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Friday, December 19, 2014         

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Naval shipyard's commander to lead ship facility in Virginia

Rear Adm. (Select) Thomas has been praised for improving Pearl Harbor efficiency

By William Cole

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The commander of Pearl Harbor shipyard, selected to be an admiral after improving performance and efficiency here, has been tapped to replace a counterpart in Norfolk, Va., after that commander was relieved of his duties.

The Navy announced Thursday that Rear Adm. (Select) Gregory R. Thomas will be the next commander of Norfolk Naval Shipyard.

Capt. Brian Osgood has been named as the new commander of Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. The changes will occur this summer.

Thomas will be responsible for overseeing shipyard work on submarines, aircraft carriers and surface ships as Norfolk's 104th shipyard commander.

The Navy Times said Capt. William Kiestler, commanding officer of Norfolk Naval Shipyard for less than a year, was fired June 30.

Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy, commander of Naval Sea Systems Command, cited a loss of confidence in Kiestler's ability to command, Navy Times said.

Navy Times quoted the command's spokeswoman, Pat Dolan, as saying there was a "failure to ensure critical maintenance work was being performed according to procedure and loss of situational awareness with respect to the status of ongoing submarine projects."

As commander at Pearl Harbor, Thomas' achievements included improving efficiency to return ships and submarines to the fleet and developing a 25-year shipyard modernization plan.

Thomas was picked in 2007 to help turn around the shipyard's efficiency problems and prepare the way for new Virginia-class subs. Submarines represent 90 percent of the shipyard's work.

In 2005, Pearl Harbor shipyard barely escaped inclusion on a list of military facilities to be shuttered.

It is the largest industrial employer in the state, with a combined civilian and military work force of about 4,800 and an operating budget of $563 million.

Thomas was expected to be at Pearl Harbor into 2011.

Thomas "without a doubt earned his star for his leadership at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard," U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, said in March. "Whether it was preparing for the Virginia-class submarines or working on a capital improvement plan for the yard, Greg Thomas executed every task with diligence and distinction."

Osgood is currently serving as maritime readiness branch head on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations. He will become Pearl Harbor shipyard's 45th commander.

A native of Melbourne, Fla., Osgood has served in operational, engineering and maintenance positions. He was the main propulsion assistant aboard the submarine USS John C. Calhoun, an instructor at Naval Submarine Training Center Pacific and assistant program manager for plans, programs and resources in the Sea Systems Command's Undersea Warfare Directorate.

At Pearl Harbor, Osgood served as project superintendent for several submarine maintenance jobs from 2000 to 2003. More recently he served as operations officer from May 2006 to last August.






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