Venlet assumes command of Navair

Vice Adm. David Venlet assumed command today of the Naval Air Systems Command from Vice Adm. Walter Massenburg.

Before assuming command of Navair, Venlet was program executive officer for tactical air programs. He commanded the Naval Air Warfare Center's Weapons Division, where he was responsible for Navy weapons and systems research, development, testing and evaluation, and fleet support capabilities at China Lake and Point Mugu, Calif. He also was Navair assistant commander for test and evaluation and for shore installation management.

Fleet tours include Fighter Squadron 41 as an F-14 Tomcat radar intercept officer deployed on the USS Nimitz. He wears the Distinguished Flying Cross for action in VF-41. After redesignation as a Naval Aviator, he flew with VF-143 as an F-14 pilot deployed on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. He next served in Fleet Replacement Squadron VF-101 at Naval Air Station Oceana as a Tomcat instructor pilot and A-4 Skyhawk adversary pilot.

Venlet was a test pilot at the Naval Air Test Center, where he performed the first carrier landing of the T-45 Goshawk training aircraft on the USS John F Kennedy. He is a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.

Tours at Navair include the F/A-18 Hornet program office in various capacities, including assistant program manager for systems engineering and deputy program manager. He was also executive assistant to the Navair commander and served as the program manager for the AIM-9X Sidewinder development program.

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