Smith relieves Moton as head of the Navy's PEO USC

By Nick Wilson / June 5, 2023 at 12:41 PM

Capt. Kevin Smith has taken the helm as the head of the program executive office of unmanned and small combatants, replacing Rear Adm. Casey Moton during a June 1 ceremony, according to a Monday Navy announcement.

Smith, who previously served as the program manager for the Constellation-class frigate program, will now oversee the acquisition, maintenance and modernization of a variety platforms, from frigates and Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) to the Navy’s evolving portfolio of unmanned systems.

In February, Smith was nominated to the rank of Rear Admiral. His promotion awaits Senate approval as Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) maintains a blanket hold on military nominations and promotions over opposition to the Defense Department’s leave and travel policies for servicemembers seeking abortion services.

During Moton’s four-year tenure, PEO USC lead rapid experimentation and development efforts for unmanned capabilities including the Large Unmanned Surface Vessel and the Extra-Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicle. The office also began construction of the first frigate (FFG-62) and recently declared initial operational capability for the LCS mine countermeasures mission package.