laboratory Award in 2009, the Dr. L.T.E. Thompson Award in 2015, and the NAVAIR Commander’s Award in 2015.

 

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Capt. Matthew Sniffin

Vice Commander, NAWCWD

 

Capt. Matthew M. Sniffin, a native of Jacksonville, Florida, graduated from the University of Florida in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. He earned his commission through Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida, in February 1997, and his “Wings of Gold” at Naval Air Station Meridian, Mississippi, in 1999. He graduated from Touro University while in Yokosuka, Japan, with a Master of Business Administration in 2007.

Sniffin reported to the “Ironmen” of Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron (VQ) 3 at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, in November 2001, where he was the squadron’s lead NATOPS pilot evaluator and operations flight officer. In November 2004, he joined Training Squadron (VT) 31 in Corpus Christi, Texas, as a joint squadron instructor pilot flying the T-44 King Air 90. During his time as VT-31’s aviation safety officer, the squadron earned the 2004 CNO Safety Award and 2005 Safety Excellence Award.

Sniffin transferred to Yokosuka, Japan, in September 2006, to serve as plans officer for Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet aboard USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19). He was lead planner for the Joint Operations Planning and Execution System; humanitarian mission Mercy 2008; and for combined exercises with the Australian Defense Forces, Republic of Korea military, and Japanese Self Defense Forces.

In April 2008, he joined the “Shadows” of VQ-4, where he served as the safety officer, administration department head, and maintenance officer. He was also Task Force 124 Forward Detachment Officer-in-Charge in Qatar, flying missions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom where Sniffin personally flew 23 combat sorties, earning the Air Medal.

In March 2011, he became J39 Information Operations Branch chief, planning and directing all U.S. Pacific Command’s strategic communications, information operations and non-lethal fires.

In May 2013, Sniffin took command of the “Roughnecks” of VQ-7. There, he oversaw the rewrite of the NATOPS, the creation of a Naval Aviation Technical Information Product, and revamped the community’s Crew Resource Management program. Following command, he reported to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander 5th Fleet as the executive assistant to the commander.

Sniffin took over as Vice Commander for Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division in January 2018.

Personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, two Meritorious Service medals, Air Medal, Joint Commendation Medal, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, four Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and various other service and unit awards.

 

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Command Master Chief Scottie Cox

Command Master Chief, NAWCWD

Command Master Chief Scottie L. Cox, a native of Salem, Oregon, enlisted in the Navy in September 1990, attending basic training in San Diego, California, before reporting to Builder “A” school in Gulfport, Mississippi.

His previous assignments include Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1 where he deployed to Guam; Rota, Spain; Operation Restore Hope in Somalia, Africa; Naples, Italy; and Diego Garcia. He was reassigned to Naval Air Station (NAS) Keflavik, Iceland Public Works Department and then NAS Whidbey Island, Washington Public Works Department. Assigned to NMCB 5, he deployed to Okinawa, Japan; Rota, Spain; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and Sasebo, Japan. He was then assigned to 31st Seabee Readiness Group, in Port Hueneme, California, as the R75 tactics leading chief petty officer. Cox then redeployed with NMCB 3 to Balad, Iraq; Rota, Spain; and the Congo in Africa.

Cox was assigned to Naval Construction Training Center in Port Hueneme, California, where he served as the Charlie Company LCPO. He was then reassigned to serve as the Senior Enlisted Leader (SEL) and instructor at the Civil Engineer Corps Officer School, also in Port Hueneme.

Cox served as the Operations Chief for the 1st Naval Construction Division, then Operations Chief for Navy Expeditionary Combat Command in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He then completed a second tour with NMCB 5, this time as the Command Master Chief, where he deployed twice to Okinawa, Japan and deployed detachments across the Pacific theater.

His most recent tour was at Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering (CSFE), in Port Hueneme California, where he helped establish Ready Relevant Learning (RRL) for the Naval Construction Force and Civil Engineer Corps Officers school.

His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards), Army Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (five awards), Navy Unit Commendation, Navy Battle Efficiency Ribbon (two awards), Good Conduct Medal with a silver star, two National Defense Service Medals, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (two silver stars), Navy Overseas service Ribbon (two awards), Navy Expert Rifleman Medal, and Navy Expert Pistol Medal.

 

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Melissa Finnell

Chief of Operations
 

Melissa Finnell is a graduate of Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. She currently serves as the chief of operations for Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division and reports directly to the NAWCWD commander.

In the private sector, Finnell worked as a mortgage banker and with the state of California’s Employee Development Department before beginning her federal career in 1980 with the 2750th Air Base Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Finnell joined the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Department at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in 1993 as a human resources personnel management specialist. A year later, she was promoted to serve as the MWR deputy director. She subsequently took over as MWR director in 2000.

In 2001, Finnell became the Community Support director for NAWS China Lake. She was responsible for the development and execution of appropriated fund program operating budgets in excess of $8 million, appropriated fund maintenance and repair budgets in excess of $3 million annually and non-appropriated fund program operating budgets in excess of $4.5 million.

Finnell was selected as the Deputy Public Works Officer at NAWS China Lake in 2004, where she oversaw the successful execution of a $133 million annual operating budget.

Finnell’s NAWCWD career began in 2009, where he was the Education Partnership Program manager and led the command’s participation in the National Defense Education Program. By formalizing the program, she allowed the command to highlight the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics annual efforts of more than 150 scientists and engineers, for more than 50 professors and teachers, serving in excess of 2,500 students in more than 32 schools. 

Finnell took on the role of NAWCWD’s Corporate Communications director in 2009 before being selected for chief of staff in 2012.

 

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Harlan Kooima

Product Director, Targeting and Kinetic Effects

Harlan Kooima is the acting executive director at Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division and NAWCWD's product director for Targeting and Kinetic Effects. He has more than 30 years of combined experience in the private sector and the Department of Defense

He began his career in private industry with the McDonnell Douglas Corporation in St. Louis, Missouri where he joined the F/A-18 Program and worked system integration activities on upgrade projects before moving to China Lake in 1990 to accept a field assignment as the McDonnell Douglas lead systems engineer for all F/A-18 flight test programs.

Five years later, Kooima became a government employee working at the F/A-18 & EA-18G Advanced Weapons Laboratory (AWL) as a project manager for major systems upgrades. His first assignment was fielding System Configuration Set (SCS) 09C to the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and seven foreign counties. He then managed the next $150M upgrade (SCS 13C) through its entire life cycle. Both projects were finished at a cost, schedule, quality, and performance level that rivals the best in the industry.

From 1998-2003 Kooima led the conversion of the F/A-18E/F SCS from Assembly Language to Higher Order Language with SCS H1E. This involved convert over 1.5 million source lines of code and has made the development of subsequent SCSs much more cost effective. He was then selected as the AWL’s project manager for the development, test, and evaluation of the EA-18G Growler. The multi-million dollar Growler program came in ahead of schedule and below cost, providing the warfighter with an upgraded, state-of-the art electronic warfare platform.   

In 2008, Kooima became the NAVAIR F/A-18 AWL Integrated Product Team Lead responsible for the development, test, and evaluation of the legacy F/A-18 A/A+/B, current F/A-18 E/F, and EA-18G aircraft, a role he held until his appointment to the Senior Executive Service. Kooima provided the vision and strategic leadership to the workforce while focusing on critical investment and capability strategies for future readiness, and managing well over $518M annually as well as Foreign Military Sales projects partnering with over 25 countries. 

Kooima is a magna cum laude graduate of Iowa State University where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in 1988.  Mr. Kooima’s awards include the Ned Conger F/A-18 Distinguished Service Award, the Michelson Laboratory Award, the Dr. L.T.E. Thompson Memorial Award, and the David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award.

 

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Thomas C. Dowd

Director, Range/Targets Operations, Instrumentation and Labs Group

 

Thomas C. Dowd is the director, Range/Targets Operations, Instrumentation and Laboratories Group at Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division. He has more than 30 years of civilian service with the Department of the Navy and was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in November of 2014.

Dowd began his civilian career in 1988 as an aerospace engineer with the Point Mugu Missile Test Center after graduating from Boston University in 1987 with a bachelor’s of science degree in aerospace engineering. He worked for five years as a flight test engineer performing test and evaluation of Navy cruise missile systems such as the SLAM, HARPOON and Penguin missiles.

From 1992-2001 Dowd worked in the Airborne Threat Simulation Division, Threat/Target Systems Department at Point Mugu, seven of those years as the division head. The division focused on the exploitation and hardware simulation of foreign threat electronic warfare systems. The ATSO-produced simulators were used for the test and evaluation of Navy, Army and Air Force platform radar and missile seeker systems.

From 2001-2003 Dowd worked in the NAVAIR Network Centric Warfare (NCW) Office at Patuxent River. In 2002 Mr. Dowd became the civilian deputy for the NCW office in support of the expanding office and its role in bringing about the FORCEnet initiative for the Navy and other capabilities for naval aviation.

After returning to Point Mugu in 2003 and completing his MBA at Pepperdine University in 2005, Dowd became the Associate Department Head for the Threat/Targets Systems Department at NAVAIR and was selected as the Department Head in April of 2007.

Dowd is a graduate of NAVAIR’s Senior Executive Management Development Program and is a recipient of the DoN Meritorious Civilian Service Award.

 

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