CNO Visits Pax River, Engages Workforce to Shape Future of Naval Aviation

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday is briefed on the MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System during a tour of Naval Air Station Patuxent River. U.S. Navy / Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Raymond D. Diaz III

WASHINGTON — Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday and Mrs. Linda Gilday visited Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, Nov. 3, to meet with Sailors and civilians and see their work first-hand, the CNO’s public affairs office said in a Nov. 3 release. 

NAS Paxtuxent River, home to Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) headquarters, is known as “where the future of Naval Aviation begins.” 

“The men and women here are absolutely shaping the future of naval aviation,” said Gilday. “No doubt, focused investments in unmanned platforms and advanced technologies are what will ensure we stay ahead of great power competitors and others who seek to harm U.S. interests.” 

During the visit, CNO visited several NAWCAD labs, the MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system, met with students at the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School and presented awards to two Sailors for their recent actions. Gilday also met with NAVAIR and NAWCAD leadership as well as toured other facilities at the installation.   

“From their work with unmanned technology like Triton, to live, virtual, constructive trainers and cyber defense, it is clear what they are doing today will take the Navy far into tomorrow,” said Gilday. 

Mrs. Gilday also had the opportunity to discuss the challenges of getting childcare, including exceptional family members, and the status of privatized military housing improvements at NAS Pax River, with several spouses. 

“Taking care of our Sailors and their families is absolutely the Navy’s top priority,” she said. “Ensuring we understand issues that most affect them – childcare, housing and spouse employment – is vitally important to the strength of our Navy.” 

This was CNO Gilday’s first trip to Pax River since he assumed office in August 2019.