Jacksonville, Fla. – Capt. Christopher Kiwus, a Civil Engineer Corps officer, is retiring June 27 after 30 years of naval service during the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast Change of Command where Capt. Steve Hamer will relieve Kiwus in a ceremony held on board Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Fla. Hamer is coming to NAVFAC Southeast from his last tour as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations for Navy Expeditionary Combat Command in Virginia Beach, Va.
“I want to thank the dedicated and patriotic people that make up NAVFAC Southeast and the Regional Engineer staff at Navy Region Southeast. They are focused on timely and efficient service to the Fleet and all our Supported Commanders through our Public Works Departments and ROICC offices,” said Kiwus.
During his tenure as NAVFAC Southeast Commanding Officer, Kiwus led a workforce of more than 1,500 civilian and 120 military personnel. His dynamic leadership, farsighted vision, and commitment to excellence elevated the command to a new level of performance and provided supported commanders with unsurpassed service. His command had unparalleled, broad impact on Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Joint installations throughout the southeastern United States and the Caribbean.
During his two-years of command, $1.7 billion of construction was completed, $1.9 billion in contracts were executed and $680 million flowed through the Navy Working Capital Fund. Most significant among the command’s accomplishments during Kiwus’ tenure are the $25 million Naval Station (NS) Mayport Charlie Wharf 1 replacement and replacement of Fuel Pier C, a $34 million project at NS Guantanemo Bay that included the demolition of the primary fueling pier and construction of a new pier.
Kiwus also oversaw the beginnnigs of the recapitalization of the Navy’s ‘newest’ submarine base at Kings Bay, Ga. The base, now 30 years old, is undergoing ten military construction (MILCON) projects and numerous special projects totaling $236 million to repair dry-docks and moorings and improve security areas and improve redundant power systems.
For the U.S. Marine Corps, Kiw
us led eight MILCON projects totaling $150 million, including the Pilot Training and Simulator Center and the Aircraft Training Hangar, required for the Marine Corps east coast Joint Strike Fighter laydown of two training and three operational F-35B squadrons.
“We have an amazing NAVFAC family,” said Kiwus. “My wonderful wife, Jennifer, has also loved our Navy career. She has been very involved and very supportive of the command, Navy, and community families in every tour. She’s also made our many moves and transitions for me and our kids smooth ones. She definitely made it possible for our family to ‘Stay Navy’ for 30 years.”
Kiwus’ Navy career included two command tours including his most recent position at NAVFAC Southeast. His other command tour included Commanding Officer, NAVFAC Far East in Yokosuka, Japan.
His other tours included engineer division chief, U.S. Africa Command Stuttgart, Germany; chief staff officer and public works officer Naval Base Ventura County; maritime infrastructure officer, NATO SHAPE, Belgium; individual augmentee to MARCENT, Bahrain; acquisition officer Public Work Center Norfolk, Va.; assistant chief of staff for Logistics, NATO Strike Force South, Naples, Italy; assistant SCE, Commander Fleet Air Mediterranean, Naples, Italy; resident officer in charge of construction (ROICC), NAEC, Lakehurst, N.J.; NMCB FIVE, officer in charge, Detachment Yokosuka, assistant officer in charge and S2 Detachment Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and assistant ROICC/FSC, NAS Point Mugu, Ca.
Various personal decorations adorned Kiwus’ uniform including the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (2), Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal (2), Meritorious Service Medal (3), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3).
Kiwus’ contributions to the Navy are immeasurable, and he will be greatly missed.