2019 Wayne Willhite

It is with great pleasure that the Precision Strike Association presents the Richard H. Johnson Technical Achievement Award and the Johnson Trophy to Wayne Willhite. The Johnson Award recognizes outstanding personal technical achievement resulting in significant contribution to precision strike systems. The impact of Wayne’s many contributions extends across the precision strike community.   

Like Dick Johnson, for whom the award is named, Wayne has a background that includes a large number of precision strike systems. Wayne is recognized as a mentor who shares his insight, and in many cases, gives credit to others.

In particular, the award jury takes note of his contributions to Net Enabled Weapons (NEW) technology. NEW spans multiple launch platforms, targeting systems, and guided weapons. Wayne’s NEW contributions went beyond the program boundaries of NAVAIR to enable interoperability and open information exchange, ushering in dramatic new capabilities for operational forces.

From 1985 to 2018, Wayne served in various roles supporting the Navy’s precision engagement technology. He supported initiatives that spanned more than one contract or system, including data flow validation, image processing, and the operational validation of complex strike systems.

This work positioned him to be a leader in creating the J-11 message set and then in establishing other means to validate NEW systems as an open architecture. 

One criterion for the Johnson Trophy is recognition by other institutions. Wayne has been recognized with a number of awards and honors, including the Meritorious Civilian Service Award, NAVAIR Fellows, L.T.E. Thompson Award, and Michelson Laboratory Award.

As the result of these and other contributions, the Precision Strike Association is proud to name Wayne Willhite as the recipient of the eleventh annual Richard H. Johnson Technical Achievement Award and the 2019 Johnson Trophy.


October 23, 2019