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NEWS | June 21, 2024

NSWC Dahlgren Division welcomes new commanding officer at change of command ceremony

By Diana Stefko, NSWCDD Corporate Communications

Continuing in the rich tradition of commemorating the change of command, saying farewell to one commanding officer and welcoming another, Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) held the ceremonious event June 21 along the Potomac River Test Range gun line.

NSWCDD senior leadership, personnel and loved ones gathered on a warm summer morning to welcome incoming Commanding Officer Capt. Joseph Oravec, bid farewell to Capt. Philip Mlynarski and celebrate Mlynarski’s exemplary naval career, giving emphasis to his outstanding achievements and contributions. Distinguished members from across Navy enterprises and local community officials were also in attendance.

Rear Adm. Thomas Dickinson, commander of Naval Surface Warfare Center and Naval Undersea Warfare Center, provided the opening remarks during the event. “It’s really great to be here at Dahlgren and celebrate Capt. Mlynarski’s career in service to our nation and recognize his tour as commanding officer of NSWC Dahlgren. It’s also exciting to welcome Capt. Oravec to the Dahlgren family as he assumes command,” said Dickinson.

He also reflected on Mlynarski’s contributions and impact to NSWCDD as well as the excellent work generated by leadership and the workforce. “We are blessed to have leaders like Capt. Mlynarski, who leads fearlessly with confidence and character and with an unwavering commitment to the Navy’s most valuable resource, people,” said Dickinson. “It’s awesome to see the Dahlgren workforce here today, as you are the engine under the hood of this national treasure. The work that is accomplished at NSWCDD is vital to our Nation’s defense.”


Mlynarski, who served as the 47th commanding officer at NSWCDD since April 29, 2022, commented on his time at Dahlgren. “I’ve had the honor of being part of this hard-charging team for over two years now and I’m still amazed everyday of the awesomeness that each of the Dahlgren and Dam Neck Activity teams bring to the fight,” Mlynarski said. “This command has mastered sharpening the tip of the spear, has the grit to meet any threat that is thrown our way and develops the future leaders of our Navy like no other. This command and Dam Neck Activity leads the way to ensure our Navy has no peers so that our Sailors have no fears.”

An East Chicago, Indiana native, Mlynarski earned a bachelor’s in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Purdue University and a master’s in aerospace engineering from Auburn University. Throughout his career, he has served in a multitude of leadership roles, assignments at sea and shore-based tours, including taking command of AEGIS Technical Representative in Moorestown, New Jersey prior to coming to NSWCDD.

Oravec is the 48th commanding officer at NSWCDD, which is considered the leading warfare center for research and development for cutting-edge technology within the Navy for over 100 years, and has the opportunity to impart his technical expertise, leadership and dedication to further drive critical mission success.

Prior to taking command at NSWCDD, Oravec served as the major program manager for the SM-3 Guided Missile Program, Sea-Based Weapon System Program Executive Office at Missile Defense Agency. He also served as the 28th commanding officer of NSWCDD DNA in Virginia Beach, Virginia, from June 27, 2019, until June 29, 2022, before turning over duties to Cmdr. Christina Carino.

Oravec earned a bachelor’s in political science and international affairs from Florida State University and a master’s in political science from the University of South Florida. He attended the Naval Postgraduate School, earning a master’s in systems engineering and analysis from the Wayne E. Meyer Institute.

“I’d like to thank all the Dahlgren folks for such a warm welcome and for your patience as I get up to speed on this massive portfolio with all this goodness that happens at Dahlgren every day,” said Oravec. “I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to work with leadership and the workforce. What we do here really does matter. We’re supporting the fleet every day and are here to do our jobs well and to win.”