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NAVSEA bids farewell to retiring Executive Director Smerchansky

By Naval Sea Systems Command Office of Corporate Communication | Dec. 21, 2020

WASHINGTON -- The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) held a small retirement ceremony for its executive director, Mr. James Smerchansky, on the Washington Navy Yard, Dec. 18.

Smerchansky, who began his career at NAVSEA directly out of college, retired after more than 35 years of service in the Navy Department.

“On behalf of our entire NAVSEA and the entire One NAVSEA Team, which is the force behind fleet, we all would like to thank you for your unselfish service and for having our backs,“ said NAVSEA Commander Vice Adm. Bill Galinis. “Thank you for all you have done to support the NAVSEA team.”

Smerchansky served as NAVSEA’s Executive Director since December 2016, directly leading the 85,000 military personnel and civilians who design, build, maintain, and modernize the Navy’s ships and combat systems. A member of the Senior Executive Service since August 2006, Smerchansky served in a number of leadership positions including Director for Above Water Sensor and the Director of Technology Development and Transition in Program Executive Officer, Integrated Warfare Systems, Chief Engineer of the Marine Corps and Deputy Commander, Systems Engineering, Interoperability, Architectures and Technology, and as the Executive Director, Marine Corps Systems Command prior to reporting as NAVSEA’s executive director.

During the ceremony, Vice Adm. Galinis awarded Smerchansky the Department of the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award.

“To the women and men of the Naval Sea Systems Command, you are simply the best at what you do. No one can do what you do. It is a tremendous responsibility. If you do not do it, it does not get done,” said Smerchansky “You should have butterflies in your stomach everyday due to the magnitude of your job. But remember this, there is not a problem you cannot solve. I am convinced of it. I have seen it every day in the last 35 years.”

Ms. Giao Phan relieved Smerchansky as NAVSEA’s Executive Director. Phan has served in many ship acquisition and maintenance leadership positions within the United States Coast Guard and the United States Navy. She most recently served as NAVSEA Executive Director for Surface Ship Maintenance and Modernization (SEA21B) and Executive Director for NAVSEA’s Commander, Regional Maintenance Centers (CNRMC-B).

Smerchansky’s retirement ceremony can be viewed via streaming video on the NAVSEA Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/NAVSEA/videos/719105168728779

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