Rear Adm. Douglas Small relieved Rear Adm. Jon Hill as Program Executive Officer for Integrated Warfare System (PEO IWS) last week in a Washington Navy Yard ceremony.
Small served as the major program manager for above water sensors at PEO IWS, putting him in charge of programs like the Air and Missile Defense Radar, the Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program and other radars and EW systems. In 2015 he was assigned to serve as executive assistant for the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition (ASN RDA), according to a Navy news release.
In addition to leading acquisition at PEO IWS, he has also been assigned to acquisition tours at the Missile Defense Agency and at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division. During Operation Desert Storm he was the first technical director for Joint Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare (CREW) Composite Squadron One, directed to defeat these roadside bombs in the combat zone.
Hill has served as PEO IWS since July 2014 and worked as Aegis Combat System major program manager and then director for cruiser and destroyer combat systems at the PEO before that. He will now move to MDA and serve as deputy director there, where he previously worked as technical director for Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD).
Vice Adm. Tom Moore, commander of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), said at the ceremony that Hill oversaw 124 major weapons programs and a $5-billion annual budget as PEO, and praised him for “delivering sea power into the hands of our Sailors so they can go defend themselves and take the fight to the enemy.”
ASN RDA Sean Stackley, who serves as the Navy’s top acquisition official, said Hill had “a keen eye on affordability. making technical excellence the norm, and building toward greater commonality in our warfare systems.”
Hill, whose motto was “sea power to the hands of our sailors,” did just that in his two-plus years on the job. He oversaw testing, deployment and certification of the Aegis Baseline 9, which serves as the base of the Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA) kill chain and for Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) and Aegis Ashore capabilities around the globe. He delivered more than 200 Standard Missile 6’s to the fleet and completed initial test and evaluation of the AN/SLQ-32(V)6 electronic warfare suit that goes on five types of surface combatants. And he found creative ways to rapidly solve emerging threats, such as diverting the delivery of SeaRAM systems meant for the Littoral Combat Ship and instead engineering a way to integrate the system onto an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer to meet a particular missile threat in the Mediterranean.
Hill also guided PEO IWS through an effort to combat growing global guided-missile threats with a surface navy combat power plan that would include a netted kill web, theater anti-submarine warfare needs, hypersonic missile defense, energy weapons and more.
At the ceremony, Small thanked Hill for “his vision [which] set our Navy on a path to an awesome future. … I am deeply humbled by the opportunity to carry on [his] work.”