Rear Adm. Keith Hash salutes as he is piped aboard during a change of command ceremony in China Lake, California, on June 30. Hash relieved Rear Adm. Scott Dillon as Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division commander. (U.S. Navy photo by Ron Rodriguez)

Hash relieves Dillon as NAWCWD commander

Rear Adm. Keith “Brownie” Hash relieved Rear Adm. Scott “Marshal” Dillon as Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division commander in a ceremony at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California, on June 30.

Vice Adm. Carl Chebi, the ceremony’s guest speaker, highlighted Dillon’s 31 years of service, and also everything NAWCWD accomplished during the four years Dillon led the team.

“Congratulations on a tremendously successful tour, and thank you for your dedicated and faithful service to our Navy and our nation,” Chebi said. “As many people retire or change directions in their lives, they often wonder: ‘Did I make a difference? Did I perform to my fullest?’ Marshal, the answer to both these questions is a resounding yes!”

During Dillon’s tenure, NAWCWD accomplished a large number of complex, first-of-a-kind tests with critical warfighting implications, including support to F-35 and hypersonics programs. The team enacted the first-ever simultaneous presentation of four supersonic GQM-163A targets, the first live-fire of the Navy’s extended range Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile, and hundreds of other extremely complex events.

And all while dealing with two major earthquakes, wildfires, and a pandemic.

“Thank you for allowing me to be a member of a team that doesn’t just get the job done, but that understands that it’s how you do the work and it’s why you do the work that matter as well,” Dillon said.

Dillon is retiring after 31 years of service.

After formally relieving Dillon, Hash noted that taking command just before the Independence Day holiday was personally significant.

“I have been on this Navy journey since I raised my right hand on July 3, 1990, on the shores of the Severn” before beginning his studies at the Naval Academy. “It’s very meaningful to me to take command of NAWCWD just before another July 4th celebration.”

He went on to directly address the NAWCWD team.

“I am honored to become your commander today. As we watch the growing global competition, we must take on an even greater sense of urgency and deliver these outcomes with greater speed and efficiency. I look forward to the challenge before us, and I am confident this team will deliver.”

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, 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, VAW-125, and VAW-123. 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, where he served 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) where, as the deputy program manager for development and production, he led the E-2D program to initial operational capability and first deployment.

His program management assignments include program manager for PMA-231; 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).



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