Engineers Make a Difference at Fleet Activities Okinawa

02/21/16 12:00 AM

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. 

A recent engineering project took place at the White Beach Navy Pier, which provides support for vessel harbor movements for U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, Japanese Self Defense Force and the Global Container Shipping Company. Last year, the pier enabled 600 harbor movements and approximately 800 total berthing days in port.

Repairs were needed because typhoon waves, common to Okinawa, damage cables which provide power to the pier. An expanded metal mesh barrier with conduit support under the pier deck will offer more protection from the impact of large swells caused by storm winds, and increase its life-expectancy.

“We need to ensure the damages that have occurred from previous typhoons do not happen again,” said Electrical Engineer Nobuaki Yoshimoto.

The engineering project is one example of the creative design required to enable continuity of daily operations in a subtropical region.  The mission of Fleet Activities Okinawa is supported by the professionalism and dedication of Okinawa Public works engineers. 

“The subtropical and island environment of Okinawa presents numerous challenges to Public Works Department engineers,” said Public Works Officer Lt. Caroline Mayer. “Our team of civilian, host nation, and military engineers meet and overcome these challenges daily, utilizing their technical expertise and dedication to support our customers on Okinawa.”

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.

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