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NAVFAC Holds Change of Command

12 August 2022

From Christopher Dunne

WASHINGTON - Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) held a change of command and retirement ceremony at the Washington Navy Yard Aug. 12.

WASHINGTON - Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) held a change of command and retirement ceremony at the Washington Navy Yard Aug. 12.

Rear Adm. Dean VanderLey relieved Rear Adm. John W. Korka and became the 46th commander of NAVFAC and chief of Civil Engineers. The ceremony was officiated by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday.

In his remarks, Gilday called Korka “a leader of competence and character.”

“Charged with managing the Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program, John accepted the challenge and has expertly set our public shipyards on a course to ensure that our Navy and our shipbuilding base continues to answer our nation’s demands in this decade and long into the future,” Gilday said.

Korka, who assumed duties as commander of NAVFAC and chief of Civil Engineers on Oct. 19, 2018, reflected on his time with NAVFAC.

“For the past three years, it has been a distinct honor and an absolute privilege to serve as the commander of NAVFAC and as the Navy’s 45th chief of civil engineers,” Korka said.”

“I was honored to support meaningful missions of significance during a complex period of time fraught with unpredictability."

In his remarks, VanderLey thanked family and friends for their sacrifices, support, and mentoring throughout his career.

VanderLey also thanked industry partners. “On our horizon we have some significant challenges front and center, to deliver a lot of really large, complex construction projects,” he said. “We’re not going to be successful without strong partnerships and collaboration with industry.”

VanderLey received his commission from the U.S. Navy’s Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1991, after receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Calvin College. After completing the Navy nuclear power training pipeline, VanderLey served on USS Michigan (SSBN 727) in various division officer positions from 1993-1996. He then served as the lead instructor for the Trident Prospective Commanding Officer course at Trident Training Facility, Bangor. VanderLey was selected for transfer to the Civil Engineer Corps (CEC) in 1998.

His initial CEC tours included assistant resident officer in charge of construction at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard; assistant public works officer, Naval Air Station Keflavik, Iceland; and operations officer for Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 7. His facilities and staff tours include planning officer, Navy Installations Command; executive assistant to the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Energy, Installations and Environment); public works officer, Naval Station Norfolk; Civil Engineer Corps head detailer; deputy commander for operations, NAVFAC Atlantic; and vice commander, NAVFAC Atlantic.

His command tours include NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 4, NAVFAC Atlantic, fleet civil engineer, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, and most recently, NAVFAC Pacific and fleet civil engineer, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

VanderLey also holds a Master of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford University.

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