By Don Rochon, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) public works professionals began celebrating National Public Works Week May 17.
National Public Works Week, which runs through May 23 this year, started in 1960 as part of a public education campaign by the American Public Works Association (APWA). The week-long event seeks to raise the public's awareness about public works issues and employees who are dedicated to improving the quality of life for present and future generations. This year's theme is "Community Begins Here."
"Our public works teams represent our installation communities, and characterize the commitment and support that NAVFAC provides to all Navy and Marine Corps bases," said NAVFAC Commander Rear Adm. Kate Gregory. "These teams of Civil Engineer Corps officers, NAVFAC civilians, and contractor partners work tirelessly in support of the installations they serve."
NAVFAC has provided management and leadership of Navy public works for more than 170 years. As the Navy's public works officers, Civil Engineer Corps officers lead Navy and Marine Corps public works departments (PWD) around the globe in providing comprehensive shore installation facility engineering, acquisition, environmental, and transportation services.
A lot of this essential work goes unnoticed, but the behind-the-scenes effort performed in providing vital public works services such as electricity, water, and wastewater management is a central enabler for a lot of what happens on Navy and Marine Corps bases worldwide.
In fact, last year, NAVFAC PWDs helped keep naval facilities and infrastructure around the world well-maintained and managed, as more than 461,000 service calls and 54,000 emergency calls were recorded and completed in 2014.
NAVFAC's public works professionals are also at the forefront of executing cutting-edge energy projects for the Navy to help meet the Secretary of the Navy's energy goals. Advanced metering, renewable energy, and residential energy conservation projects are helping to reduce the demand for energy, on and off base.
"Every day our Sailors and Marines experience first-hand the delivery of our public works services," said David Curfman, NAVFAC Public Works director. "Whether we're inspecting a submarine pier, constructing a new runway, fixing a hangar roof leak, or cleaning up an oil spill, NAVFAC Public Works Departments are there. We're really blessed to have such a renowned team."
"However, many times we're behind the scenes planning for future missions," Curfman added. "We're making sure the buildings are heated in the winter, designing new Child Development Centers, providing preventive maintenance, protecting endangered species, and operating our solar arrays to provide long-term, environmentally friendly, renewable power."