Vice Adm. David Dunaway was born in El Paso, Texas. After receiving his wings in April 1984, he served as a graduate flight instructor then went on to complete flight training in the F/A-18 Hornet. From 1986 to 1989 he flew with the "Vigilantes" of Strike Fighter Squadron 151 aboard the carrier USS Midway (CV 41) homeported in Yokosuka, Japan, and was then selected for Class 96 at the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Maryland.
Dunaway’s test assignments include: A-12 operational test director with Air and Test Evaluation Squadron (VX) 5; F/A-18 branch head; deputy for Test and Evaluation at the F/A-18 Weapon System Support Activity; and F/A-18E/F operational test director with VX-9, where he flew more than 200 developmental test missions and was the test pilot of the year.
His program management assignments include: F/A-18 Radar Integrated Product Team lead for Program Manager Air (PMA) 265, responsible for the development of the APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array radar; program manager for the Precision Strike Weapons program office (PMA-201); and deputy program executive officer for Air Anti-Submarine Warfare, Assault, and Special Mission Programs.
From September 2007 to January 2009, Dunaway served as the commander of the Naval Air Warfare Center (Weapons Division) at China Lake and Point Mugu, California, and as U.S. Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) assistant commander for Test and Evaluation. His next flag assignment was as commander, Operational Test and Evaluation Force in Norfolk, Virginia, where he served from January 2009 to August 2012. In September 2012, he assumed command of the Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, Maryland.
Dunaway is a class of 1982 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, a Master of Science in Aviation Systems Management from the University of Tennessee, and a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. His personal decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. He has accrued more than 2,900 flight hours and 290 arrested carrier landings.