YOKOSUKA, Japan— Naval Facilities Engineering Command Far East is celebrating National Public Works Week, which runs May 17-23.
More than 1400 NAVFAC Far East public works employees serve U.S. Navy and Marine Corps installations in Japan, Korea, Singapore and the British Indian Ocean Territory (Diego Garcia).
“Public Works Departments are the backbone of an installation,” said Bob Andres, NAVFAC Far East public works business line coordinator. “They are responsible for the effectiveness and efficiency of the facilities shore establishment. National Public Works Week is an opportunity to recognize the professional effort from this often unheralded team, who make the facilities shore establishment work, and allow the warfighter to focus on their mission.”
Public Works Departments are the service delivery platform to Installations and their tenant Commands. Installation Commanding Officers rely on the public works department to maintain existing buildings and roads, provide electricity, water, and sanitation services, oversee the construction of new infrastructure, plan for future requirements, prioritize work based on fiscal constraints, and ensure compliance with environmental laws and regulations. In addition, the PWDs are expected to identify and implement creative solutions to achieve long-term goals, such as reduced energy demand.
This year’s Public Works Week theme “Community Begins Here” aptly captures NAVFAC Far East’s mission focus. Last year, NAVFAC Far East responded to 54,591 routine service calls and 3,385 emergency calls. These responses don’t just support Navy, Marine Corps and other Dept. of Defense commands, they directly contribute to quality of life for forward-deployed Sailors, Marines and their families.
PDW Chinhae, has recently undertaken several quality of life improvement projects at Fleet Activities Chinhae, Korea. These include a renovation of the softball field turf and the base running track. The $900,000 softball field renovation will improve the conditioning of the old-style grass turf to an artificial turf, provide new lights and scoreboard, and refurbish the announcer's booth and dugouts. The running track was a $500,000 project to upgrade the condition of the pre-existing trail from a woodchip track to that of a compacted red-clay pavement and add body weight exercise equipment. This will provide base residents a terrific way to enjoy the outdoors while staying physically fit. It improves existing infrastructure, making it safer for use.
“The PWD Chinhae team is very dedicated to the mission, overcoming any obstacle they come against,” said Lt. Thomas Carron, FLEACT Chinhae public works officer. “Through a strong bond of teamwork and diversity, they act in one united front to support the Warfighter, and embrace the saying ‘Kapchi Kapchi Da,’ which means ‘we go together.’”
NAVFAC Far East public works professionals are also at the forefront of executing cutting-edge energy projects for the Navy to help meet the Secretary of the Navy’s energy goals. Advanced metering, renewable energy, and residential energy conservation projects are helping to reduce the demand for energy, on and off base.
National Public Works week is a public education campaign by the American Public Works Association. Its aim is to raise public awareness of public works issues and employees who are dedicated to improving the quality of life for present and future generations.