Trident Refit Facility, Kings Bay, Holds Change of Command

Keith R. Boydston

Tuesday, April 21st, 2020

Trident Refit Facility, Kings Bay (TRIREFFAC-KB) conducted a change of command, April 14, at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia.

Capt. Edward J. Robledo relieved Capt. Paul L. Dinius as the 15th commanding officer of the U.S. Navy’s premier submarine maintenance, repair and logistics facility.

Rear Adm. Mike Bernacchi, commander, Submarine Group Ten, thanked Dinius for his leadership and highlighted the importance of TRIREFFAC-KB in the strategic defense and deterrence mission of the United States.

"Trident Refit Facility is the bedrock of our Nation's strategic and forward-deployed combat submarine assets in Kings Bay," said Bernacchi. "We could not complete our mission without the dedication and professionalism of Paul's team, they really are the 'secret sauce' that keeps Kings Bay running.”

During Dinius’ 31 months at the helm, TRIREFFAC-KB delivered a “strategically outfitted” submarine ready for operational tasking about every three weeks, this was highlighted by a 92 percent utilization rate of the TRIREFFAC-KB covered dry dock.

"Paul and his team have met every challenge placed in front of them,” Bernacchi said. “And for that I am forever grateful, but so much more importantly, so is our nation.”

Under Dinius, TRIREFFAC-KB extended its global footprint by establishing a remote repair site in Souda Bay, Greece, a strategic location that provides maintenance capabilities to Navy operational commanders and allows submarines to remain forward-deployed for longer periods.

As a result of this and many other initiatives, TRIREFFAC-KB was selected as the 2019 Secretary of Defense Maintenance Award winner (large shore command) for its world-class maintenance upkeep of the Nation’s Submarine Force.

TRIREFFAC-KB also began significant steps to prepare for the Navy’s new Columbia-class ballistic-missile submarine (SSBN) and is on schedule to provide maintenance and repair support when the first ship arrives in Kings Bay later this decade.

Dinius credited the command’s accomplishments to the dedicated teamwork and professionalism of its military and civilian employees.

"Having command of Trident Refit Facility, Kings Bay, for the last two and a half years has been the highlight of my career,” Dinius said. “I am honored and humbled to have been a part of this dedicated, high-performing team of national heroes supporting the most important mission in the Department of Defense - strategic deterrence.”

Dinius said he is especially proud of the TRIREFFAC-KB team during the pandemic.

“Even during a global pandemic, this team managed to deploy three SSBNs to sea in a two-week period, and turn around a fourth in less than one week,” he said. “And produce dozens of masks, face shields, and other personal protective equipment for Naval Hospital Jacksonville in the COVID-19 fight!"

Dinius’ next assignment will be as the Chief of Staff at Commander, Submarine Group Ten in Kings Bay, Georgia.

Robledo was commissioned in 1995 as part of the Navy’s Nuclear Propulsion Candidate Program at the University of Texas at El Paso where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering.

He has served at sea on five U.S. Navy combatants to include command of USS Henry M. Jackson (SSBN 730) and has 32 years of combined military service. He has completed two Western Pacific deployments along with many strategic and nuclear deterrent patrols.

Robledo’s previous assignment was on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations – Undersea Warfare Division/Programming Division (OPNAV N97/N80) from July 2016 to December 2019 where he served as the Head of Programming, Budget, Manpower and Diving and Rescue Division.

Robledo said he’s excited and ready to lead a TRIREFFAC-KB team that has a proven record of success.

“I am honored to become the commanding officer of the greatest maintenance facility in the United States Navy,” said Robledo. “From my last tour in the Pentagon, the number one priority has been the sustainment and modernization of the Ohio-class SSBNs.”

Robledo went on to say TRIREFFAC-KB will continue to focus on that mission.

“TRF Kings Bay meets that priority by ensuring East Coast Ohio-class SSBNs are in the best material condition to conduct nuclear deterrent patrols…until the successful transition to the Columbia-class SSBN fleet,” Robledo said.