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Adair selected as NSWC Panama City technical director

By Katherine Mapp | NSWC PCD Public Affairs | Aug. 17, 2020

PANAMA CITY, Fla. —

Dr. Peter Adair was recently selected for a new role as the technical director at Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD).

In this role, Adair serves as the senior civilian at the command, which consists of more than 1,500 military and government civilians. NSWC PCD provides the Navy with mine warfare, naval special warfare, diving & life support, and amphibious and expeditionary maneuver warfare systems, and other missions in the littoral battlespace.

As a Panama City native, Adair recognized the strong ties the lab and local colleges have with the community at an early age through his father’s employment at the base and mother’s career at Gulf Coast College. 

“I knew the work the lab did was important to the local community and how many people were associated with it,” said Adair. “Growing up in Bay County, I took many field trips to the base and at an early age was exposed to the type of work that we do to support the Navy.”

Adair was involved in science fairs held at the base with lab volunteers serving as judges. Participating in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) activities sparked Adair’s interest early on to pursue a STEM career. Adair said he was always aware of the lab and followed his father’s example as he decided to pursue a position at Coastal Systems Station, now NSWC PCD in 1997.

“During my collegiate years, my father served as the division head for the Airborne Mine Countermeasures Division,” said Adair. “After earning my degree in electrical engineering and talking about potential careers with him, I had a better understanding of the impact I could make at the lab and was sold.”

Over the years, Adair held a plethora of roles and responsibilities within the organization and the U.S. Navy at large. Most recently, Adair served as the mine warfare director for the Naval Sea Systems Command Warfare Center Divisions, where he has been responsible for fleet engagement in the areas of littoral and mine warfare, including frequent collaboration across all 10 Divisions to provide the Navy and Marine Corps with important initiatives in mission analysis, wargaming, experimentation, and exercise support.

Adair reflects on the past 75 years and is proud of the work conducted in support of the warfighter within the lab and missions at NSWC PCD.

“We provide innovative capabilities for the Navy and Marine Corps to do their missions.  Whether it is removing mines from a minefield to allow unfettered warfighter access, expeditiously moving equipment and marines from ship to shore, providing critical communications in contested environments, or enabling divers and special operations to safely conduct their operations undersea, NSWC PCD has provided these capabilities for 75 years,” said Adair. “Moving forward, I want NSWC PCD to be relevant for the next 75 years as new threats emerge and the Navy counts on us to provide the new technologies and capabilities needed to maintain our competitive advantage.”

Adair is excited for his new role and is looking forward to working closely with the people of PCD and building a better future for the command.

“I’m looking forward to working with our leadership team and helping develop the next generation of leaders at PCD, working toward revitalizing our command facilities, rapidly delivering innovative capabilities to the warfighter, and creating a One Team approach throughout the business and technical departments as we have done across the 10 Warfare Centers,” said Adair. “I think that to truly achieve one of our strategic plan objectives of being a model organization, we need to focus on both business and technical excellence together. I want to work to provide everyone at the command with the resources and tools to get them to the next level of effectiveness and to be recognized for their critical contribution to our organization and the Navy.”

Adair states his keys to success he has learned throughout his career have been to surround yourself with a strong team, stick to your personal core beliefs, be open and inclusive to new ideas, and have a good sense of humor.