By Catherine Norton, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas Public Affairs
ASAN, Guam (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Marianas Civil Engineer Corps officers assigned to Naval Base Guam (NBG) Public Works held events and facilities tours May 21-26 for National Public Works Week.
This year's theme is "Public Works Connects Us".
"This is about giving back to the community," said NBG Public Works Department (PWD) Assistant Production Officer Lt. j.g. Randy Olaes. "We're offering tours and hosting events to promote a better understanding of the work we do in the PWD."
Base patrons were invited to tour the Orote Point Power Plant, which produces approximately 18 megawatts (MW) of electricity and serves primarily as backup power generation plant to support the island in emergent situations.
Military family member Amy Attiencia attended the tour with her 5-year-old son and commended these outreach events as an excellent way to connect the value of Public Works to their everyday lives.
"I've been trying to explain to my son how and where electricity is produced," said Attiencia. "I heard about this outreach and tour and decided it would be great to bring him to the source."
Korin Callahan, a military spouse, brought her sons on the tour as well. "It's exciting that the base is providing the opportunity to get inside the power plant and look at how it runs," she said. "My sons have never seen anything like this before." Callahan's older son said he found the tour interesting, and was surprised to learn that the generators were started with compressed air rather than electricity.
Other tours included the NBG Wastewater Treatment Plant. Wastewater Systems Manager David Weakley explained the necessary steps in secondary treatment of wastewater. He said the plant provides 4.3 million gallons of wastewater daily and precautions are taken to ensure minimal residual waste is released and all environmental regulations and standards are met.
"I think the most popular tour was the Wastewater Treatment Plant," Olaes said. "The kids were asking questions such as, 'Where does all the stuff go?'," he said. "This was a really good learning opportunity for them."
The celebration of National Public Works Week concluded with an informational display table at the Naval Exchange (NEX) on NBG, May 26.
"Those who participated in the events were able to gain a better understanding of what Public Works does and how it affects us every day," said Olaes. "We are pleased with the excellent turn out and the community's interest in what we do every day to support the military mission and enhance the quality of life for Sailors and their families."