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NEWS | Aug. 11, 2023

Dickinson Assumes Command of NAVSEA Warfare Centers

By Naval Warfare Centers Public Affairs

Washington Navy Yard – Capt. Thomas J. Dickinson assumed command of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Warfare Centers during a ceremony on Aug. 11, 2023, at the Washington Navy Yard, relieving Rear Adm. Kevin P. Byrne, who retired after a 30-year naval career.

Dickinson previously served as principal military deputy and chief operating officer for Director, Surface Ship Maintenance, Modernization and Sustainment (SEA 21), and Commander, Navy Regional Maintenance Center. Byrne had served as Warfare Centers commander since April 20, 2020.

“Tom, I know you are the right officer for the job, and with the experience and dedication of the NAVSEA Warfare Centers team behind you, you are well-positioned to build on Kevin’s successes,” said NAVSEA Commander Vice Adm. William Galinis, who presided over the ceremony. “To you both, and your families, congratulations! I wish you nothing but continued success.”

The NAVSEA Warfare Centers execute research, development, test and evaluation efforts for the future Navy as well as provide in-service engineering and logistics support for the operational surface and submarine forces. With headquarters in Washington, D.C., and Newport, Rhode Island, the Warfare Centers are comprised of more than 29,000 scientists, engineers, technicians and support personnel, both civilian and active duty, at eight Surface Warfare Divisions and two Undersea Warfare Divisions across the country. They are led by a commander and an executive director, with Dr. Marty Irvine Jr. taking on the latter role in June.

Byrne thanked the Division technical directors who served on a rotating basis as acting executive director before Irvine’s selection, and wished both Irvine and Dickinson well in their new roles.

“I was often asked, ‘Do you like your job?’ I quickly had a response that I loved the job,” Byrne said. “And why did I love my job? It was the people and mission they were performing … never looking for the limelight, but rather executing their mission to support the Navy of today, tomorrow and the Navy after next.”

Dickinson, a native of Whitehall, Michigan, graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1995 with a bachelor of science in economics and earned a Master of Business Administration at the Naval Postgraduate School. His initial assignments at sea were aboard USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) as anti-submarine warfare officer, and USS Champion (MCM 4) as operations officer.

Dickinson served as executive officer of USS Barry (DDG 52) from May 2011 to November 2012 and assumed command of Barry from November 2012 to April 2014 – relieving Byrne, who led USS Barry from 2010 to 2012. During Dickinson’s command tour, USS Barry completed a nine-month Ballistic Missile Defense deployment in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and earned the Battle “E.”

Upon completion of command-at-sea, Dickinson was a Prospective Commanding Officer Course Instructor at the Naval Leadership and Ethics Command in Newport. In 2016, he became an acquisition professional in the surface community, serving in Program Executive Office, Integrated Warfare Systems 1.0 as the Fleet Introduction Program Manager for AEGIS Ashore. From October 2018 to July 2021, he served as the AEGIS BMD Weapon Systems Program Manager at the Missile Defense Agency in Dahlgren, Virginia, and from August 2021 to August 2022, he served as executive assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition.

In 2014, Dickinson was awarded the Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale Award for Inspirational Leadership. In 2020, he was the inaugural recipient of the Rear Admiral “Deak” Parsons Award for Program Management Excellence.

“It is my great honor and privilege to assume duties and responsibilities as commander of the NAVSEA Warfare Centers this morning,” Dickinson said. “Simply stated, the Warfare Centers provide a bridge between the technical community and the warfighter: We deliver readiness, capability, and capacity to our fleet. I look forward to teaming with Navy leadership and partners across DoD, industry and academia to successfully deliver on our highest priority programs,” he said. “Working together, I’m confident that we will maintain our position as the No. 1 Navy on this planet.”