NORFOLK NAVAL SHIPYARD, Portsmouth, Va. –
In a time-honored naval ceremony June 29, Capt. James “Jip” Mosman relieved Capt. Dianna Wolfson and assumed command of Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) as its 111th Shipyard Commander.
In the ceremony’s keynote address, Adm. James F. Caldwell, Jr., Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program Director, shared his thoughts on the historical significance of the shipyard as well as its impact on our Navy and nation. “This is ‘America’s Shipyard’, a title repeatedly and consistently earned,” he said. “The impact of Norfolk Naval Shipyard is historic, global, and profound. And, as we look forward to the future U.S. Fleet, this yard will need to continue to adapt to ever-changing demands. This shipyard’s crucial function to the past, present, and future fleet is why I love coming here.”
He continued, “You remind me of what Admiral Rickover said at the commissioning of USS Ohio; ‘the burdens of a strong defense are heavy, but those who wish the blessings of liberty must accept the fatigue of supporting it.’ Getting this right is about the people. Admiral Rickover said, ‘it’s the people, not the organization,’ that makes any of this possible. Every one of Norfolk Naval Shipyard’s numerous achievements were accomplished by its workforce of highly skilled Sailors and civilians. They are the backbone of its success. And this backbone needs great leaders, leaders like Capt. Wolfson and Capt. Mosman.”
During her remarks, Wolfson reflected on her time as commander of America’s Shipyard and the significance of its workforce. “As a workforce we have pushed ourselves and persevered further than we thought we were capable of. We have shown there is nothing that can make us fall when we have each other for support. There is no summit we can’t reach when we are lifting each other up,” she said. “I’ve often talked about the concept of One Mission, One Team – how it’s not a motto but a mindset. Thank you to the shipyard workforce for demonstrating that mindset every day. You have supported me. You have strengthened me. And having had multiple tours at America’s Shipyard, I can absolutely say you have shaped me. You are all so important to me – truly, you are national treasures – and it has been the greatest of honors to serve you. Know that you will always hold a special place in my heart and I will be your forever fan and advocate.”
Welcoming Mosman back to NNSY, she said, “For Captain Jip Mosman—they say, third time’s a charm – well, I believe it, as this is the third time I will have been relieved by you; and I am thankful, as your steady hand and heart for our people gives me great reassurance another of our nation’s shipyards will, again, be under your ever dependable and dedicated leadership.”
Mosman takes command during a pivotal period for NNSY as well as the naval enterprise. During Wolfson’s tenure, the shipyard welcomed more than 1,300 employees to America’s Shipyard, celebrated more than 3,000 high performing shipyard employees and tenant teams with Bravo Zulu awards, implemented its Strategic Framework that illustrates the shipyard’s path forward on achieving its vision for delivering the nation’s fleet on time, every time, everywhere to protect America, as well as excelled in its Intermediate Level Maintenance Program work.
Some of the shipyard’s achievements during Wolfson’s command include the off-yard carrier team completing all 23 Fleet Maintenance Aircraft Carrier Availabilities on-time as well as 65 emergent repairs and two voyage repairs early or on-time; the Fleet Maintenance Submarines (FMB) off-yard team completing five Continuous Maintenance Availabilities on-time or early as well as completing four emergent repairs and 18 voyage repairs early or on-time; the NNSY Apprentice Program recognized as the leading registered apprenticeship in its region within the Commonwealth of Virginia for 2022; and the shipyard successfully reducing its safety deficiencies backlog. In addition, NNSY began implementing the Naval Sustainment System – Shipyards (NSS-SY) initiative alongside other public shipyards, integrating commercial industry and government best practices into planning and executing maintenance availabilities. NSS-SY efforts helped return the USS Pasadena (SSN 752) to the fleet in Oct. 2021, months earlier than thought possible. It has since been implemented on other availabilities, including the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), and resulting in a 90 percent improvement rate on its delivery compared to past availabilities.
“The shipyard itself does not run on machines and gears and engines and fuel. The shipyard runs on people. With our hands, our minds, we make the shipyard run. It’s a priority for me that each and every one of you is always treated with respect and that you are valued for what you do and supported to be able to accomplish your trade or your profession to the best of your ability. And you have my commitment that I will focus on the people of this command and the environment that you work in. You deserve to come to work in a place that is safe and a place where you want to be and a place where you can be productive,” said Mosman. “I’ll tell you right now and I hope you recognize this, the shipyard needs you, the Fleet needs you, the Navy needs you and the nation needs you.
During the ceremony, Vice Adm. William J. Galinis, Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command, presented Wolfson with the Legion of Merit. Wolfson’s next assignment will be Fleet Maintenance Officer at U.S. Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, Virginia. The event was livestreamed on the NNSY Facebook page and can be viewed here:
NNSY, a field activity of the Naval Sea Systems Command, is one of the oldest, largest and most multifaceted facilities belonging to the U.S. Navy, specializing in repairing, overhauling and modernizing ships and submarines. It is the fourth largest employer in the Hampton Roads area with more than 10,000 civilians and an annual payroll of approximately $700 million.