San Diego has a new ‘Navy Mayor’ as Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar takes command of Navy Region Southwest

Author: By Andrew Dyer
Published: Mar 23, 2019
San Diego, CA

The Naval command that oversees all of the service’s shore installations across six states welcomed its new commander to San Diego on Friday as Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar assumed the role of the “Navy Mayor” at Naval Air Station North Island.

Bolivar replaces Rear Adm. Yancy Lindsey, whose next tour will take him to Naples, Italy, where he’ll lead Navy Region Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia.

Before beginning the tour in San Diego, Bolivar was the commander of Navy Region Southeast in Jacksonville, Fla.

Bolivar, a Filipino-American born in Hawaii, began her Naval career at the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating in 1985. As a deep-sea diver, Bolivar served on five salvage ships, including a tour as commanding officer.

She also served on the counter IED task force in Afghanistan as an officer-in-charge. Her other tours include the Navy secretary’s Navy White House Liaison staff and commander of Navy Region Northwest and Joint Region Marianas.

Although she has been through San Diego on temporary duties, her tour at Navy Region Southwest will be her first time stationed here.

“Over the past week I’ve gained an appreciation for how warm and supportive the San Diego community is to our military people,” she said. “I’m excited. Expect me to come in and be a hard charger.”

Retired Rear Adm. Len Hering, who served as region commander from 2005-2009, said the relationship between the city and the Navy made this one of the best jobs in the Navy.

“The coordination between the Navy and community is so different here than it is in other places,” he said. “There’s no better job.”

Navy Region Southwest owns and operates all of the Navy bases in the San Diego area — Coronado, Point Loma and San Diego — as well as the major air stations in Lemoore and in Fallon, Nev. This includes basic services such as trash collection and security, as well as occasionally serving as the convening authority for major military courts martial.

Bolivar is the second woman to lead the region’s naval installations. The first, Rear Adm. Ronne Froman, held the position from 1997-2000.