Story by Amber Vaglica, Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering
PORT HUENEME, Calif. – Capt. Christopher M. Kurgan relieved Capt. Glenn W. Hubbard as the commanding officer for the Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering (CSFE) and the Naval Civil Engineer Corps Officers School (CECOS) during a change of command ceremony at Naval Base Ventura County Aug. 17.
Kurgan’s most recent duty station was Silverdale, Washington, where he served as commanding officer of Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Northwest. Previous duty stations include tours as commanding officer of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133 in Gulfport, Mississippi; deputy commander for operations of NAVFAC Pacific in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; and commodore of Naval Construction Group 1 in Port Hueneme.
“You have my absolute commitment to continue to serve, to lead, and to build on the contributions of [Capt. Hubbard] and to always improve our confidence and our character,” said Kurgan. “I absolutely love this community; I love the Seabees; I love the civil engineer corps; and I love NAVFAC. God bless you, God bless the Seabees, and God bless our country.”
Rear Adm. Darius Banaji, commander, NAVFAC Atlantic, served as the guest speaker and highlighted the scope of CSFE’s responsibilities, ranging from initial accessions training to a broad portfolio of programs that support Sailors and facilities professionals in their career, education requirements and professional goals.
“Our Navy selects our commanding officers very carefully and it demonstrates an incredible level of trust and confidence in an officer. We have tremendous trust and confidence in both these officers,” said Banaji. “They fit the standard for competence, character, and judgement; and have many key attributes to command and lead boldly. Both of these officers give it their all every day and that is why they are sitting here today.”
Banaji commended CSFE’s team on their executive leadership training, enhanced strategic thinking, goal setting, communications, and technological efforts to define, develop, and produce training platforms to support warfighters and NAVFAC professionals.
Hubbard is retiring after serving in the Navy for 27 years. He was awarded the Legion of Merit for distinguished service and exceptional performance of his duties as CSFE commanding officer, where he revamped career management and training paths to ensure Sailors and civilians were receiving the right training, at the right time, in the right place.
During Hubbard’s tenure, CSFE trained more than 47,000 civil engineering corps (CEC) officers, enlisted Seabees and civil servants.
“This is where it all begins for a CEC officer and I was graced with the opportunity to come back here and command. It has been very humbling. To get to see these folks almost every day is incredible, as is getting to walk out to the learning sites,” said Hubbard. “All the staff have been a joy to work with and I’m very blessed to have had this opportunity.”
After assuming command, Kurgan thanked Hubbard and spoke of his plans to further the ongoing initiatives and innovation taking place throughout the training enterprise.
A native of Illinois, Kurgan was commissioned through the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps program in 1990. He earned a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Science in civil engineering from the University of Colorado.
Established in 2003 by Naval Education and Training Command, CSFE manages the following learning sites: CECOS, Port Hueneme; Naval Construction Training Center (NCTC), Gulfport, Mississippi; NCTC, Port Hueneme; CSFE Detachment Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; and CSFE Det. Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas.
For more information about CSFE, visit https://www.netc.navy.mil/centers/csfe/.