Official websites use .mil
Secure .mil websites use HTTPS
By Diana Stefko, NSWCDD Corporate Communications
From an early age, Lt. Cmdr. (sel) Sasha Barnett knew she was destined to be part of something greater than herself. Her path would eventually lead to a successful career in the U.S. Navy, where she demonstrates her commitment and technical expertise every day on the job. Barnett was recently selected to the higher rank in recognition of all her professional accomplishments and contributions to furthering combat systems development.
After earning her bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from California Maritime Academy in 2014, Barnett’s naval journey began when she commissioned as a surface warfare officer with an engineering duty option.
She successfully completed two sea tours, serving the first tour from 2014-17 as the main propulsion officer aboard USS Hopper (DDG 70), homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
In early 2017, Barnett attended the Combat Systems Officer/Fire Control Officer Pipeline Course at the Surface Combat Systems Training Command AEGIS Training and Readiness Center at Dahlgren. Later that same year, she served in her second sea tour as the fire control officer aboard USS Higgins (DDG 76), homeported in San Diego, California.
While attending the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), Barnett was selected to participate in the inaugural year of the Meyer Scholar Program, named for the renowned “Father of AEGIS” retired Rear Adm. Wayne E. Meyer. She was one of six candidates in the program serving as plankowner and received acclaim from senior leadership for her technical capabilities in pioneering directed energy weapon systems.
She then earned a master’s in applied physics from NPS in 2021.
Soon after graduation, Barnett returned to the Dahlgren area to then be a part of NSWCDD, applying her leadership and talents in support of the Integrated Engagement Systems Department.
Barnett is continuously growing in her career while being at the forefront of the research, development and integration of warfare systems. “There is a phrase I refer to that states, ‘Start getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.’ I know I need to put myself in those uncomfortable situations so I can become a better public speaker, leader and technical expert,” she said. “In identifying those areas where I’m not as strong, I can look for a position or a volunteer effort where I can sharpen my skill sets and focus on developing those strengths.”
Barnett, an engineering duty officer, previously served as the console integrator for the High Energy Laser Integrated with Optical-dazzler and Surveillance (HELIOS) Program. She focused her duties on coordinating efforts between console subject matter experts within the Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS) and NSWCDD’s Strategic and Computing Systems Department. “It was a great experience being in that role within the program; having the opportunity to bring future capabilities to the warfighter and fleet as well as working with incredible teams,” Barnett stated.
Barnett was hand-selected to serve as the assistant program manager for the HELIOS Program, which supports PEO IWS 2.0 Above Water Sensors and Lasers. Her primary duties include managing cost, schedule and performance of the program.
“I’ve met many brilliant engineers and scientists,” said Barnett. “For me, it’s collaborating with these folks and the cross-departmental partnership that keeps me engaged, motivated and moving forward in my work.”
Barnett is looking forward to her next tour, where she will serve as the AEGIS test officer at the Southwest Regional Maintenance Center, overseeing testing of AEGIS modernization components that are currently being installed on Navy ships.
With her recent selection, Barnett is one step closer to fulfilling her professional aspirations. She sees herself working toward moving up through the ranks as well as growing her skillset and technical capabilities. “My larger goals are to either be the next major program manager or maybe become a commanding officer of a warfare center like NSWCDD,” Barnett said.
The Department of the Navy, NSWCDD Command, senior leadership and the entire Dahlgren workforce congratulate Lt. Cmdr. (select) Barnett on this distinguished achievement.