Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) held a change of command ceremony, June 7, at the Washington Navy Yard. Vice Adm. William H. Hilarides relieved Vice Adm. Kevin M. McCoy as commander.
Hilarides graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science in physics, and also holds a master’s degree in Engineering Management from the Catholic University of America. He served aboard the submarines USS Pargo (SSN 650), USS Gurnard (SSN 662) and USS Maryland (SSBN 738), and commanded USS Key West (SSN 722). Ashore, he served as flag lieutenant to Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet; personnel assignment officer at the Bureau of Naval Personnel; action officer on the Joint Staff in the Force Structure, Requirements and Assessment Directorate (J8); and, Requirements and Acquisition branch head on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations, where he served as the Navy representative to the Joint Requirements Panel.
Since becoming an acquisition professional in 2002, he has served as Director, Advanced Submarine Research and Development, as well as the program manager of the SSGN Program. Most recently, he served as program executive officer for Submarines, responsible for all new construction submarine programs along with the acquisition and life cycle maintenance of submarine weapons, countermeasures, sonar, combat control and imaging systems.
“Everyone who reads the Wall Street Journal or the Washington Post knows we have some daunting challenges ahead of us,” said Hilarides. “And I look forward to tackling those challenges.”
Following the ceremony, McCoy retired from the Navy after serving 35 years, including five as the NAVSEA commander.
“Most of you know about what we do for ships and weapons systems here at NAVSEA, but I also want to brag briefly about the vast expanse of what this team does for our Navy and nation on a regular basis,” said McCoy. “This is the team that responds to collisions, groundings, fires and other adverse events. This is the Navy’s 911 force for problem solving – everything from locating downed airliners . to protecting our shores during the Deep Water Horizon disaster, to opening up damaged ports in Haiti, to pumping out the numerous tunnels in New York following Hurricane Sandy. This is the team that has such awesome engineering capability and recognized credibility to represent the Navy on the world stage.”
The largest of the Navy’s five systems commands, NAVSEA engineers, build, buy and maintain the Navy’s ships and submarines and their combat systems. With a workforce of nearly 60,000 civilians and service members, NAVSEA has 33 field activities across 16 states.
Press Release, June 10, 2013; Image: NAVSEA