OKINAWA, Japan -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command Far East
marked completion of upgraded facilities to American Forces Network with
a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Camp Butler, Okinawa, Japan, May 23.
Renovation of the AFN facility began in late 2012. During construction, AFN staff continued their broadcast from an adjacent facility.
"I am impressed by the level of detail that went into this renovation," said AFN Pacific Director Russell Barfield. "All issues which developed during the construction process were fully addressed and the facility is now operational. This is a service to everyone."
Before the renovations, the building's poor configuration and old furnishings made "Serving Those Who Serve" a challenge for the AFN staff.
"The new design completely reconfigured this building into three, fully functional areas: Broadcast, Support, and Administrative," said Lt. Cmdr. Brad Coleman, director, Facilities Engineering and Acquisition Division Camp Butler.
The state-of-the-art broadcast area airs the AM, FM, and video programs, and includes several interview rooms and a professional briefing room. The support area includes a kitchen, lounge, indoor fitness room, locker rooms and bunkrooms for the staff that provides emergency broadcast operations during typhoons.
"AFN provides a major morale boost to our troops, but its deteriorated facility was making the task more difficult for the station's staff of professionals," said Lt. Heidi Lawrenz, construction management engineer, Facilities Engineering and Acquisition Division Camp Butler. "We're pleased to deliver this facility and look forward to some great broadcasts."
Two contracts were awarded, one to Tokuyama for design work and the other to American Engineering Corporation for construction. The total cost of the project was $4.1 million.
NAVFAC Far East's FEAD Camp Butler provides construction and service contracting support to nine Marine Corps camps and one Marine Corps air station at Okinawa, Japan.