Our Leadership

Rear Admiral Keith Hash

Commander, NAWCWD

Rear Adm. Keith A. Hash is a native of Garland, Texas. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering. He graduated from the United States Naval Test Pilot School Cooperative Program with a Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Hash is also a graduate of the Carrier Airborne Early Warning Weapons School (CAEWWS), the Naval War College, and the Defense Systems Management College.

Hash served operationally as an E-2C naval flight officer in Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121 deploying aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74); VAW-125 deploying aboard USS Eisenhower (CVN 69); and VAW-123 deploying twice as executive officer and commanding officer aboard USS Enterprise (CVN 65). During these tours, he participated in Caribbean counter-narcotics operations and in Operations Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and New Dawn.

His previous shore assignments include Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 20 in Patuxent River, Maryland, as a project officer leading developmental test programs for the E-2C Hawkeye 2000 aircraft; Commander Naval Air Forces, Atlantic, serving as the E-2 and C-2 class desk officer, under the Director of Aircraft Material and Engineering; and E-2/C-2 Airborne Tactical Data System Program Office (PMA-231) under Program Executive Office for Tactical Aircraft serving as the deputy program manager for development and production, leading the E-2D program to initial operational capability and first deployment.

His program management assignments include program manager for PMA-231, which was renamed E-2/C-2 Airborne Command & Control Systems program during his tenure; director of global sustainment for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office performing the duties of the product support manager; and program manager of the Mission Integration and Special Programs Office (PMA-298) under Commander, Naval Air Systems Command.

Hash has accumulated over 3,000 flight hours in 18 different aircraft types. His personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Air Medal (two Strike/Flight awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.  He was also recognized as the USNTPS Outstanding Student for Class 121.

 

Download biography

 

Daniel Carreño

Executive Director

 

Daniel Carreño is the executive director for Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division.

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.

 

Download biography

Capt. Jon Rugg

Vice Commander, NAWCWD

 

Captain Jon Rugg is a native of Ohio. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from The Ohio State University, a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, and a Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology from Biola University. He was commissioned through the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps in March 1994 and was designated Aviation Maintenance Duty Officer.

Upon completing his initial training, Rugg was permanently assigned to Patrol Squadron (VP) 4 at Naval Air Station Barber’s Point, Hawaii, where he served in various branch officer positions. He deployed to Misawa, Japan, and Manama, Bahrain, where he served as the detachment maintenance officer and coordinated the first armed P-3C detachment to Doha, Qatar.

While stationed at NAS Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, he was assigned to the Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department, serving as the Avionics Division officer, production control officer, and assistant aircraft maintenance officer

In April 2002, Rugg transitioned to the reserve component and has since served in various leadership roles including three command tours, two executive officer tours, and three officer-in-charge positions. He has been attached to the Naval Air Systems Command Reserve Program since January 2009, when he was selected to join Forward Deployed Combat Repair Detachment A at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. He mobilized in August 2010 to serve as Fleet Readiness Center Western Pacific Detachment Afghanistan OIC at Camp Leatherneck in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, with the 3rd Marine Air Wing.

Since demobilizing, Rugg has served as the executive officer and commanding officer for Navy Reserve Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, OIC for NR In-Service Engineering & Logistics Detachment Bravo, and mission lead for NR Rapid Research & Development, NR NAWCWD, and NR Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division.

In his civilian capacity, Rugg owned and operated three restaurant franchises prior to mobilizing for Operation Enduring Freedom. More recently, Rugg was a psychologist at the VA Loma Linda Healthcare System. He took over his current, active duty position as the vice commander for NAWCWD in April 2024.

Rugg is authorized to wear the Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medals, and Navy Achievement Medals.

CMDCM Kenneth Smart

Command Master Chief, NAWCWD

 

Command Master Chief Kenneth Smart was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and raised in Lakeside, California. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in April 1997 and completed Basic Training at Naval Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, Illinois. He then reported to the Naval Air Technical Training Center in Pensacola, Florida, where he graduated from Aviation Structural Mechanic “A” school.

Smart served onboard the USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) as a rated Aviation Aircraft Mechanic Hydraulics from October 1997 to June 2001, where he quickly qualified as an F/A-18 Servo-cylinder Test Station technician performing intermediate repair of F/A-18 components. He supported a homeport change to Japan in 1998, participated in two deployments and earned both his Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist and Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist warfare pins.

His other fleet assignments include the “Stingers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 113, the “Golden Dragons” of VFA-192, and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 as the Air Wing Flight Deck Coordinator, embarked onboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).

Smart completed shore assignments with Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department at Naval Air Station North Island, California, and with the “Dust Devils” of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 31 in China Lake, California, where he assumed the duties as a Contract Oversight Representative qualifying Safe for Flight in support of 20 uniquely configured test and evaluation F/A-18A-G aircraft and transitioned the EA-18G from the Advanced Weapons Laboratory to contractor maintenance.

Smart’s transition into the Command Senior Chief Program began when he was hand-picked to establish the pre-detachment squadron “Grim Reapers” of VFA-101 to prepare Naval Air Station Lemoore for the arrival of the Navy’s 5th Generation fighter. He was selected as the Command Senior Chief and was instrumental in reactivating VFA-125, which is the first west-coast based Fleet Replacement Squadron for the F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.

He was promoted to Master Chief in 2019 and was selected for his post-tour CMC command at the “Stingers” of VFA-113. He joined Fleet Readiness Center West in March 2021, and in April 2023, he became the Command Master Chief of Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division.

Smart is a graduate of the U.S. Navy Senior Enlisted Academy (Class 207, Orange), and the CMC/COB Course (Class 188) at the Command Leadership schools in Newport, Rhode Island.

His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (eight awards), and various unit and campaign awards.

 

Download biography

Genesis Johnson

Chief of Staff
 

Genesis Johnson serves as the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division Chief of Staff. A native of Ridgecrest, California, she received her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations with a minor in Political Science from California State University, Chico in 2001 and a Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies from Wheaton College, Illinois in 2005.

Johnson joined NAWCWD in 1999 as a contractor support member of the F/A-18 & EA-18G Integrated Product Team’s Configuration Management Team and joined civil service in 2007 through NAWCWD’s Business Professional Intern program. In 2008, Johnson accepted an assignment as a program analyst for the International Technology Cooperation Office (ITCO) where she supported a variety of cooperative activities with several partner nations.

Following her time with the ITCO, Johnson conducted a two-year rotational assignment in Virginia with the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, International Cooperation Directorate as the International Programs manager for Southeast Asia and Singapore and Country Desk Support for the Republic of Korea. Upon her return to NAWCWD in 2013, she worked as the F/A-18 & EA-18G IPT’s International Cooperation lead for four years, during which time she was the U.S. project officer for multiple cooperative efforts between the U.S. and Australia.

Johnson continued supporting the IPT later on as a deputy block lead, and in 2018, she took on the role of International Programs lead for NAWCWD’s F-35 IPT while also acting as the associate investigator/project co-lead for NAWCWD’s Air Wing Integration & Interoperability Warfighter Imperative.

Prior to her selection as chief of staff in 2023, Johnson worked as the director of operations for NAWCWD’s Weapons & Warfare Systems Test Department, where she was responsible to the department director for setting and managing department-wide priorities, implementing strategic initiatives, and overseeing department business operations activities. 

 

Download biography

Harlan Kooima

Director, Research and Development Group

Harlan Kooima is the Research and Development Group director at Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division. He has more than 35 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.

 

Download biography

 

Thomas C. Dowd

Director, Ranges & Targets Operations, Instrumentation and Labs Group

 

Thomas Dowd currently serves as the Director for Ranges/Target Operations, Instrumentation & Labs at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) within the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR).  Mr. Dowd assumed this role in January of 2020.  In this capacity he oversees the ranges at Point Mugu and China Lake, Calif., along with the targets and threat systems and weapons instrumentation engineering and operations departments.

Dowd was accepted into the Senior Executive Service (SES) in November 2014 as NAVAIR’s national Range Director.  In this role he was responsible for the ranges at Patuxent River, Md., Point Mugu and China Lake, Calif., as well as the air vehicle modification and instrumentation engineering group located at all three sites.

He began his Navy civilian career in 1988 as an aerospace engineer with the Point Mugu Missile Test Center after graduating from Boston University with a bachelor’s of science degree in aerospace engineering.  He worked for 5 years as a flight test engineer performing test and evaluation of Navy cruise missile systems such as the SLAM, Harpoon and Penguin missiles. 

Dowd worked for 9 years in various positions in the Airborne Threat Simulation Division on the exploitation and hardware simulation of foreign threat electronic warfare systems.  The simulators that the Airborne Threat Simulation Organization (ATSO) produced are used for Test & Evaluation of Navy, Army and Air Force platform radar and missile seeker systems. 

From 2001-2003, Dowd worked in the NAVAIR Network Centric Warfare Office at Patuxent River, Md. 

After returning to Point Mugu in 2003 and completing his master’s of business administration degree at Pepperdine University in 2005, he served for 8 years as the Threat & Target Systems Department Head prior to entering the Senior Executive Service.

Dowd is a recipient of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award.

 

Download biography

Patrick Schuett

Director, Airwing Integration and Interoperability /

Electronic Warfare Effects Group

Patrick Schuett serves as the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division director of Air Wing Integration and Interoperability/Electronic Warfare Effects, where he is responsible for the overall execution of products and services across a broad portfolio of tactical air and electronic warfare weapon systems acquisition programs. He entered the Senior Executive Service in February 2022 and has over 20 years of naval aviation acquisition experience spanning the life cycle of manned, unmanned, and weapon system programs.

He began his career at the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division as a flight test engineer conducting loads, flutter, flight control, and flying qualities testing of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the F-35B/C Lightning II. Schuett became the deputy chief airworthiness engineer supporting F-35 developmental test, leading first flight reviews, managing aircraft operating limitations, and maturing the F-35 flight manual. 

In 2011, Schuett transferred to NAWCWD, serving first as the technical director for Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 30 and then technical director of Naval Test Wing Pacific. He provided strategic guidance to the test squadrons in operating, testing, and evaluating manned and unmanned aircraft and weapon systems. Schuett was chosen to be the deputy director of Integrated Systems Engineering, Evaluation and Test Department, leading a national organization in identifying program critical test elements, designing experiments, developing and executing test programs, and analyzing data. In March 2020, Schuett was selected to a Department of the Navy Senior Scientist and Technical Manager position. He served as the NAWCWD director of Software and Mission Systems Integration, leading a 650-person team to acquire, develop, and sustain software solutions on weapon and warfare systems.

Schuett earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Illinois and a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland. He is a graduate of the United States Naval Test Pilot School (Class 131) and recipient of numerous awards including the Department of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award and NAVAIR award for Outstanding Contributions to Naval Aviation Flight Test Experimentation.

 

Download Biography

 

 

 

Jason Cushing

Director, Targeting and Kinetic Effects Group

Jason Cushing, a native of Salt Lake City, Utah, serves as the director for the Targeting and Kinetic Effects Group at Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division. He has over 24 years of experience in modeling and simulation, systems integration, live, virtual, constructive training systems and advanced weapons development.

Cushing began his career at NAWCWD in 1999 as a weapons lethality analyst. In July 2007, he accepted a two-year assignment at the Pentagon, serving on the Staff of the Chief of Naval Operations under the Director of Air Warfare as the Anti-Radiation Missiles and Strike Weapons requirements officer.

In July 2009, Cushing returned to NAWCWD as deputy lead for the Horizontal Integration Capabilities Assessment Process Integrated Product Team, where he spearheaded HICAP IPT efforts to develop products to identify capability gaps across various mission areas and within the naval aviation portfolio.

In October 2012, Cushing became the chief engineer for the Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile Technical Project Office and then as the director for the Anti-Radiation Missile TPO in April 2015. He led teams providing technical support to develop, test, field, and sustain advanced weapons capabilities. Cushing became the director for Weapons in NAWCWD’s Weapons & Energetics Department in August 2018.

In June 2020, Cushing became technical director at the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center in Fallon, Nevada. He was the senior technical advisor to the NAWDC commander. He led NAWDC's efforts to create an advanced LVC environment and managed all requirements and capabilities for the Fallon Range Training Complex.

Upon returning to NAWCWD in August 2022, Cushing assumed duties as the Director of the Weapons & Energetics Department prior to his appointment to the Senior Executive Service in November 2023.

Cushing graduated from Texas A&M University in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering. He completed a master's degree in Systems Engineering Management from the Naval Postgraduate School in 2006. He is a recipient of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award and a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute.

 

Download bio

 

Rear Admiral Keith Hash

Commander, NAWCWD

Rear Adm. Keith A. Hash is a native of Garland, Texas. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering. He graduated from the United States Naval Test Pilot School Cooperative Program with a Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Hash is also a graduate of the Carrier Airborne Early Warning Weapons School (CAEWWS), the Naval War College, and the Defense Systems Management College.

Hash served operationally as an E-2C naval flight officer in Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121 deploying aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74); VAW-125 deploying aboard USS Eisenhower (CVN 69); and VAW-123 deploying twice as executive officer and commanding officer aboard USS Enterprise (CVN 65). During these tours, he participated in Caribbean counter-narcotics operations and in Operations Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and New Dawn.

His previous shore assignments include Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 20 in Patuxent River, Maryland, as a project officer leading developmental test programs for the E-2C Hawkeye 2000 aircraft; Commander Naval Air Forces, Atlantic, serving as the E-2 and C-2 class desk officer, under the Director of Aircraft Material and Engineering; and E-2/C-2 Airborne Tactical Data System Program Office (PMA-231) under Program Executive Office for Tactical Aircraft serving as the deputy program manager for development and production, leading the E-2D program to initial operational capability and first deployment.

His program management assignments include program manager for PMA-231, which was renamed E-2/C-2 Airborne Command & Control Systems program during his tenure; director of global sustainment for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office performing the duties of the product support manager; and program manager of the Mission Integration and Special Programs Office (PMA-298) under Commander, Naval Air Systems Command.

Hash has accumulated over 3,000 flight hours in 18 different aircraft types. His personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Air Medal (two Strike/Flight awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.  He was also recognized as the USNTPS Outstanding Student for Class 121.

 

Download biography

 

Daniel Carreño

Executive Director

 

Daniel Carreño is the executive director for Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division.

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.

 

Download biography

Capt. Jon Rugg

Vice Commander, NAWCWD

 

Captain Jon Rugg is a native of Ohio. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from The Ohio State University, a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, and a Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology from Biola University. He was commissioned through the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps in March 1994 and was designated Aviation Maintenance Duty Officer.

Upon completing his initial training, Rugg was permanently assigned to Patrol Squadron (VP) 4 at Naval Air Station Barber’s Point, Hawaii, where he served in various branch officer positions. He deployed to Misawa, Japan, and Manama, Bahrain, where he served as the detachment maintenance officer and coordinated the first armed P-3C detachment to Doha, Qatar.

While stationed at NAS Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, he was assigned to the Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department, serving as the Avionics Division officer, production control officer, and assistant aircraft maintenance officer

In April 2002, Rugg transitioned to the reserve component and has since served in various leadership roles including three command tours, two executive officer tours, and three officer-in-charge positions. He has been attached to the Naval Air Systems Command Reserve Program since January 2009, when he was selected to join Forward Deployed Combat Repair Detachment A at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. He mobilized in August 2010 to serve as Fleet Readiness Center Western Pacific Detachment Afghanistan OIC at Camp Leatherneck in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, with the 3rd Marine Air Wing.

Since demobilizing, Rugg has served as the executive officer and commanding officer for Navy Reserve Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, OIC for NR In-Service Engineering & Logistics Detachment Bravo, and mission lead for NR Rapid Research & Development, NR NAWCWD, and NR Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division.

In his civilian capacity, Rugg owned and operated three restaurant franchises prior to mobilizing for Operation Enduring Freedom. More recently, Rugg was a psychologist at the VA Loma Linda Healthcare System. He took over his current, active duty position as the vice commander for NAWCWD in April 2024.

Rugg is authorized to wear the Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medals, and Navy Achievement Medals.

CMDCM Kenneth Smart

Command Master Chief, NAWCWD

 

Command Master Chief Kenneth Smart was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and raised in Lakeside, California. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in April 1997 and completed Basic Training at Naval Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, Illinois. He then reported to the Naval Air Technical Training Center in Pensacola, Florida, where he graduated from Aviation Structural Mechanic “A” school.

Smart served onboard the USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) as a rated Aviation Aircraft Mechanic Hydraulics from October 1997 to June 2001, where he quickly qualified as an F/A-18 Servo-cylinder Test Station technician performing intermediate repair of F/A-18 components. He supported a homeport change to Japan in 1998, participated in two deployments and earned both his Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist and Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist warfare pins.

His other fleet assignments include the “Stingers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 113, the “Golden Dragons” of VFA-192, and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 as the Air Wing Flight Deck Coordinator, embarked onboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).

Smart completed shore assignments with Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department at Naval Air Station North Island, California, and with the “Dust Devils” of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 31 in China Lake, California, where he assumed the duties as a Contract Oversight Representative qualifying Safe for Flight in support of 20 uniquely configured test and evaluation F/A-18A-G aircraft and transitioned the EA-18G from the Advanced Weapons Laboratory to contractor maintenance.

Smart’s transition into the Command Senior Chief Program began when he was hand-picked to establish the pre-detachment squadron “Grim Reapers” of VFA-101 to prepare Naval Air Station Lemoore for the arrival of the Navy’s 5th Generation fighter. He was selected as the Command Senior Chief and was instrumental in reactivating VFA-125, which is the first west-coast based Fleet Replacement Squadron for the F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.

He was promoted to Master Chief in 2019 and was selected for his post-tour CMC command at the “Stingers” of VFA-113. He joined Fleet Readiness Center West in March 2021, and in April 2023, he became the Command Master Chief of Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division.

Smart is a graduate of the U.S. Navy Senior Enlisted Academy (Class 207, Orange), and the CMC/COB Course (Class 188) at the Command Leadership schools in Newport, Rhode Island.

His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (eight awards), and various unit and campaign awards.

 

Download biography

Genesis Johnson

Chief of Staff
 

Genesis Johnson serves as the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division Chief of Staff. A native of Ridgecrest, California, she received her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations with a minor in Political Science from California State University, Chico in 2001 and a Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies from Wheaton College, Illinois in 2005.

Johnson joined NAWCWD in 1999 as a contractor support member of the F/A-18 & EA-18G Integrated Product Team’s Configuration Management Team and joined civil service in 2007 through NAWCWD’s Business Professional Intern program. In 2008, Johnson accepted an assignment as a program analyst for the International Technology Cooperation Office (ITCO) where she supported a variety of cooperative activities with several partner nations.

Following her time with the ITCO, Johnson conducted a two-year rotational assignment in Virginia with the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, International Cooperation Directorate as the International Programs manager for Southeast Asia and Singapore and Country Desk Support for the Republic of Korea. Upon her return to NAWCWD in 2013, she worked as the F/A-18 & EA-18G IPT’s International Cooperation lead for four years, during which time she was the U.S. project officer for multiple cooperative efforts between the U.S. and Australia.

Johnson continued supporting the IPT later on as a deputy block lead, and in 2018, she took on the role of International Programs lead for NAWCWD’s F-35 IPT while also acting as the associate investigator/project co-lead for NAWCWD’s Air Wing Integration & Interoperability Warfighter Imperative.

Prior to her selection as chief of staff in 2023, Johnson worked as the director of operations for NAWCWD’s Weapons & Warfare Systems Test Department, where she was responsible to the department director for setting and managing department-wide priorities, implementing strategic initiatives, and overseeing department business operations activities. 

 

Download biography

Harlan Kooima

Director, Research and Development Group

Harlan Kooima is the Research and Development Group director at Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division. He has more than 35 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.

 

Download biography

 

Thomas C. Dowd

Director, Ranges & Targets Operations, Instrumentation and Labs Group

 

Thomas Dowd currently serves as the Director for Ranges/Target Operations, Instrumentation & Labs at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) within the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR).  Mr. Dowd assumed this role in January of 2020.  In this capacity he oversees the ranges at Point Mugu and China Lake, Calif., along with the targets and threat systems and weapons instrumentation engineering and operations departments.

Dowd was accepted into the Senior Executive Service (SES) in November 2014 as NAVAIR’s national Range Director.  In this role he was responsible for the ranges at Patuxent River, Md., Point Mugu and China Lake, Calif., as well as the air vehicle modification and instrumentation engineering group located at all three sites.

He began his Navy civilian career in 1988 as an aerospace engineer with the Point Mugu Missile Test Center after graduating from Boston University with a bachelor’s of science degree in aerospace engineering.  He worked for 5 years as a flight test engineer performing test and evaluation of Navy cruise missile systems such as the SLAM, Harpoon and Penguin missiles. 

Dowd worked for 9 years in various positions in the Airborne Threat Simulation Division on the exploitation and hardware simulation of foreign threat electronic warfare systems.  The simulators that the Airborne Threat Simulation Organization (ATSO) produced are used for Test & Evaluation of Navy, Army and Air Force platform radar and missile seeker systems. 

From 2001-2003, Dowd worked in the NAVAIR Network Centric Warfare Office at Patuxent River, Md. 

After returning to Point Mugu in 2003 and completing his master’s of business administration degree at Pepperdine University in 2005, he served for 8 years as the Threat & Target Systems Department Head prior to entering the Senior Executive Service.

Dowd is a recipient of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award.

 

Download biography

Patrick Schuett

Director, Airwing Integration and Interoperability /

Electronic Warfare Effects Group

Patrick Schuett serves as the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division director of Air Wing Integration and Interoperability/Electronic Warfare Effects, where he is responsible for the overall execution of products and services across a broad portfolio of tactical air and electronic warfare weapon systems acquisition programs. He entered the Senior Executive Service in February 2022 and has over 20 years of naval aviation acquisition experience spanning the life cycle of manned, unmanned, and weapon system programs.

He began his career at the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division as a flight test engineer conducting loads, flutter, flight control, and flying qualities testing of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the F-35B/C Lightning II. Schuett became the deputy chief airworthiness engineer supporting F-35 developmental test, leading first flight reviews, managing aircraft operating limitations, and maturing the F-35 flight manual. 

In 2011, Schuett transferred to NAWCWD, serving first as the technical director for Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 30 and then technical director of Naval Test Wing Pacific. He provided strategic guidance to the test squadrons in operating, testing, and evaluating manned and unmanned aircraft and weapon systems. Schuett was chosen to be the deputy director of Integrated Systems Engineering, Evaluation and Test Department, leading a national organization in identifying program critical test elements, designing experiments, developing and executing test programs, and analyzing data. In March 2020, Schuett was selected to a Department of the Navy Senior Scientist and Technical Manager position. He served as the NAWCWD director of Software and Mission Systems Integration, leading a 650-person team to acquire, develop, and sustain software solutions on weapon and warfare systems.

Schuett earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Illinois and a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland. He is a graduate of the United States Naval Test Pilot School (Class 131) and recipient of numerous awards including the Department of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award and NAVAIR award for Outstanding Contributions to Naval Aviation Flight Test Experimentation.

 

Download Biography

 

 

 

Jason Cushing

Director, Targeting and Kinetic Effects Group

Jason Cushing, a native of Salt Lake City, Utah, serves as the director for the Targeting and Kinetic Effects Group at Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division. He has over 24 years of experience in modeling and simulation, systems integration, live, virtual, constructive training systems and advanced weapons development.

Cushing began his career at NAWCWD in 1999 as a weapons lethality analyst. In July 2007, he accepted a two-year assignment at the Pentagon, serving on the Staff of the Chief of Naval Operations under the Director of Air Warfare as the Anti-Radiation Missiles and Strike Weapons requirements officer.

In July 2009, Cushing returned to NAWCWD as deputy lead for the Horizontal Integration Capabilities Assessment Process Integrated Product Team, where he spearheaded HICAP IPT efforts to develop products to identify capability gaps across various mission areas and within the naval aviation portfolio.

In October 2012, Cushing became the chief engineer for the Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile Technical Project Office and then as the director for the Anti-Radiation Missile TPO in April 2015. He led teams providing technical support to develop, test, field, and sustain advanced weapons capabilities. Cushing became the director for Weapons in NAWCWD’s Weapons & Energetics Department in August 2018.

In June 2020, Cushing became technical director at the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center in Fallon, Nevada. He was the senior technical advisor to the NAWDC commander. He led NAWDC's efforts to create an advanced LVC environment and managed all requirements and capabilities for the Fallon Range Training Complex.

Upon returning to NAWCWD in August 2022, Cushing assumed duties as the Director of the Weapons & Energetics Department prior to his appointment to the Senior Executive Service in November 2023.

Cushing graduated from Texas A&M University in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering. He completed a master's degree in Systems Engineering Management from the Naval Postgraduate School in 2006. He is a recipient of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award and a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute.

 

Download bio