A transfer of leadership occurred at Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Hawaii June 10 during a traditional change of command ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.
Captain Dean A. Tufts a Civil Engineer Corps (CEC) officer relinquished command of NAVFAC Hawaii’s 1,200 highly-skilled civilian federal workers and 225 Navy and Air Force, officer, and enlisted military personnel to Capt. Richard D. Hayes III.
“I’d like to thank the men and women of NAVFAC Hawaii,” said Tufts. “My folks are on it 24/7, 365. Some who have worked for us for three days or 52 years. There are no breaks for these guys. No unimportant tenants. No unimportant jobs. No unimportant commands. Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam has over $22 billion worth of facilities and utilities, that’s more than twice as any other Navy run base.... I know what you do. You are proud Americans serving your country and I am honored to be your Commanding Officer.”
During his tour at NAVFAC Hawaii, Tufts leadership and resourcefulness were instrumental in the delivery of over $1.2 billion in facilities engineering and management services to Navy Region Hawaii, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, and many other Department of Defense and Federal agencies throughout the state. His extraordinary vision and guidance were particularly evident in numerous accomplishments to include implementing strategic energy initiatives to meet local Navy and Federal energy reduction goals; advocating and achieving necessary funding for Hawaii Region military construction and special project requirements; and collaborating with Navy, Environmental Protection Agency, and State of Hawaii Department of Health leadership on the future of Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility resulting in the signed Red Hill Administrative Order on Consent.
In addition, his strong interpersonal skills enabled him to serve as the Navy’s primary interface with regional, federal, and state regulatory agencies, as well as local community organizations, to exchange information and articulate Navy positions and concerns on many complex facilities, real estate, and environmental program issues.
At NAVFAC Hawaii, Tufts exceptional leadership and communications abilities assisted the command in making significant advancements in strengthening its safety program and reputation as a safe place to work. He took aggressive action in tackling a command-wide vacancy rate from past hiring freezes and attrition, reducing vacancies from 24 percent to 17 percent in one year. Tufts made time to speak to his workforce in large Captain’s Call gatherings as well as one-on-one engagements with employees at their individual places of work. He consistently praised and thanked his workforce throughout his tour and was their champion when speaking with NAVFAC Hawaii customers.
During the ceremony, guest speaker Commander Navy Region Hawaii (COMNAVREG Hawaii) Rear Adm. John V. Fuller, commander Navy Region Hawaii (COMNAVREG Hawaii) remarks covered many aspects of Tufts challenges and successes during his command of NAVFAC Hawaii.
“Captain Tufts achieved great success here in Pearl Harbor: by treating people right; by mentoring, training and coaching subordinates; by being brilliant on the basics - not to mention being brilliant on the advanced math and sciences; and by promoting hands-on leadership and a team ethos,” said Fuller. “He knows it’s not about the individual; it’s about the team. It’s about family. It’s about Ohana.”
Rear Admiral John W. Korka, commander NAVFAC Pacific presented also provided remarks and presented Tufts with the Legion of Merit for his outstanding work as Commanding Officer NAVFAC Hawaii and Regional Engineer COMNAVREG Hawaii, from July 2014 – June 2016.
“Dean, today is your day,” said Korka. “Today we recognize your service and the leadership you provided to NAVFAC Hawaii for the past two years….You prepared your team, lead your team, and inspired your team and that doesn’t come by luck. You have had tremendous success here at NAVFAC Hawaii.”
Tufts will report to his next assignment as Deputy Director, Shore Readiness Division (N46) under the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Fleet Readiness & Logistics (N4).
Hayes is a native of Charleston, West Virginia. He graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He holds a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering (Construction Management) from Purdue University and completed the Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Education Program. Hayes is a registered professional engineering in the state of California and a Seabee Combat Warfare Officer. He is also a member of the Defense Acquisition Corps, and a Certified Energy Manger. Prior to reporting to NAVFAC Hawaii Hayes was the Civil Engineer Corps’ Head Detailer, Navy personnel Command, Millington, Tennessee.
NAVFAC Hawaii is the Navy’s single touch-point for all facilities engineering products and services in Hawaii. It delivers and maintains quality, sustainable facilities through contracting, engineering, environmental, planning, and public works services to Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Department of Defense supported commands and other federal agency customers in the state.