NIWC Pacific Holds Change of Command and Retirement Ceremony > United States Navy > News Stories


As commander, McKenna will lead more than 5,200 civilian employees and military personnel worldwide to engage in information warfare missions for NIWC Pacific.

A native of Middleton, Wisconsin, McKenna’s naval career began in 2000 at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, at Cadet School. Since then, as an operational aviator he has logged over 3,000 flight hours and has held various leadership roles, including chief project officer and department head, USS Theodore, where he commanded the Roosevelt (CVN 71). I have fulfilled.

Prior to commanding NIWC Pacific, he served as Senior Assistant to Doug Small, Commander, Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR).

“The technology here is astounding and the capabilities we provide to the fleet are essential, but first and foremost it is the most awe-inspiring and the most inspiring to me as to what the next 36 months will bring. It’s the workforce here that excites me,” McKenna said. .

During the retirement portion of the ceremony, Small, the change-of-command master of ceremonies, thanked Gaynor for his leadership over the past six years, first as Enforcer and then as Commander. About what happens next in the race for strategic power. Capt. Gainer has been at the center of making sure that the constant sense of urgency associated with that competition is brought here every day. ”

Small presented Gaynor with the Legion of Merit Award for highly commendable conduct in performances of excellent service during the tour at the NIWC Pacific. In an award summary, Small highlighted his “significant positive impact” while leading the Navy’s largest Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (C4ISR), Cyber, and Space Warfare Center. bottom. Gaynor’s technical acumen, vision, and focused leadership have helped enable NIWC Pacific’s leading role in reshaping warfare for the 21st century. ”

Under his leadership, NIWC Pacific has managed over 600 technology projects and delivered over $8 billion in C4ISR, cyber and space capabilities to its fleet.

When Gaynor, from Bellingham, Washington, took the helm in May 2020, it was a socially distanced, limited-attendance ceremony early in the coronavirus pandemic. Today he retired after his 30 years of naval service surrounded by his family and friends.

“It’s important to see this career as a collaborative endeavor,” Gaynor said, highlighting the Center’s teams and initiatives that demonstrate the collaborative culture necessary to accomplish its mission. “Enhancing our culture is never ending. It’s his job 24/7,” says Gaynor. “And I’m proud of all the teams and activities that shine a light on how we are all interconnected.”

NIWC Pacific’s mission is to conduct research, development, engineering, and support of integrated command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, cyber, and space systems across all combat domains, with rapid prototyping. Create, test and evaluate. We also provide acquisition, installation and in-service engineering support.

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