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Thomas J. Browning

Performing the Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Mission Capabilities


Thomas Browning Performs the Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Mission Capabilities under the authority of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. In this role, he directs an organization whose mission is to accelerate the development and integration of new technology to maintain United States’ technological superiority. His responsibilities include identifying, incubating, and transitioning technologies, systems, and system of systems that close time-critical gaps in high-priority, multi-component missions. He is focused on reducing technical risks, gaining Warfighter feedback about equipment to better inform operational requirements, and ensuring new capabilities meet mission needs, and are transitioned to operators in a timely and affordable manner.

Prior to assuming his current duties, Mr. Browning served as the Director of the Adaptive Capabilities Office, at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). In this role, he worked to develop architectural solutions that combined new technologies with new warfighting constructs to address critical National Security challenges. He worked closely with the Services and employed Department of Defense wide advanced research and development discoveries to enable joint lethality in contested environments. He served as the DARPA lead representative for two multi-organization efforts: Assault Breaker II Initiative and the Technology Development Working Group.

Mr. Browning is a 30-year United States Air Force veteran, retiring at the rank of colonel as Director of the Combat Air Force Special Access Programs Management Office – responsible for cradle-to-grave management and execution of a $25 billion portfolio. He also was the direct Special Access Program representative to six United States Air Force Major Command commanders. Prior to that, he accumulated over 3,500 hours across numerous assignments in the F-15A/B/C/D and T-38 aircraft and commanded at the Squadron and Group levels. He supported Headquarters North American Aerospace Command as Chief of Battle Management Operations and Executive Officer, performing duties as Commander’s Battle Staff Executive during the events of 9/11. He also served as Deputy Commander for all United States Air Force Forces in Iraq during the final year of OPERATION NEW DAWN.

Mr. Browning is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and holds a Master of Strategic Studies from the Air War College, a Master of Military Operational Art and Science from the Air Command and Staff College, and a Master of Aeronautical Science and Aerospace Management from Embry Riddle University.