By Sarah G. MacMillan, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Public Affairs
PORT HUENEME, Calif. (NNS) -- Naval Facilities (NAVFAC) Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center (EXWC) has been awarded the 2019 Project of Year accolade by the Oxnard Ventura post of the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME).
Commissioned in March of 2016, the two segment project—Guantanamo (GTMO) Bay to Puerto Rico Submarine Fiber Optic Cable Project (GTMO SFOC)—connects the Department of Defense (DOD) Information Systems Network (DODIN) nodes between the continental U.S. with GTMO via Puerto Rico.
The self-healing, low-latency fiber optic ring is designed to service and significantly enhance the DOD communication needs of GTMO, Puerto Rico and other locations in the Caribbean. The GTMO SFOC also improved partner agency operations and communicative quality of life of nearby residents due to reduced latency times, and limits service interruptions from inclement weather that routinely disrupts the satellite communication system.
Led by NAVFAC EXWC Project Manager and General Engineer David D. Wicklund, NAVFAC EXWC specifically coordinated as an interfacing agent for the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) between four other entities—Public Works Department Guantanamo (PWD GTMO), NAVFAC Atlantic, NAVFAC Headquarters (NAVFAC HQ) and NAVFAC Southeast (NAVFAC SE)—for all aspects of the effort. These efforts include drawings and configuration management, to cable landing, protection and stabilization.
“Close to 30 companies—whether contractors, sub-contractors, or federal agencies—came together as a team that seamlessly functioned throughout the duration of that last segment of this project” said Wicklund. “The stars aligned with this project because not only do we have a great team at EXWC, our counterparts were outstanding to work with. The smooth function of the GTMO project has now opened the door to other similar projects in EXWC’s very near future.”
Even more impressive is the overall cost savings of GTMO SFOC. Specifically, due to the input of GTMO SFOC, the need for five satellites has now been reduced to two satellites used predominately as back-up communication pathways should the self-healing fiber optic cables undergo catastrophic malfunction. According to the team, implementing the SFOC is a momentous win for NAVFAC EXWC, as they continue to work internationally to streamline DOD communication hurdles similar to GTMO SFOC.
The GTMO SFOC project included several key sub-consultants: Navy Underwater Construction Team ONE, Jose Delix of NAVFAC SE, Frederick Arnold of Sound & Sea Technology, Inc., and David Dellert of Truston Technologies, Inc. Construction Group Forsight acted as the prime construction contractor, with several other key construction sub-contractors, including: Brotherton Pipeline Inc. and Truston Technologies, Inc.
The GTMO SFOC SAME Project of the Year (POY) is the second POY award from the Oxnard Ventura post of SAME. NAVFAC EXWC members of the GTMO SFOC team have also received a performance award from the commanding officer for their work in both segments of the project.