WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Vice Adm. Pete Nanos, commander of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) and the Navy's senior engineering duty officer, retired in a ceremony at the Washington Navy Yard, after 35 years of service.
Nanos, a native of Bedford, N.H., has commanded NAVSEA, the Navy's largest acquisition organization since May 1998. Under his leadership, instituted far-reaching quality initiatives that transformed NAVSEA into a unified corporation that provides world-class technical, acquisition, and life-cycle support leadership to the Navy.
Some of the highlights of his command of NAVSEA include developing battle force interoperability improvements that fixed warfare system problems before arriving in the fleet, revolutionizing NAVSEA's Submarine Factory to surge engineering resources to meet a significant increase in submarine maintenance, facilitating the Secretary of the Navy's "Smart Work" program, which has saved more than 400 man-years per year and significantly improved quality of service on Navy ships and coordinating the Navy's technical response to the terrorist attack on USS Cole (DDG 67) in October 2000.
"[Admiral Nanos'] visionary leadership and his exceptional technical ability have brought about a renaissance at NAVSEA, a true transformation," said Adm. Frank Bowman, director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion and the ceremony's guest speaker. "He has brought NAVSEA into the 21st century. Under his leadership, NAVSEA is on the right path to the future, with its focus on current readiness, future readiness and the science and technology needs for the Navy after next."
Nanos reflected on his career and thought back to when he was a young man about to head off to the Naval Academy in 1963.
"There are some things I'd like to say to that 18-year-old kid from New Hampshire, who didn't have a clue about what lie ahead," he said. "As I look back now, I'd tell him to set his sights high, go after his goals and dreams, and make the most of every situation."
Before being piped over the side, Vice Adm. Nanos presented his sword to his son, Lt. George Nanos, III, a Navy flight surgeon.
A 1967 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Nanos' career includes sea duty aboard USS Glennon (DD 840), USS Forrest Sherman (DD 931), Destroyer Squadron 10 and USS America (CV 66) as chief engineer. Ashore, he was the manager for Technical Development in the Navy's High Energy Laser Program Office; deputy director, Warfare Systems Engineering in the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, and director, Strategic Systems Programs, responsible for all aspects of the Navy's Fleet Ballistic Missile Weapon Systems.
In addition to a wide range of service education, he also earned a Ph.D. in physics from Princeton University.
Nanos has accepted a position at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, as principal deputy to the associate director for threat reduction.
Rear Adm. Phillip Balisle has been nominated to succeed Nanos as NAVSEA's commander, pending Senate confirmation. He is currently Director of Surface Warfare on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations.
For more information on Naval Sea Systems Command, go to www.navsea.navy.mil. For more NAVSEA news, visit their NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/navsea.