Vice Admiral Dean Peters assumed responsibilities as Commander, Naval Air Systems Command in May 2018. He’s a 1985 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and earned post-graduate degrees in Aeronautical Engineering and Telecommunications; a graduate of the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, Class 102. After earning his wings as a naval aviator in 1986, he flew the SH-2F Seasprite in support of multiple detachments deployed to the North Atlantic, Persian Gulf and Gulf of Mexico, completing anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare and counter-narcotics operations embarked on four different ship classes. He served as detachment officer-in-charge aboard USS Thomas C. Hart (FF 1092). As commanding officer of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (HX) 21, the squadron accomplished over 11,000 flight test hours and was the 2006 recipient of the CNO Safety Award.
VADM Peters has served in numerous acquisition billets. From Nov. 2007 through July 2011, he served as program manager for the H-60 Helicopters Program Office (PMA-299), delivering over 150 helicopters, numerous upgrades, and supporting the first three carrier strike group deployments of the MH-60R and MH-60S Seahawks. From Aug. 2011 to July 2014, VADM commanded the Presidential Helicopters Program Office (PMA-274), leading the program through Milestone B and contract award for the Engineering and Manufacturing Development Program.
VADM flag assignments include commander, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division; assistant NAVAIR Commander for Research and Engineering; and program executive officer, Air Anti-Submarine Warfare, Assault and Special Mission Programs (PEO(A)).
Gary Kurtz, a Member of the Senior Executive Service, is the Program Executive Officer for Aviation Common Systems and Commercial Services, where he is responsible for the development, acquisition, delivery and sustainment of the Aviation Common Systems and Commercial Services portfolio in excess of $10 billion. Prior to his current assignment, he served as the assistant commander for acquisition for the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), Patuxent River, Maryland. In that role, from 2015 to 2019, Mr. Kurtz was responsible for the executive management of six aviation program offices and led NAVAIR’s national-level Program Management Competency, providing policy, business processes, tools and skilled professionals for programs across naval aviation.
Mr. Kurtz began his career in 1984 joining NAVAIR as a logistics manager for Navy Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programs. Supporting allied nations for the next 11 years, he became the product support team leader overseeing all fixed wing and rotary wing FMS programs. In 1995, Mr. Kurtz joined the F/A-18 program office (PMA-265) as the operations officer for F/A-18C/D operations. Two years later, he became the principal deputy program manager for the Naval Undergraduate Flight Training Systems program office (PMA-273), leading the acquisition of the U.S. Navy’s T-45 and T-6 programs. From 2001 to 2004, Mr. Kurtz led the delivery of all corporate service programs for the Naval Air Warfare Center, Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) as the director of Corporate Operations, and from 2004 to 2007 as NAVAIR’s deputy assistant commander for Corporate Operations.
In 2007, Mr. Kurtz was appointed to the Senior Executive Service as NAVAIR’s assistant commander for Corporate Operations. In this position until 2015, he was responsible for all command corporate services encompassing Command Administration, Congressional Liaison, Total Force Planning, Human Resources, Operational and Information Security, Public Affairs, Business Financial Management, and Infrastructure Business Operations, serving more than 26,000 civilian and military personnel. Mr. Kurtz holds a Master degree in Management from the Florida Institute of Technology and a Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Randall G. Walden, a member of the Senior Executive Service, is Director and Program Executive Officer for the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C. He directs selected study, development and fielding activities tasked directly by the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, the Secretary of the Air Force, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force and the Assistant Secretary for the Air Force for Acquisition. The Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office has been responsible for development and deployment of significant upgrades to the Integrated Air Defense System now operational around the National Capital Region and the launch and experimental operations of the X-37 Orbital Test Vehicle. Other responsibilities include technical integration of Department of Defense classified activities, and the representation of these activities to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Congress and the White House.
Mr. Walden graduated from Christopher Newport College, Newport News, Virginia, in 1982. He was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force the same year and served as a flight test engineer with Air Force Material Command at Edwards Air Force Base, California, Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Maryland., and Nellis AFB, Nevada. During his tours as a flight test engineer, Mr. Walden participated in the development, ground and flight-testing of numerous aerospace weapon systems. He holds a master non-rated aircrew badge.
Mr. Walden retired from active duty in 2002 with more than 20 years of military experience as an acquisition and technical professional. He was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in 2002, serving on the Air Staff as the Director for Information Dominance Programs, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Acquisition) and Director, Air Force Test and Evaluation, prior to his current position.
As Program Executive Officer for Command, Control, Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T), Brigadier General Robert M. Collins guides a workforce of more than 1,600 personnel who acquire, field and support the communications networks, radios, satellite systems and other hardware and software Soldiers require for information dominance on the battlefield. BG Collins took command of PEO C3T on June 1, 2020.
BG Collins comes to PEO C3T after serving as the PEO for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors (IEW&S) since May 2019. As the PEO IEW&S, he provided technical and managerial oversight of the development, acquisition, fielding, and life cycle support of the Army’s portfolio of intelligence; electronic warfare; cyber; integrated base defense; force protection; position, navigation, and timing; biometrics; and target acquisition programs.
BG Collins holds Masters Degrees from Webster University, Oklahoma University, and the National Defense University. He completed the Combined Arms Services Staff School and Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, as well as the Armor Officer Basic Course, Signal Branch Qualification, Signal Advanced Course, and Systems Automation Course. He is a graduate of Eisenhower School of Strategic Studies at Fort McNair, where he received a Master’s Degree in National Resource Strategy. BG Collins is a member of the Acquisition Corps and is Level III certified in Program Management.