Norfolk Naval Shipyard commander relieved of duties after repeated maintenance delays

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Posted at 8:36 PM, Sep 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-22 17:25:59-04

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - The commander of Norfolk Naval Shipyard has been relieved.

On Monday, Commander of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Vice Adm. Bill Galinis relieved Capt. Kai Torkelson of his duties due to a loss of confidence in Torkelson's ability to command, the U.S. Navy announced.

According to the Navy Times, Torkelson was relieved after "repeated maintenance delays" that affected the ability to get ships out of the shipyard on time.

Rear Adm. Howard Markle, the Director of NAVSEA's Industrial Operations Directorate (SEA 04), has assumed the role of acting commander until a permanent relief is named.

News 3 reached out to NAVSEA for a statement, and officials confirmed that, "the relief is tied to issues related to a loss of confidence in leadership to correct underlying performance issues that affect Norfolk Naval Shipyard's ability to meet ship maintenance schedules."

They told us Capt. Dianna Wolfson will relieve Markle by early 2021. Wolfson is currently Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility's commanding officer. She took command of PSNS & IMF on June 12, 2019.

Capt. James Paul Mosman, formerly Norfolk Naval Shipyards Operations Officer and currently serving in NAVSEA's Industrial Operations Directorate (SEA 04), will relieve Wolfson as commanding officer of PSNS & IMF.

Torkelson, a native of Mount Crawford, Virginia, assumed command of the shipyard in 2018 as its 108th commander, according to his official Navy biography.

Stay with News 3 for updates.