NAVFAC Energy and Industry Conference Captures Large Audience

Story Number: NNS120331-02Release Date: 3/31/2012 4:30:00 PM
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By Krista K. Catian, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- The first Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Pacific Industry and Energy Conference drew more than 450 people, March 26-27, at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Coral Ballroom, Honolulu.

Presentations, panel discussions and breakout sessions were the driving forces behind the conference for both days, which provided the opportunity for leaders in the public and private sectors to initiate an in-depth discussion with the Navy and Marine Corps.

"Networking between the Department of Defense, Navy, Industry partners, and financiers was one of the key accomplishments," said NAVFAC Pacific Commander Rear Adm. Kate Gregory. "As we adapt to the new fiscal realities of the changes in the Defense budget and our nation's renewed focus in the Pacific, it's important that we remain engaged with our partners in Industry."

The first day of the conference focused on industry and consisted of NAVFAC Marianas, Hawaii and Far East overview briefs given by each commanding officer, an update of the Guam Buildup Program, and 16 breakout sessions ranging from NAVFAC administration issues, specific business/support line products and services, applying for construction contracts, and Navy energy.

Rear Adm. Frank Ponds, commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific served as the keynote speaker on day one and provided a high-level view of the Navy in the Middle Pacific.

"The opportunity to have an effective and meaningful dialogue with the Navy is always a challenge, but this conference provided a great forum for our Industry to collaborate with the Navy and find out what the Navy is currently doing and what they have planned in the future," said American Council of Engineering Companies of Hawaii President Douglas Lee. "This allows our Industry to better understand the Navy's needs and to help us make better business decisions on what to focus our attention on and determine how the Industry can best respond to support the Navy's mission."

The second day of the conference focused on Implementing Energy Solutions and Innovative Financing. William Tayler, director for Shore Energy, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy, gave a brief on the Department of Navy energy goals and strategies.

"We have a lot of energy issues at stake and resolving those issues are imperative to us," said Tayler. "The Pacific area and NAVFAC Pacific has some unique challenges which are different from what we've come across in the continental United States. This conference has given us the opportunity to address these issues and where to go from here."

Day two of the conference also featured a brief by NAVFAC Headquarters Director of Acquisition Robert Griffin based on Navy acquisition/procurement successes and challenges. Following this brief, a panel discussion on the Department of Navy energy case studies sparked the interest of the audience, along with an energy industry panel of private and public financiers. Afternoon breakout sessions ranged from financing, procurement tools, and environmental.

Brigadier Gen. Richard Stevens, commander and division engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pacific Division served as the keynote speaker on day two and addressed both the overall Army energy program and current energy initiatives in the Pacific region.

As both days of the conference wrapped up, each attendee was asked to complete a conference evaluation form to help the Navy improve upcoming conferences and how to better conduct business with the Industry.

"The conference provided the opportunity to receive feedback and further develop our win-win-win partnership," said Gregory.

From both a Navy and Industry standpoint, the first NAVFAC Pacific Industry and Energy Conference turned out to be a success.

"I believe it was a very well thought out, well-prepared conference and that NAVFAC Pacific did the Navy proud by the way they set it up," said Griffin.

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