An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News
NEWS | March 21, 2023

Officer in Charge of Construction Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard to provide focused leadership, expertise in multi-billion-dollar recapitalization

By William Couch Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command HQ

Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Pacific commissioned its newest Echelon 4 command, Officer in Charge of Construction, Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard (OICC PHSNY) March 17 to execute a multi-billion-dollar construction effort here as part of the Navy’s Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program (SIOP).

Capt. Stephen Padhi became the first commanding officer of the OICC, leading a team that will grow to more than 140 people who will provide on-site construction oversight, accountability, technical and contracting authority over a once-in-a-generation recapitalization of PHNSY, including the historic replacement of Dry Dock 3, whose base contract for construction was awarded for $2.8 billion March 10.

“America is again at a crossroads for global influence and security in an era of strategic competition,” said Padhi. “The strength of generations of talent at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard will be reinforced by a revitalized, resilient infrastructure backbone to enable submarine maintenance and deployed presence in the face of our adversaries. With a dedicated command behind this monumental construction effort, we won’t settle for business-as-usual but will move at the speed of trust with all stakeholders to achieve all five dimensions of project success: schedule, cost, quality, safety, and ethics. Standing here at Pearl Harbor, we invoke our history of relying on ready shore infrastructure and shipyard capability to build a stronger fleet and prevail in the Pacific.”

The Navy is investing heavily in shipyard infrastructure for its nuclear-powered warships. The Navy established SIOP to increase throughput at the four public shipyards by updating their physical layout, upgrading and modernizing their dry docks, and replacing antiquated capital equipment with modern tools and technologies.

SIOP is a holistic investment plan that when fully executed will deliver required dry dock repairs and upgrades to support current and planned future classes of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines, optimize workflow within the shipyards through significant changes to their physical layout, and recapitalize industrial plant equipment with modern technology that will substantially increase productivity and safety.

On March 10, NAVFAC Pacific awarded a $2.8-billion task order to replace Dry Dock 3 at PHNSY. The planned five-year project will construct a graving dock, to be designated Dry Dock 5, in order to support PHNSY’s ability to continue serving the Navy decades into the future by maintaining and modernizing the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s nuclear-powered submarines.

“Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard is now the home of the largest construction contract award in NAVFAC history -- the construction of a new dry dock,” said NAVFAC Pacific Commander Rear Adm. Jeff Kilian. “Awarded just a week ago, this project took an incredible amount of work from across the NAVFAC enterprise -- and beyond NAVFAC -- to get through design and award. But although the award marked a significant milestone in the project, seeing the construction through to completion is another monumental effort. To get it right will not be easy, and that’s why we have this new OICC.”

Dry Dock 3 at PHNSY & IMF will become functionally obsolete once the Navy’s Los Angeles-class submarines are no longer in service. The dry dock, built in 1942, cannot service Virginia-class submarines or larger surface ships. The new Dry Dock 5 has been designed with the dimensions and capabilities to accommodate depot-level maintenance for all current and future planned attack submarines.

John Ornellas, PHNSY’s nuclear engineering and planning manager and the shipyard’s senior civilian, recognized the importance of the recapitalization effort and the partnership between the stakeholders involved.

“Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard has a deep history of responding to our nation’s defense and keeping the Navy’s fleet “Fit to Fight,” said Ornellas, referencing the shipyard’s motto. “The dry docks have allowed our shipyard to carry out critical maintenance for the fleet over the last century, including two world wars and a wide range of military missions. Today, I am excited to congratulate the OICC as they take charge of the mission overseeing the construction of our new dry dock. Due to its sheer magnitude, cost and complexity -- not to mention the significant impact to our maintenance capabilities -- this is an historic moment for the country, the Navy, and for Hawaii.”