Tribute to Stuart O. Wittby Representative Stephen Knight
Posted on 2016-01-07
in the house of representatives
Thursday, January 7, 2016
Mr. KNIGHT. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in recognition of a man who
dedicated his life to the continued advancement of American aerospace.
Witt was born in Bakersfield, California and raised on the Scodie Ranch in the Kern River Valley. He graduated from Cal State Northridge in 1974, from the Naval Aviation Schools Command in 1976 and from the Naval Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN training) in 1980. He is also a 1996 graduate of the University of Maryland's Center for Creative Leadership.
Upon graduating college, Witt embarked on a storied military career in the Navy, where he spent time as an F-14 Tomcat pilot based on the U.S.S. John F. Kennedy and as an FA-18A Hornet project pilot at the Naval Air Warfare Center in China Lake, CA. After the Navy, Witt continued to fly professionally for nearly nine years as an engineering test pilot on the B-1B, F-16C and F-23. In 1993 he joined Computer Technology Associates, where he managed a $100-million contract as Executive Vice President.
Since 2002, Witt was CEO and General Manager of the Mojave Air & Space Port, which lies just outside of my district, where he was the defining factor in making that Port the crucial institution that it is today. In addition to his efforts at Mojave, Witt also served as the Chairman of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) from 2012-2014 where he worked tirelessly to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight and to bring about a 21st century space age for America.
I have worked with Stu on multiple occasions to develop legislation that would allow the commercial space industry to innovate and expand in the state of California, and can attest to his skills as a pioneer and leader. His legacy will be felt by space lovers, entrepreneurs, and explorers for generations.