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.
To celebrate National Engineers Week, NAVFAC Far East hosted an “egg drop” competition on board Fleet Activities Yokosuka Feb. 23. Teams from NAVFAC Far East, Public Works Department (PWD) Yokosuka and Kinnick High School (KHS) were given 15 minutes to design and construct a device to protect an egg from a 20-foot drop. Materials included a plastic bag, string, tape, a toilet paper roll and packing peanuts.
Points were awarded for team spirit, efficiency in design, aesthetic design, and of course, protecting the egg. A KHS team took third place and teams of NAVFAC engineers took first and second.
“I think the students here as part of the Kinnick High School Engineering Club certainly have that aptitude inherent in them,” said NAVFAC Far East Chief Engineer Russ Mattson. “You can tell that they’re just very bright minds and they’re excited about doing things and putting their skills to use. So I think these students are certainly engineers to be, or STEM—science, technology, engineering, math—type folks and I think that they’re looking for ways to apply those skills and those aptitudes. This is encouraging them to continue on that route.”
Also during the week, local students were given tours of PWD Yokosuka facilities with significant ties to engineering processes and applications. These tours included visits to the installation’s incinerator plant, wastewater treatment plant, and photovoltaic (solar cells) systems.
“As we did our tours, it was reassuring to see the interest the children showed in engineering and technical topics,” said Public Works Officer Cmdr. Ben Miller. “With the country’s renewed focus on STEM subjects, it is important to share with the children the many awesome benefits of engineering and technical skills.”
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.
PWD engineers support operations at Fleet Activities Yokosuka
Degradation of Floating Pier 5 at Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan has made it more difficult for personnel to support the U.S. Seventh Fleet, restricting operations and limiting capability. PWD Yokosuka and NAVFAC Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center (EXWC) completed an engineering analysis on Floating Pier 5 which revealed structural deficiencies and additional concerns—further reducing pier capability. Engineers were able to use this data to create a detailed plan to correct the deficiencies.
“NAVFAC’s ability to quickly identify the problem and apply critical engineering analysis was vital to the team’s ability to provide solutions to enact timely repairs,” said Miller. “The loss of this pier would impact our ability to support the fleet and our combined engineering team was the difference which helped identify the right path forward.”
The study proposed approximately $3 million in interim repair solutions to support near-term requirements that enables resumption of full ship support operations. These repairs will extend the service life of the existing floating pier long enough as a buffer to enable the team to secure funding for a future replacement project.