Dr. Kelly Hammett, a member of the Senior Executive Service, is the Director and Program Executive Officer (PEO) for the Space Rapid Capabilities Office (Space RCO), Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. As Space RCO’s senior acquisition officer, Dr. Hammett is responsible for and oversees space-based research, development and acquisition activities for classified space acquisition programs assigned to the Space RCO. In this position, Dr. Hammett serves as the principal advisor to the Secretary of the Air Force and the Chief of Space Operations, United States Space Force, for the rapid development and fielding of classified critical space capabilities for the United States Space Command and Space Force. In his PEO capacity, he is responsible for a robust portfolio of major acquisition programs providing operationally dominant space capabilities that strategically enhance the nation’s warfighting capabilities in the space domain.

Dr. Hammett entered the Air Force as a second lieutenant in 1988, receiving his commission through the ROTC program at the University of Oklahoma, Norman. His 20-year active-duty career spanned a variety of positions mainly focused on directed energy weapon system technology development and acquisition, and culminated after serving as the Director of Engineering for the $7 billion Airborne Laser Program. His civilian career started at Kirtland AFB where he served in various positions to include the Chief Engineer for the Directed Energy Directorate’s Optics Division and the Directed Energy Directorate’s Chief Engineer, where he led engineering and program management activities and provided technical oversight of more than 30 science and technology programs valued at over $300 million.

Dr. Hammett has published more than 14 technical papers in national and international journals and conference proceedings. He was directly responsible for the development and flight test of more than 10 first-of-their-kind, world-record setting directed energy technologies. He is a member of the Acquisition Corps and held multiple critical acquisition positions over the last 12 years. He is a Level III Space Professional, and previously commanded an operational space surveillance detachment. Throughout his career, he has led more than 30 successful field demonstrations of optical and directed energy technologies for space surveillance, missile defense, force protection, air superiority, and global precision attack mission needs.

Prior to his current assignment, Dr. Hammett was the Director, Directed Energy Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico. He was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in 2016.

1988 Bachelor of Science, Aerospace Engineering, University of Oklahoma, Norman
1991 Master of Science, Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
1997 Doctor of Philosophy, Optimal and Nonlinear Control and Estimation Theory, Air Force Institute of Technology, Dayton, Ohio

1. January 1989–August 1991, Student, Master of Student/Research Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
2. August 1991–September 1993, Ballistic Missile Engineer, National Air Intelligence Center, Wright- Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
3. September 1993–August 1994, Stability and Control Engineer, Wright Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
4. August 1994–July 1997, Doctoral Student, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
5. July 1997–July 2000, Chief, Test Operations and Analysis Branch, Optical Systems Surveillance System Program Office, Data Masked
6. July 2000–May 2003, Chief, Beam Control and Fire Control Branch, Airborne Laser System Program, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
7. May 2003–September 2005, Commander and Chief Engineer, Detachment 15, Air Force Research Laboratory, Maui, Hawaii
8. October 2005–July 2008, Chief, Adjunct Missions Division, Airborne Laser Program, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
9. July 2008–February 2009, Director of Engineering, Airborne Laser Program, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
10. February 2009–January 2012, Chief Engineer, Optics Division, Directed Energy Directorate, AFRL, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
11. January 2012–March 2016, Chief Engineer, Directed Energy Directorate, AFRL, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
12. March 2016–June 2022, Director, Directed Energy Directorate, AFRL, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
13. June 2022–present, Director, Space Rapid Capabilities Office, Kirtland AFB, N.M.

1988 Outstanding Senior and Distinguished Graduate, College of Engineering, Air Force Reserve Officer Training Program, University of Oklahoma, Norman
1993 Squadron Outstanding Graduate and Chief of Staff Flight, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1994 AFOSR Star Team Member
2001 Air Force Materiel Command Technical Management Team Award
2004 Air Force Research Laboratory Directed Energy Special Recognition Award
Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Research Laboratory Directed Energy Directorate Scientific and Technical Team of the Year

Tau Beta Pi
Sigma Gamma Tau
Fellow, Directed Energy Professional Society

(Current as of October 2022)