Rear Adm. Jeffery J. Kilian relieved Rear Adm. Dean A. VanderLey as Commander for Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Pacific during a change of command ceremony held July 22 at its headquarters on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.
NAVFAC Commander and Chief of Civil Engineers Rear Adm. John W. Korka delivered the keynote address, welcoming Kilian to his new command and presenting VanderLey with a Legion of Merit for his exceptional service.
Korka praised VanderLey for his leadership and accomplishments, and highlighted the pivotal role NAVFAC Pacific plays in the Indo-Pacific theater. He also thanked VanderLey’s family for the sacrifices they made while serving in the Pacific.
“It is important that we pause to say thank you to your commander for his outstanding performance while in command,” said Korka. “During his watch, Admiral VanderLey exhibited superb leadership, unmatched engineering and acquisition expertise, and an unrelenting commitment to mission success. As I look at what NAVFAC Pacific accomplished as a command and an individual, it is very obvious that the Navy had the right officer at the helm. I think it’s very clear that Admiral VanderLey was very engaged and laser focused on supporting the fleet and enabling mission success. Never satisfied with the status quo, he pushed the limits on personnel development, safety and talent management. Today, we publicly express our gratitude to you and to all the men and women of NAVFAC Pacific. The command has performed amazingly during times of enormous pressure and you have been there when our Navy needed you. Well done shipmate.”
VanderLey served as NAVFAC Pacific Commander from August 2021 to July 2022 and will serve as the next NAVFAC Commander and Chief of Civil Engineers in Washington D.C. beginning August 2022.
“Sincere thank you to NAVFAC Pacific,” said VanderLey. “You are an amazing group of professionals and it’s been my sincere honor to lead you this last year. What sets you apart is the teamwork and care for one another, the Ohana, and that is a major part of what makes the NAVFAC Pacific team successful. My only regret is that I didn’t have more time to get to know you better.”
Kilian assumes command of more than 9,000 military and civilian personnel across seven Echelon IV commands and public works and construction offices in over 40 locations across the Indo-Pacific theater. Kilian will also serve as the U.S. Pacific Fleet Civil Engineer.
“I want to ensure you that when the Navy selected Admiral Kilian for this new position, we knew exactly what we were doing,” said Korka. “He is no stranger to the NAVFAC business. He is an intelligent, passionate and committed leader who will take you to new heights. His experience has prepared him perfectly. This command and community are in strong capable hands.”
Kilian, a familiar face within the NAVFAC community, most recently served as Chief of Staff for NAVFAC Headquarters. He also served as the Commanding Officer of NAVFAC Europe Africa Central, Executive Officer at NAVFAC Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center, and Operations Officer at NAVFAC Southeast. He previously commanded Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 4 and was Commodore for 30th Naval Construction Regiment leading the Pacific Fleet Seabees.
“It is an honor to be here today,” said Kilian. “The privilege of command is granted to very few and I am humbled to be given the opportunity to lead this fine organization. We are in a pivotal moment in the history of our nation and the United States Navy and NAVFAC Pacific must be prepared to support the Navy’s mission in the Asia-Pacific region with steadfast determination and dedication. I expect NAVFAC Pacific and its subordinate commands to be adaptive, capable and professional. I challenge each of you to lean forward; strive to achieve operational excellence through disciplined execution; to ensure that our subordinate unit success remains paramount; to be relentless in the quest for knowledge, and lastly to maintain the highest level of proficiency in our fundamental skills and required capabilities. I look forward to working with all of you.”
A native of Spokane, Washington, Kilian is a San Diego State University graduate, with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a Master of Science in Construction Engineering and Project Management from the University of Texas at Austin and completed the Advanced Management Program at Duke University. Kilian is a registered professional engineer in the State of California, a member of the Defense Acquisition Corps, a Certified Energy Manager, and qualified as a Seabee Combat Warfare officer, and Fleet Marine Force officer.
“I can think of no better officer to take the helm at NAVFAC Pacific,” said VanderLey. “Jeff is an accomplished and experienced leader with multiple major commands under his belt. He is supremely competent, an outstanding leader and brings expeditionary experience commanding a Seabee Regiment in the Pacific. You are the right officer at the right time for the challenges that NAVFAC Pacific and the Pacific Fleet will face going forward.”