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Pentagon nominates new JSF program head

written by australianaviation.com.au | March 19, 2010
Vice Adm David J Venlet receives his shoulder boards during his promotion ceremony in February 2007 from his wife and then Chief of Naval Operations Adm Mike Mullen.
Vice Adm David Venlet receives his shoulder boards during his promotion ceremony to Commander NAVAIR in February 2007 from his wife and then Chief of Naval Operations Adm Mike Mullen.

The US DoD has nominated Vice Admiral David Venlet to replace Maj Gen David Heinz as the head of the JSF Program Office (JPO).

A former F-14 radar intercept officer (RIO) and pilot, A-4 adversary pilot and test pilot, Venlet is a Distinguished Flying Cross recipient after shooting down a Libyan Su-22 in the 1980s. He is a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and the current head of the US Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR).

Maj Gen Heinz was removed from the position in early February due to program cost and schedule blowouts, and because US Defense Secretary Robert Gates wanted to upgrade the position to that of a 3-star officer.

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Vice Admiral Venlet’s nomination is subject to a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) and requires approval of the full Senate.

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