Timmons retires after 50-plus years

Timmons retires after 50-plus yearsNAWCWD PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE — Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division honored Edwin Timmons for more than 50 years of federal service in China Lake with a flag-raising ceremony.

Timmons received a draft notice from the Army in 1968, but was able to enlist in the Navy instead. He served in Vietnam with Strike Squadron (VA) 95 aboard USS Coral Sea (CVB 43). Timmons supported multiple operations including the evacuations of Phenom Penh in Cambodia and Saigon, Vietnam.

In 1975, Timmons reported to Naval Air Facility China Lake, where he worked in the Quality Assurance Group before being asked to set up a team of aircraft sheet metal workers. After two and a half years at China Lake and 10 years in the Navy, Timmons headed back home to Oregon. A call from the NAWCWD Model Shop supervisor brought him back just a few months later.

As a DoD civilian, Timmons initially worked in the NAF China Lake sheet metal shop where he supported operational evaluations of the AV-8 and F-18 platforms. In 1985, he took a position in the Michelson Lab machine shop as a fabricator. There, he continued to support multiple welding and fabrication efforts and several specialized projects including laser and robotic welding.

He worked on the Mongoose flare dispenser, specialize FLIR transport trailers, and the pedestal supporting the AV-8 mounted near the Marine Aviation Detachment building in China Lake. According to his supervisor, Ron Pruitt, Timmons was also “instrumental in developing a prototype RAM concept weapon that was displayed during an air show in Paris.”

Earlier this year, during his 50-year length of service ceremony, Timmons, who worked in the Applied Manufacturing Technology Division building sleds for the Supersonic Naval Ordnance Research Track, said he was sticking around at least until his team recovered from the July 2019 earthquakes. After painstaking repairs that included brining a long-disused second track into service, tightening bolts every 50 inches along the tracks and modifying existing SNORT sleds, the SNORT successfully conducted consecutive, high-visibility program office tests in June. In July, they also supported a joint force mission using the newly reinstated track.

“Ed was innovative when it came to his craft as a fabricator and welder,” Pruitt said. “As a supervisor, it is hard when you lose someone with 50 years of knowledge and experience, but I am happy for Ed, and I am sure that he will find new ways to stay busy in his retirement years.”

And after a half-century of service, busy for Timmons will include hunting, fishing, and spending time with his family.

Pictured: Ed Timmons receives a flag flown in honor of his more than 50 years of federal service during a Sept. 17 ceremony in China Lake, California. — U.S. Navy photo by Ron Rodriguez

Story First Published: 2020-10-16