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  • Global Military Communications

HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding promotes three to senior leadership team


HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division announced today the promotion of three seasoned leaders to the senior leadership team to fill the roles of upcoming retirements.


Rob Check will become vice president of in-service aircraft carrier programs; Thomasina Wright will assume the role of vice president of fleet support programs; and Les Smith will take over as vice president of Enterprise (CVN 80) and Doris Miller (CVN 81) aircraft carrier programs.


“To fill these critical roles, I am selecting leaders who embody the values of learning and continuous improvement and are committed to strengthening our operating system,” NNS President Jennifer Boykin said. “Purposeful development of our leadership pipeline has always been core to NNS, and these leaders reflect this commitment.”


Todd West, NNS vice president of in-service aircraft carrier (RCOH) programs; Gary Fuller, NNS vice president of fleet support programs; and Ron Murray, NNS vice president of quality, have announced plans to retire in the coming months.


“These three leaders began their careers in the 1980s, when shipbuilding and hiring was at an all-time high,” Boykin shared. “Their 113 years of combined shipyard experiences, knowledge and dedication leave a lasting impact on our team and business.”


To succeed West, Rob Check will become vice president of in-service aircraft carrier programs. Check is a second-generation shipbuilder who has worked in both the submarine and aircraft carrier construction programs. He most recently served as program director for the Virginia-class submarine program. Check has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from West Virginia University.


Thomasina Wright will become vice president of fleet support programs, succeeding Fuller. With a depth of experience across aircraft carrier programs, she most recently served as program director for the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH). Wright is a graduate of the Newport News Shipbuilding Apprentice School and has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Old Dominion University and an MBA from William & Mary.


Boykin also announced several additional senior leadership team changes when structuring the succession for Ron Murray. Julia Jones, vice president of manufacturing, will succeed Murray as vice president of quality. Brian Fields, vice president of Enterprise (CVN 80) and Doris Miller (CVN 81) aircraft carrier programs, will take over as vice president of manufacturing.


Les Smith will become the new vice president of Enterprise (CVN 80) and Doris Miller (CVN 81) aircraft carrier programs. A third generation shipbuilder, with experience on both Virginia-class submarine and Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier programs, Smith most recently served as program director for Enterprise (CVN 80) and Doris Miller (CVN 81). He has a bachelor’s degree in building construction from Virginia Tech.


The promotions will take effect July 1.


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