PATUXENT RIVER, Md. — In a significant leadership transition at Naval Air Systems Command, the Navy’s Air Combat Electronics Program Office (PMA-209) bid farewell to Capt. Margaret “Maggie” Wilson welcomed Capt. Jarrod Hair as its new program manager during a change of command and retirement ceremony held on June 15 at Patuxent River.

A revered naval veteran, Capt. Wilson retired after more than 27 years of distinguished service. She transferred the leadership mantle to Capt. Hair most recently held the position of Chief of Staff to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Air and Ground Programs.

The Air Combat Electronics Program Office (PMA-209) changed command with Capt. Margaret “Maggie” Wilson turning over to Capt. Jarrod Hair in a ceremony held June 15 in Patuxent River. Hair, incoming PMA-209 program manager, delivers remarks as Wilson, left, and Program Executive Officer, Aviation Common Systems and Commercial Services, right, observe. Credit: U.S. Navy

In a tribute to Wilson’s leadership acumen, Program Executive Officer for Aviation Common Systems and Commercial Services (PEO(CS)), Robert Kimble, acknowledged her personnel-focused approach, her unwavering commitment to readiness, and her dedication to delivering capabilities to the warfighter as the key factors driving PMA-209’s mission accomplishment.

Kimble spoke highly of Wilson’s leadership style: “Maggie expertly built teams to successfully manage more than 250 in-service avionics programs that are critical to enabling warfighting capability across all NAVAIR platforms.”

Guest speaker Randolph White, deputy director for the Advanced Strategic Education Program at the U.S. Army War College, praised Wilson’s personal and professional acumen. Having known Wilson for nearly three decades, White extolled her analytical prowess and great leadership.

Wilson led a diverse team of more than 300 government and contractor personnel during her tenure as the PMA-209 program manager. Her team drove programmatic, technical, and acquisition efforts for state-of-the-art air combat electronics systems. It significantly contributed to advancing and improving open architecture implementation and interoperability.

She had previously spearheaded the NAVAIR Cyber Warfare Detachment as the military director, where she enhanced systems interference detection and deterrence, improved systems resilience, and pioneered cyber-smart acquisition. Wilson later served as the Ship Air Traffic Management deputy program manager for Naval Air Traffic Management Systems (PMA-213).

Wilson reflected on her time at PMA-209, stating, “What I found in my time in the acquisition is that what is foundational to making naval aviation work is not products, but rather the people who make it happen.”

Capt. Hair, a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, and Air Force Institute of Technology, is a veteran aviator with more than 2,400 flight hours in over 20 aircraft types and multiple combat missions to his credit. His leadership record includes positions of increasing responsibility in the H-60 Multi-Mission Helicopters Program Office (PMA-299), Persistent Maritime Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program Office (PMA-262), and Naval Air Traffic Management Systems (PMA-213).

Hair is poised to manage 14 active programs and over 250 in-service avionics systems at PMA-209 as the new program manager. Hair expressed enthusiasm about the new assignment, saying, “I look forward to working alongside such a great team that already has the determination and resolve we need to fight and win.”

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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