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NEWS | Jan. 3, 2024


By Naval Sea Systems Command, Office of Corporate Communications

WASHINGTON – Vice Adm. James Downey assumed command of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) from Rear Adm. Thomas J. Anderson during a change-of-command ceremony, at the Washington Navy Yard, Jan. 3.  

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Lisa Franchetti was the presiding officer.

The CNO thanked Anderson for taking on the tremendous responsibility of leading NAVSEA - one of our oldest and largest systems commands - over these last four, very busy months.

Downey assumed leadership of NAVSEA as it’s 46th commander after most recently serving as Special Assistant to (ASN (RDA)).

Downey recognized teammates from across the command including NAVSEA headquarters, Naval Shipyards, Warfare Centers, Regional Maintenance Centers, and Supervisors of Shipbuilding and affiliated Program Executive Offices.

"Your [NAVSEA’s] mission is integral to the defense of the nation.  And every day you embrace the core tasks of: delivering ships to the warfighter, on time, ready for tasking, at an affordable cost; accelerating readiness with a sense of urgency; and strengthening technical expertise, while building more effective teams across the enterprise," said Downey.

Over the course of his 36-year career, Downey has served across all phases of ship design and shipbuilding.  In his recent assignment as Program Executive Officer, Aircraft Carriers from July 2019 to July 2023, he was responsible for acquisition and sustainment of the Navy’s nuclear-powered aircraft carrier program.  Prior NAVSEA Flag Officer leadership assignments include: commander, Navy Regional Maintenance Center and Naval Sea Systems Command's deputy commander for surface warfare.

“You [Downey] bring the exact type of professional experience and energy we need for the immense responsibility of leading this complex command,” said Franchetti.

Admiral Franchetti also commented on NAVSEA’s importance to the Navy.

“The reality is that all of our Navy’s warships are successful in their assigned missions because of the work done right here at NAVSEA,” said Franchetti. “And, this enterprise depends on the 88,000 Sailors and civilians who do it all behind the scenes.”

Downey added, “what does this mean for NAVSEA? It means we must deliver on our North Stars:  it means high availability of deployable warships. In the coming months, every component of NAVSEA will be fine-tuning their objectives and desired end-states to meet mission requirements. It also means we must deepen the strategic dialogue among warfighters and shipbuilding stakeholders.”