Rear Adm. Stephen Barnett. Official Navy photo

Rear Adm. Stephen Barnett assumed command of Navy Region Southwest on Friday, succeeding Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar in a role unofficially known as San Diego’s “Navy Mayor.”

One of his first official actions was to join the christening ceremony Saturday for the USNS John Lewis, the first of a new class of Navy oilers being built at the NASSCO shipyard.

Navy Region Southwest covers a six-state area with more than 76,000 active duty sailors at 10 installations, including the service’s three bases in San Diego County.

Bolivar, a decorated Navy diver, is retiring after 40 years of service. She has commanded in San Diego since since March 2019.

Barnett reports to San Diego from Washington state, where he served as commander of Navy Region Northwest. He is familiar with the San Diego area from a stint as commander of Naval Base Coronado.

A native of Tennessee, Barnett began his Navy career as a flight officer in a maritime patrol squadron. As commanding officer of Hawaii-based VP-47, his squadron executed more than 250 missions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He served in Washington on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations.

Show comments

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.