Adam Johnston

Strike Planning and Execution Systems (PMA-281) at Naval Air Systems Command
Principal Deputy Program Manager
Precision Strike Technology Symposium (PSTS-21)

Adam Johnston is a 15-year member of the acquisition workforce, currently the Principal Deputy Program Manager for Strike Planning and Execution Systems (PMA-281) at Naval Air Systems Command. As the senior civilian at PMA-281, he is responsible for oversight of full-spectrum acquisition execution of multiple formal programs of record and several rapid prototyping projects, each emphasizing a different aspect of planning or managing air-delivered effects. Systems in the portfolio include the Naval Mission Planning Systems (NavMPS), the Theater Mission Planning Center (TMPC), and the Navy’s Common Control System (CCS) for unmanned platforms. PMA-281 is on the leading edge of innovative defense software acquisition, using Agile and DevSecOps software processes and environments to rapidly improve and transition capability to the warfighter, while also pursuing paths for novel software-defined capabilities that provide for increasing command, control and employment of unmanned, attritable, or kinetic systems. He is responsible for team oversight encompassing 280 military, civilian, and contractor personnel, executing approximately $290M of funds annually.

He most recently served as the Director of Strategic Planning and Initiatives for the Precision Strike Weapons Program Office (PMA-201). In that role, he provided the acquisition response to operational threats by leveraging technology injection at any applicable level of integration – defeating an adversary’s will to compete by innovating across the range of possible precision strike requirements and systems. A member of the Executive Leadership Team, he provided counsel to the PM and PDPM across the entire portfolio with obligation authority exceeding $11B across the FYDP. He personally managed a small team that landed multiple “strategic bet” projects for PMA-201, each with the potential to make generational changes in the way that the future Navy fights.

In other significant previous acquisition roles, he served on the MQ-4C Triton team, executing a major defense acquisition program under the Persistent Maritime Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program Office (PMA-262). As the culminating point of multiple roles spanning eight years in the office, he served as the Development Lead, guiding the program through a successful Operational Assessment and Milestone C in 2016, transitioning from the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase into the Production and Deployment phase. In previous work as a defense contractor (for a veteran-owned small business contractor support services company), he also accrued experience in business development and corporate management.

He is a veteran of the United States Navy, having served over 10 years of active duty as a Naval Aviator. He served as a qualified Mission Commander and Aircraft Commander in the P-3C Orion and also as a military Instructor Pilot in the C-12 (King Air 200). He is a graduate of Oxford University, and the United States Naval Academy. Originally hailing from Whittier, CA, he currently resides in Mechanicsville, MD with his wife, Keri, and children, Emma and James.