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A lot of individuals do a lot of different work at the Washington Navy Yard and beyond, but who are they and what are they really doing?

Naval Facilities Engineering Command Washington, or NAVFAC Washington, is one of the largest and most active tenant commands on location at Naval Support Activity Washington (NSAW). NAVFAC Washington provides public works services to Navy and Marine Corps installations in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Northern Virginia. Each time the lights go on, water flows, doors open and buses run on schedule, it is because of behind the scenes efforts performed by public works employees.

“Our mission is to provide efficient and effective infrastructure and base services to our supported commands,” said Capt. Kenneth Branch, commanding officer, NAVFAC Washington. “At the installations we serve, we actually succeed best if people don’t even notice us.”

The role of public works in improving quality of life for Department of the Navy personnel in the National Capital Region is recognized during National Public Works Week, May 20-26.

NAVFAC Washington’s Public Works Departments work directly for base commanding officers to provide services that range from basic utility requirements to advanced energy solutions, simple facility service calls to complex facility management services, standard transportation to heavy construction equipment, janitorial and grounds maintenance to snow and trash removal.

During Fiscal Year 2011, NAVFAC Washington delivered 780,000 Mega Watt Hours of electricity, 2.2 billion gallons of water and responded to more than 56,000 emergency and service calls. They also conducted work on over $1 billion worth of construction projects.

NAVFAC Washington, as it is now known, has a long history of serving Navy and Marine Corps commands in the National Capitol region. The Navy Bureau of Yard and Docks created a District Public Works Office in 1920 to provide facilities engineering and public works services to the Washington Navy Yard.

A large emphasis is placed on environmental stewardship by NAVFAC Washington.

NAVFAC Washington ensures responsibility through environmental planning, conservation of natural and cultural resources, environmental compliance and environmental restoration. Environmental professionals manage the permits and regulatory requirements that we need before and during construction. They manage waste disposal for supported commands in a way that protects the environment and they look for innovative ways to help our supported commands reduce energy consumption.

NAVFAC Washington's responsibility is not limited to the NDW area, however. One thing other tenants might not be aware of is that NAVFAC Washington provides services throughout the globe, recently by supporting Operation Enduring Freedom by providing employees to help engineering and construction requirements with the mission in Afghanistan. NAVFAC Washington also sent five engineers to assist in Operation Unified Response, working with other military commands including three Seabee units to provide building assessments and advising commanders on the scene.

For more information on NAVFAC Washington, visit their website at https://portal .navfac.navy.mil/NAVFACWASH.