Established in 1966, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) is the successor to the Navy’s Bureau of Naval Weapons. Headquartered in Patuxent River, MD, it is commanded by a Vice Admiral. Besides its headquarters, it also has personnel stationed in seven other U.S. locations and one overseas:

  1. Cherry Point, NC
  2. China Lake, CA
  3. Jacksonville, FL
  4. Lakehurst, NJ
  5. Orlando, FL
  6. Point Mugu, CA
  7. San Diego, CA
  8. Atsugi, Japan

Career opportunities normally fall into these major fields: defense systems, engineering, computer science, electronics, finance, logistics and contract management, along with several other minor fields.

What They Do

As a command, it delivers aviation life cycle support of naval aviation aircraft, weapons and associated systems. This support includes not only the research, design, development and engineering, but also the acquisition, test and evaluation, training facilities and equipment, repair and modification, along with in-service engineering and logistics support. The work NAVAIR does keeps  not only keeps Navy and Marine pilots, and on-board personnel operating these systems in the air, but also supports ground personnel so that they can do their part to keep aviation systems flying and operating.

For veterans with aviation systems experience, NAVAIR supports these five main products and the platforms within each product:

  • Fixed Wing – Citation, Hawkeyes, Prowler, Mercury, Goshawk, Pegasus, Turbomentor, Texan, Poseidon, Aries and Orion
  • Rotary Wing – Sea Ranger, Lakota, Osprey, Seahawk, Sea Dragon, King Stallion, Super Stallion, VH-3D and Viper
  • Weapons Systems – DoN LARICM, Sparrow, Sidewinder, Tomahawk, AAE/FC, CAD/PAD, Direct Attack Weapons, SALM-ER, Harpoon, Small Diameter Bomb Increment and Long Range Anti-Ship Missile
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles – UAS, Group 1 Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Blackjack, Stingray, Fire Scout, BAMS-D and Triton
  • Aviation Systems – TAMMAC, LPIA, CAS, CSIL, CNS/ATM, SAVA, eCASS, LVAC, STT, AN/ARC-210(V) Radio Communication System, Air ASW Systems and NACES

Federal Employee Benefits

As a component of the U.S. Navy, NAVAIR employs civilian personnel under the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) and consequently employees in this program enjoy a variety of benefits, including:

  • A 401K-type retirement savings plan called Thrift Savings Plan
  • A paid share of the cost of group health and life insurance
  • Additional options for employees like –
    • long-term care
    • disability
    • dental and vision insurance
    • flexible spending account option

As far as paid leave, FERS employees get 10 paid federal holidays, up to 13 sick days and a maximum of five weeks of vacation annually. And with prior military service, served time counts toward retirement and leave, thus putting you higher on the salary and benefits scale.

The Security Clearance Advantage

Because many of the jobs at NAVAIR require a security clearance, veterans whose security clearances are still valid are a hiring advantage when competing with non-security clearance holding applicants. Security clearances can be valid for up to two years after getting out depending on the last reinvestigation date.

Eligible veterans with a desire to still serve their country, do meaningful and rewarding work, and do it in a military-type environment that they are used to, would do well working a NAVAIR job. Serve your country again!

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Peter Suciu is a freelance writer who covers business technology and cyber security. He currently lives in Michigan and can be reached at petersuciu@gmail.com.