By James Johnson, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Far East Public Affairs
YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Far East is recognizing its public works employees during National Public Works Week, May 15-21.
More than 1,400 NAVFAC Far East public works employees serve U.S. Navy and Marine Corps installations in Japan, Korea, Singapore and the British Indian Ocean Territory (Diego Garcia).
"Public works employees positively impact nearly every aspect of life and operations at Navy and Marine Corps installations," said Capt. Kevin Bartoe, commanding officer, NAVFAC Far East. "From transportation services to [providing] quality drinking water to making sure the lights come on, there are dozens of jobs these professionals do. This week is a great chance to say 'thank you' for their dedication and efforts."
The theme for National Public Works Week is "Always There." NAVFAC Far East responds to approximately 58,000 routine and emergency service calls each year--equal to more than 150 each day. These services support the warfighter, forward-deployed Sailors, Marines, fleet and shore commands and families living overseas.
"The people at your public works department make your installation run," said NAVFAC Far East Public Works Coordinator Tim Bacon. "All the things that the average resident and tenant command takes for granted are taken care of by the public works team."
Public Works Departments are the service delivery platform to installations and their tenant commands. They maintain tens of thousands of components across thousands of facility and utility systems. Installation commanding officers rely on the public works department to maintain existing buildings and roads, provide electricity, water, and sanitation services, oversee the construction of new infrastructure, plan for future requirements, prioritize work based on fiscal constraints and ensure compliance with environmental laws and regulations.
NAVFAC Far East 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.
"Efficiency initiatives include multi-million dollar energy savings initiatives, major recapitalization of utilities and infrastructure, process improvements in the area of customer interface, facility and utility maintenance assessments, overseas drinking water enhancement and improving the security stance of our critical facilities and information," said Bacon.
National Public Works Week is a public education campaign by the American Public Works Association. Its aim is to raise public awareness of public works issues and employees who are dedicated to improving the quality of life for present and future generations.