Navy's Public Works Professionals: "Always There"

Story Number: NNS160520-13Release Date: 5/20/2016 3:07:00 PM
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By Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast Public Affairs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast public works professionals celebrated National Public Works Week (NPWW) May 15-21.

Since 1960, the American Public Works Association (APWA) has sponsored NPPW to energize and educate the public on the importance of public works to their daily lives -- planning, building, managing and operating at the heart of their local communities to improve everyday quality of life.

The weeklong event seeks to educate the general public about the value and necessities of public works projects throughout North America, and seeks to enhance the prestige of the often unsung heroes of our society -- the professionals who serve the public every day with quiet dedication. This year's theme is "Public Works Always There."

"Our public works professionals at the base level are the quiet heroes and are well reflected in this years theme," said NAVFAC Southeast Commanding Officer Capt. Steve Hamer. "They are the people who work on our Navy and Marine Corp installations ensuring the water is potable, the electricity is on, the air conditioning works and the grass is mowed. The public works team manages these basics needs and many other requirements every day on every base."

This essential work usually goes unnoticed, but the behind-the-scenes work performed in providing vital public works services such as electricity, water, and wastewater management is a central enabler for much of what happens on Navy and Marine Corps bases worldwide.

"The public works team is on the shore making sure that the installation is ready and mission capable for the nation's warfighters," said Hamer. "I want our public works team to know how important their job is every day and how it impacts others."

NAVFAC has provided management and leadership of Navy public works for more than 170 years. As the Navy's public works officers, Civil Engineer Corps officers lead Navy and Marine Corps public works departments (PWDs) around the globe in providing comprehensive shore installation facility engineering, acquisition, environmental and transportation services.

NAVFAC PWDs helped keep naval facilities and infrastructure around the world well-maintained and managed, as more than 533,000 service calls and 63,000 emergency calls were recorded and completed in 2015. Of those, the NAVFAC Southeast Regional Call Center recorded almost 86,000 service calls and approximately 10,000 emergency calls.

PWD personnel are always some of the first at the pier when a ship returns to base, providing berthing and hotel services that include electrical hookups to shore. They also enable Navy warfighters to conduct their missions by ensuring runways are in good working order and are clear of any foreign object debris, which can cause damage to planes and injury to personnel.

National Public Works Week is observed each year during the third full week of May. Through NPWW and other efforts, APWA seeks to raise the public's awareness of public works issues and to increase confidence in public works employees who are dedicated to improving the quality of life for present and future generations.

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