Tomahawk Weapons System Progam

The Tomahawk Weapons System Program Office (PMA-280) is responsible for the procurement, development, and sustainment of the Tomahawk weapons systems. Tomahawk is the U.S. Navy’s surface and subsurface launched, long-range, precision strike standoff weapon. PMA-280 leads all efforts surrounding Tomahawk All-Up Round (AUR), Weapons Control Systems (WCS), system of systems integration, fleet asset and control station management, and collaboration with the UK, our FMS partner.


Capt. John Red

Program Manager, Tomahawk Weapons System

Capt. Vernon “John” Red is the program manager for the Tomahawk Weapons System program office (PMA-280), headquartered in Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.

Red enlisted in February 1987, and graduated summa cum laude from Embry-Riddle University, College of Continued Education in March 1993 with a bachelor’s in professional aeronautics.  He subsequently reported to Officer Candidate School in  Pensacola, Florida, and was designated a naval flight officer in 1996.

Operational tours include his initial fleet tour with the “Screaming Eagles” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 1 at Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island where he qualified as a Navigator/Communicator, Tactical Coordinator (TACCO) and Mission Commander (MC).  His follow-on tour was with the “Wizards” of Patrol Unit (VPU) 2 at NAS Kāneʻohe Bay, Marine Corps Base Hawaii. He qualified as a Sensor Coordinator (SC) and MC while he accumulated more than 120 combat sorties in support of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom  He reported to the “World Watchers” of Fleet Reconnaissance Squadron (VQ) 1, as a department head and detachment Officer-in-Charge (OIC).  He served as the OIC of VQ detachments Southwest Asia and subsequently Southeast Asia, where he directed EP-3 sorties and flew combat missions supporting Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.

His staff tours include Commander Fleet Air Forces Keflavik (COMFAIRKEF) at NAS Keflavik Iceland as an operations watch officer in 2000, the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island in 2004, and Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing (CPRW) 10 as VQ training officer, and VQ Weapons and Tactics Unit (WTU) director in 2008.

He was selected as an aerospace engineering duty officer in 2008.  His NAVAIR assignments include integrated product team lead for Maritime Patrol & Reconnaissance Aircraft program office (PMA-290), developing the EP-3 mission management upgrade in 2010; deputy program manager for PMA-280 in 2012; and the military class desk for the Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) system and Precision Strike Weapons program office (PMA-201) in 2014.   In July 2017, he completed an assignment as executive assistant to Principal Military Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development, & Acquisition). He most recently served as the co-lead for Maritime Strike Tomahawk Rapid Deployment Capability within PMA-280.

0606040Red completed the systems engineering curriculum with Naval Post Graduate School and has a master’s in engineering systems.  He has accumulated more than 3,000 flight hours as a P-3 and EP-3 TACCO and MC.  His decorations include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), the Air Medal-Strike Flight (two awards), the Navy Commendation Medal (five awards, one with Combat V), the Navy Achievement Medal (four awards), and various unit and service awards.


47123 Buse Road, Bldg 2272, Rm 246
Patuxent River, MD 20670-1547
United States


Jamie Cosgrove