Capt. Thomas L. MacKenzie

Capt. Thomas L. MacKenzie ( )

Capt. Thomas L. MacKenzie, a retired career Navy officer who was a staff member of the House Armed Services Committee, died Sept. 27 at Alexandria Hospital in Alexandria, Va., of complications from a fall. The Alexandria resident was 65.

The son of a government worker and a homemaker, Thomas L. MacKenzie was born in Baltimore and raised in Overlea. He was a 1966 graduate of Calvert Hall College High School and earned a degree in aerospace engineering from the Naval Academy in 1970.

He later earned a master's degree in systems management from the University of Southern California.

After earning his wings in 1972, Captain MacKenzie was a flight instructor at Kingsville, Texas, where he flew A-4 Skyhawks.

From 1974 to 1984, he was stationed at Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach, Va., where he primarily flew F-14 Tomcats. During this time, he served in the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean aboard the aircraft carriers USS John F. Kennedy and Dwight D. Eisenhower.

In 1984, he was selected to be operational and training head at the newly established Naval Strike Warfare Center in Fallon, Nev.

In 1986, he was stationed at the naval air station in Miramar, Calif., where he held various command positions before being assigned as executive officer and finally squadron commander of The Sundowners, where he flew Tomcats.

By the time he ended his flying career in 1990, he had logged more than 4,500 hours and 830 carrier landings.

Captain MacKenzie joined the staff of the chief of naval operations in Washington and then the Naval Systems Command at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Southern Maryland. There he was director of warfare analysis and ended his career in 1999 as director of air-to-air weapons systems.

From 1999 to 2004, he was a staff member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee. In 2005, he went to work at Northrop Grumman Corp. as vice president in charge of Navy programs, where he remained until 2010, when he joined the staff of the House Armed Services Committee, from which he retired this year.

Services will be held at noon Saturday at Pierce Funeral Home, 9609 Center St., Manassas, Va.

He is survived by a son, Matthew MacKenzie of Andover, N.H.; a daughter, Rhonda Fowler of Bristow, Va.; a brother, Garth MacKenzie of Millersville; and six grandchildren. A marriage to the former Pamela Fleming ended in divorce.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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