YOKOSUKA, Japan— Naval Facilities Engineering Command Far East is celebrating National Public Works Week, which runs May 17-23.
More than 1400 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 Departments are the backbone of an installation,” said Bob Andres, NAVFAC Far East public works business line coordinator. “They are responsible for the effectiveness and efficiency of the facilities shore establishment. National Public Works Week is an opportunity to recognize the professional effort from this often unheralded team, who make the facilities shore establishment work, and allow the warfighter to focus on their mission.”
Public Works Departments are the service delivery platform to Installations and their tenant Commands. 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. In addition, the PWDs are expected to identify and implement creative solutions to achieve long-term goals, such as reduced energy demand.
This year’s Public Works Week theme “Community Begins Here” aptly captures NAVFAC Far East’s mission focus. Last year, NAVFAC Far East responded to 54,591 routine service calls and 3,385 emergency calls. These responses don’t just support Navy, Marine Corps and other Dept. of Defense commands, they directly contribute to quality of life for forward-deployed Sailors, Marines and their families.
A project at Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi, exemplifies this year’s Public Works Week theme. PWD Atsugi has worked closely with Military Family Housing, to renovate 34 three and four bedroom townhouses. The $11.3M project upgraded finishes and utility infrastructure while improving functionality, code compliance and energy efficiency of these key community assets. Completed in phases, the final units were opened to tenants in early May.
"Close coordination between Public Works, Housing and local residents resulted in impressive new housing which will serve the community well for years to come," said Cmdr. Jeff Sherwood, NAF Atsugi public works officer.
After the last resident moves in, PWD Atsugi employees will continue to provide outstanding maintenance and repair support to local housing residents.
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.
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.