An impressive career including two years with the Dept. of the Air Force Detachment 3, Las Vegas, Nevada area – – former Vice Wing Commander (Area 51)



(Click both above for enlargement)
(Photo taken from an airliner flying along the western edge of restricted airspace, showing the location of Nevada National Security Site (Nevada Test Site) in relation to Groom Mine, Groom Lake, Papoose Lake and Yucca Lake. The UAV airstrip at Area 6 (Yucca Lake) is visible right in front. Photo credit Doc Searls/Flickr CC, via (Tyler Rogoway)
(Also, LinkedIn profile obtained by Gabriel)


This is what I call a truly impressive career:


Department of the Air Force Detachment 3
July 2013 – June 2015 (2 years)Las Vegas, Nevada Area

• Served as Second in Command to an Air Force Wing, responsible for managing three airfields, over 1,000 facilities, and $4 billion in test assets across 11 geographically separated sites that generated 19,000 aircraft flights annually.

• Led six operating divisions of 2,500 professionals with a $450 million annual budget to successfully conduct high-risk test programs in support of Department of Defense, Intelligence Community and National Command Authority priorities.

• Orchestrated more than 80 classified programs and 5,500 test hours for combat systems per year, including sensitive training and mission rehearsal by providing a flexible, realistic and multidimensional battle-space to conduct testing.

• Steered the National Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center of Excellence concept of operations across state and federal lines to minimize the impact to military flight training while providing the maximum opportunity for new start-ups.

• Collaborated across multiple government agencies to build a team that drove to the resolution of high visibility special use airspace incursions that prevented crippling closures to reduce in the realistic training needed by the U.S. Services.

• Built a sustainable $1 billion strategic plan to align long-term test and target infrastructure improvements with multiple government agencies’ priorities to meet future national requirements as they evolved into new technologies or tactics.

• Balanced care for the people with national security needs to create a strong sense of accomplishment and desire amongst the workers to achieve the mission while pushing the workforce to 6 days a week, 24 hours a day with a single shift.

• Led the entire organization successfully through its first ever detailed inspection by a Headquarters (HQ) staff of its daily processes and procedures to achieve the highest and only “Excellent” rating given by the HQ staff in that year.

And, presently:


F-35 Joint Program Office
July 2015 – Present (1 year 6 months)Washington D.C. Metro Area

Responsible for all aspects of flight and ground testing of the F-35A, F-35B and F-35C for the USAF, USN, USMC and Allied Partners during the System Development and Demonstration phase of the program.
Provides strategic direction, performing long-term test program planning, future years budgeting, and building and smoothing the relationships required to ensure the program works effectively given the natural tensions between the multiple Armed Services and Allied Partners priorities.

• Chosen by name to serve as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Director of Test with full accountability for day-to-day test and evaluation matters of the largest and most complex acquisition program ever undertaken by the Department of Defense.

• Leads $3 billion test and evaluation program spread across California, Maryland and Florida using 15 unique F-35 test aircraft and 1,400 government and contractor professionals to verifying the capability of the U.S.’s newest stealth fighter.

• Manages the safety, specification compliance, capability and configuration of two disparate hardware and three different software configurations across three different F-35 aircraft variants.

• Develops long-term plans for a $141 million dollar annual budget to recapitalize capital assets including eight test and evaluation aircraft and 14 lab facilities while ensuring program cost, schedule and performance goals are met efficiently.

• Initiated major change in the programs aircraft software acquisition strategy from a disastrous parallel development and schedule driven process to a serial development and event driven program in order to provide a quality product to the customer while still meeting timelines and delivering all promised capabilities.

His name is Charles Knofczynski.

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