NAPLES, Italy – Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Europe Africa Southwest Asia (EURAFSWA) welcomed Rear Adm. Bret J. Muilenburg, NAVFAC commander and chief of Civil Engineers to Naval Support Activity (NSA) Naples, Italy during a tour of the area of responsibility (AOR), April 25.
This is Muilenburg’s first visit to the AOR as NAVFAC Commander. He visited Public Works Department (PWD) Djibouti, Africa, PWD Bahrain, and made his first visit to PWD Deveselu, Romania before his arrival to Naples.
"In all three locations, I will say that all of our people are highly motivated, which motivates me," said Muilenburg. "All were very complimentary about the support that they were getting from NAVFAC EURAFSWA and the team in Naples, which was nice to hear."
He expressed that each PWD’s mission is closely tied to support the overall Navy mission and that they are doing an effective job.
"We need to continue to send great folks to these PWDs so that these commands remain successful in their construction, maintenance and real estate missions," said Muilenburg.
His visit to the EURAFSWA region came shortly after the release of the NAVFAC Strategic Design 2016-2019. He emphasized that the Strategic Design is not a change in direction for NAVFAC, but rather, it is a sharpening of its strategic focus. He explained why the new design aligns so closely with the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority.
"Our reason for existing at NAVFAC is to provide support to the Sailors and Marines who carry out the Navy and Marine Corps mission," said Muilenburg. "It only makes sense that we fully understand their needs and what the CNO is telling us to do, so that we can align our focus and priorities where it matters the most. We made a great effort to map that alignment clearly in our Strategic Design so that everyone can see how we fit in.
His visit included a brief to NAVFAC EURAFSWA’s Executive Steering Group (ESG) on the new Design and he expressed what his key take-aways are from it.
"I want everyone to understand that our mission largely remains the same as it has been. In addition to being technical experts in what we do, I want us to be the business experts in what we do," he said. "I wanted to talk about the six focus areas of the Strategic Design and why I felt those were so important to how we do business."
He stated that financial fidelity is at the top of his list and that it is foundational to everything else NAVFAC does.
"I want us to gain a deep understanding on how money flows through NAVFAC, because it’s fundamental to getting our products and services completed to Navy and Marine Corps expectations," said Muilenburg.
All six focus areas apply to every region, but in addition to spending his personal time on the financial focus area, he is also focusing on people.
"I’m looking for a system that can understand the work that is coming into NAVFAC, the resources of the people to do that work, and then provide the training and development to reach our vision of being the business and technical experts of what we do," said Muilenburg.
After his brief with the ESG, he was able to tour the Water Treatment Plant at NSA Naples and conduct a walk-through of PWD Naples’ office spaces to meet the Seabees, Department of Defense civilians and host country nationals.
"I would like to thank the commanding officer of NAVFAC EURAFSWA and all the people for the hospitality on this trip, for allowing us to see several of the Public Works Departments and visit with the EURAFSWA Headquarters here in Naples," said Muilenburg.
"This trip helps me understand the effect of NAVFAC Headquarters policy and resourcing on you in the field."