YOKOSUKA, Japan—Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Far East celebrates National Engineers Week Feb. 21-27.
“Department of Defense engineers are making an impact throughout the Far East,” said NAVFAC Far East Commanding Officer Capt. Kevin Bartoe. “At NAVFAC, we provide a full range of engineering expertise delivering critical infrastructure for Seventh Fleet and III Marine Expeditionary Force across the area of operations. Our work enables our warfighters and host-nation partners to accomplish their mission.”
More than 200 NAVFAC Far East engineers support naval activities in Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and Diego Garcia in the British Indian Ocean Territory. They work in a variety of engineering disciplines, including civil, structural, electrical, mechanical, and environmental, and architectural.
At Naval Air Facility Atsugi, the Public Works Department (PWD) employs 32 engineers, serving in a variety of disciplines. Each day, they work to design projects, engineer solutions, and manage programs to enhance the installation and quality of life for its Sailor and their families.
“Engineering is a fascinating profession because it is all about solving problems,” said Lt. John Ruggiero, FEAD Officer. “Our staff works diligently to translate a request or need into a concrete reality. Whether we are replacing a roof, renovating a building, or overhauling a power plant, we follow a rigorous process to ensure compliance with multiple regulations and standards while creating a product that improves working and living conditions for everyone on the installation."
The Facilities Engineering and Acquisition Division (FEAD) office designs construction and maintenance projects and awards to contractors after solicitation. In Fiscal Year 2015 they awarded more than $20 million in facility contracts.
Other engineers at PWD Atsugi manage the operations and maintenance of the installation utility plants—the water treatment plant, waste water plant, electric substation, and steam plants. Each plant requires dedicated and licensed operators to ensure all commodities are safely delivered to installation residents.
The water treatment plant is unique as it boasts the only facility in Commander Navy Region Japan to provide, treat, store, and deliver safe drinking water in house to all installation personnel.
“We receive water from five wells and treat it in our facilities utilizing chlorine and adding fluoride,” explained PWD Atsugi’s Utilities Director Kevin Tucker. “After treatment, we store the water in one of four large reservoirs before pumping out to the local buildings. Our operators work hard every day so installation residents can be sure they have clean safe drinking water.”
The National Engineers Week theme for 2016 is “Engineers Make a World of Difference.” The aim is to celebrate how engineers make a difference in our world and bring engineering to life for kids, educators, and parents.