Colonel David C. Walsh, USMC

United States Marine Corps
Program Manager, USMC Light/Attack Helicopter Program
NDIA Patuxent River Speaker Series

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Colonel David C. Walsh was commissioned by the Marine Corps in August 1992 through the Officer Candidates Course in Quantico, VA, after receiving his bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Virginia. Upon completion of the Basic School, he reported to Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, FL, for flight training and was designated a naval aviator in February 1995.

Colonel Walsh was trained as an AH-1W pilot and was assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HML/A) 167 at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River, NC. While at New River, he deployed with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), participating in Operation Guardian Retrieval (Congo) and Operation Noble Obelisk, the noncombatant evacuation of Sierra Leone. Upon his return to HML/A-167, he attended the Marine Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course at Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron (MAWTS) 1 and was assigned as the squadron tactics officer. During this tour, Colonel Walsh earned every qualification possible in the AH-1W and served in diverse billets including those in operations and maintenance.

Colonel Walsh transferred from HML/A-167 in July 2000 to attend the Amphibious Warfare School (AWS) in Quantico, VA. He completed AWS in June 2001 and was selected to attend the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School.

After graduating from Test Pilot School in June 2002, he was assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 31 at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, CA, where he served as the H-1 lead test pilot and Weapon System Support Activity military deputy. Colonel Walsh was the project lead for the Cobra Dos Operational Flight Program and led a team to Iraq and Afghanistan to install the modification and train all H-1 units on the new capabilities. He also participated in developmental flight testing of the H-1 Upgrades aircraft (AH-1Z and UH-1Y) and multiple other flight test programs.

In July 2005, Colonel Walsh was reassigned to Marine Aviation Detachment at NAS Patuxent River, MD, to serve as the H-1 USMC Light/Attack Helicopters (PMA-276) assistant program manager for Systems Engineering. In this billet, he led an engineering team of military and civilian personnel to support the H-1 Upgrades Program and the operational fleet of AH-1W and UH-1N aircraft.

In January 2008, he was assigned as the director of operations at Fleet Readiness Center East, MCAS Cherry Point, NC, where he managed depot-level maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft, engines and components, and supervised production flight test operations.

In June 2011, Colonel Walsh was assigned as the Specialized and Proven Aircraft (PMA-226) program manager. He was responsible for the management of the H-46 helicopter and T58 engine programs, U.S. Naval Test Pilot School and Naval Postgraduate School aircraft programs, as well as Foreign Military Sales cases for out-of-U.S. Navy inventory aircraft and systems.

Colonel Walsh returned to NAS Patuxent River, MD, in August 2014 and has served as the H-1 Foreign Military Sales Team Lead, as the USMC H-1 Platform Team Lead, and as Acting Director, Logistics Management Integration Department (AIR-6.6) at Naval Air Systems Command. Colonel Walsh is currently serving as the Program Manager, USMC Light/Attack Helicopter Program.

Colonel Walsh holds a Master of Science degree in technical management from Johns Hopkins University and is a graduate of USAF Air War College. He has earned Level III acquisition certifications in Program Management, Test and Evaluation and in Production, Quality and Manufacturing; and Level II certification in Engineering. Colonel Walsh has been Level II certified in International Affairs by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. He is a member of the Defense Acquisition Corps, the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and the Marine Corps Aviation Association. Colonel Walsh has accumulated more than 2,500 flight hours in more than 30 types of aircraft. His decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), the Navy Commendation Medal and various campaign and unit awards.