By Don Rochon, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) will mark 171 years of providing facilities engineering expertise to support the mission readiness of Navy and Marine Corps commanders, Aug. 31.
The 13th Secretary of the Navy, Abel P. Upshur, officially established NAVFAC's predecessor, the Bureau of Naval Yards and Docks in 1842, to execute the design, construction and maintenance of Navy yards and a few other shore stations around the eastern seaboard of the United States.
Eventually the Bureau and its responsibilities would grow into the global enterprise known as NAVFAC, which was officially established in May 1966.
"I could not be more proud of our history and what our NAVFAC team, around the world, is accomplishing today for our supported commanders, the joint warfighter and their families," said NAVFAC Commander and Chief of Civil Engineers Rear Adm. Kate Gregory. "We are fortunate to have an exemplary team of Civil Engineer Corps officers, Seabees and NAVFAC civilians, along with our contractor partners, who are on the job 24/7 building and maintaining sustainable facilities, delivering utilities and services, and providing Navy expeditionary combat force capabilities to Navy and Marine Corps commanders wherever and whenever needed."
With 16 commands located in the United States, Europe, Southwest Asia and the Far East, NAVFAC is the Navy systems command that delivers and maintains high-quality, sustainable facilities for the Navy and Marine Corps, acquires and manages capabilities for the Navy's expeditionary combat forces, and enables energy security and environmental stewardship around the globe.
NAVFAC's signature is visible on every Navy and Marine Corps installation. Nearly every pier, runway, building, gymnasium, barracks, road, utility plant, and other facilities on shore has been constructed or acquired by NAVFAC.
The command's worldwide team of planning, construction, facilities services, and acquisition subject matter experts executed approximately 45,000 separate contract actions.
NAVFAC's Public Works Departments respond to facilities service and emergency calls in a demanding 24/7 environment. This critical work is a vital enabler for what takes place daily on bases around the world.
Delivering sustainable and cost-effective solutions is increasingly important in the austere fiscal environment our nation is facing. Last year, in support of the Secretary of the Navy's ambitious energy goals to help achieve energy security and efficiency throughout the Navy, NAVFAC helped supported commanders in the Navy and Marine Corps reduce energy consumption by nearly 20 percent, and increase the Navy's total production or procurement of renewable energy to more than 1.5 million megawatt hours of electricity.
NAVFAC's Small Business program is second to none. NAVFAC continues to exceed all government-wide program goals and targets, with an average 48 percent of the total dollars awarded and more than 25,000 contracts going to small businesses.
In the expeditionary/fleet support area, NAVFAC supports the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC), Naval Special Warfare, and Naval Beach Groups with lifecycle logistics planning, support and equipment acquisition.
NAVFAC experts provide engineering reach-back support to war fighters, as well as response and recovery support for natural disasters like earthquakes. In response to Hurricane Isaac in 2012, NAVFAC sent a Contingency Engineering Response Team (CERT) made up of 17 military and civilian personnel to Naval Station Gulfport and Naval Air Station-Joint Reserve Base New Orleans to help in recovery efforts.
NAVFAC also provides supported commanders with environmental expertise, such as installation restoration, environmental compliance, and National Environmental Policy Act planning and coordination.
NAVFAC has a proud history of delivering excellent products and services for supported commands since 1842. Building on 171 years of experience, NAVFAC continues to manage the planning, design, construction, contingency engineering, real estate, environmental and public works support for U.S. Navy shore facilities all over the world.