Spawar changes command

Rear Adm. Kenneth Slaght officially will take over command of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Friday, replacing Rear Adm. John Gauss, who will retire to the Washington, D.C., area.

Gauss assumed command of Spawar March 20, 1998. Slaght became Spawar's vice commander Sept. 14, 2000, after serving as the command's chief engineer and program manager for the Navy satellite communications program office.

One of Slaght's key challenges will be to manage the Information Technology Center, which Spawar took over from the Naval Reserve Force in November. He will have to help obtain more funding and integrate its systems with active-duty and Defense Department systems when possible.

Slaght also will take over the fleet implementation of the Navy's shipboard systems modernization program, called Information Technology for the 21st Century, which has an uncertain future as a separate entity.

Gauss has not yet publicly announced where his next job will be but said late last year he would consider taking over a start-up company with a small capitalization that had exclusively commercial customers.

Spawar is one of the Navy's three major acquisition commands and has an annual budget of more than $4.5 billion. Spawar operates four major systems centers in San Diego, New Orleans, Chesapeake, Va., and Charleston, S.C., employing about 8,000 people worldwide.

Spawar's mission is the development, acquisition and life cycle support of command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, information technology and space systems.

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