By Lee Saunders, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest high voltage electricians (HVEs) expressed their appreciation for the work the command human resources (HR) and public works (PW) staff performed to provide retention incentive pay and HVE special salary rate, with a tour, May 11.
The HVEs treated HR and PW staff to a tour of the electric power substation and energized mound at a pier where connections were powering a guided missile destroyer (DDG) while it was berthed at Naval Base San Diego.
The tour started with a safety brief and discussion with each HR staff member on the tour describing their role in supporting the HVE retention incentive pay and HVE special salary rate.
"Today was a very meaningful opportunity to connect the dots between two groups, demonstrating how each impacts and affects the other within and with the whole of the organization," said David Deiranieh, NAVFAC Southwest Public Works Business Line director. "For the HVEs to hear directly from each core team member what their role was in promoting the special salary rate package and obtaining the group retention incentive package, as well as on-going hiring actions, was a tremendous connection to these individuals and the service they provide the field."
After the introductions and discussion, the HR and PW staff members were guided on a tour of the substation by HVE Supervisor Mike Casey. Casey showed the touring group how 69 kilovolts of San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) power are fed to the naval station and its piers. He explained the importance of preventative maintenance in preventing potential damage to ships and facilities if power is not properly delivered.
"For the core personnel to see what the HVEs do day-in and day-out; how their work is extremely complex and dangerous; how they accomplish their work with a 40 percent vacancy rate working long hours and often weekends; re-affirmed a sincere appreciation for their support to the Navy's mission and our country," said Deiranieh. "I'm very grateful to be a part of these teams and today was truly a very special moment in my 25-year career working for the Navy."
HVE/Electrical Operations Manager Lane Lee drove the group to Pier 10 to continue the tour with a viewing of live connections powering a berthed DDG, a tour and discussion of a de-energized mound, and wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE).
By the end of the tour, the HR staff members developed a better understanding of how their work on supporting the HVE retention incentive pay and HVE special salary rate helps to incentivize HVE retention and recruitment at NAVFAC Southwest.
"That incentive was much needed and well deserved by the HVE community," said Richard Hickman, NAVFAC Southwest human resources director.