NAVFAC Marianas Commanding Officer addresses Guam Builders; Provides construction update

by Catherine Cruz Norton

TUMON, Guam – Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Marianas Commanding Officer Capt. Stephanie Jones highlighted command accomplishments over the past year and discussed future plans for military construction during an Engineers Week meeting, Feb. 23.

The forum, held at the Hyatt Regency Guam, was hosted by Guam Post of the Society of American Military Engineers, the Guam Contractors Association and the Guam Society of Professional Engineers, and attended by a host of local construction-related professional organizations.

Engineers Week is an annual celebration, observed this year from Feb. 19-25.

Members listened intently as Jones kicked off the presentation with her philosophy on safety. Her message of “construction execution first, safety always” is to serve as a reminder that safety must be a constant, overarching consideration in all NAVFAC Marianas activities.

As more projects get underway, even more attention must be paid to safety, she said.   While the NAVFAC Marianas safety record is very good, “I ask for your commitment to safety at an even greater level so we can be even better,” Jones said.

A number of Marine Corps Build Up related construction projects have been completed or are proceeding, primarily at Apra
Harbor and Andersen Air Force Base (AFB) North Ramp. She said other projects to support the Marine Corps cantonment
at Finegayan and the Live-fire Training Range Complex at Northwest Field are expected to be awarded this fiscal year when requirements to safeguard endangered and threatened species have been favorably satisfied.

In addition, a significant military housing construction program has started at Andersen AFB, and the island-wide military housing program could be worth approximately $1 billion over the next 10 years.

While the larger construction projects are of high dollar value, NAVFAC Marianas expects to continue its robust small- business program. “In fiscal year 2016 NAVFAC Marianas met or exceeded all assigned small-business targets,” Jones said. “We awarded $188 million worth of business to small business concerns, which represents 59 percent of what we awarded on island.”

With the projected growth in construction, NAVFAC Marianas expects to increase its capacity to oversee the work, she said. “On an annual basis, over the last several years, NAVFAC Marianas has executed with contractors approximately $200 million to $220 million work in place,” she said. “At some point in the future with the Marine Corps Build Up we expect to be at least four times greater.”

The command will likely grow from its current staffing of 570 members to close to 800, most of whom will support the Officer in Charge of Construction (OICC) Marine Corps Marianas office, which was established in August 2016 to oversee the construction of Marine Corps facilities on Guam.

Jones concluded by extending her thanks for the remarkable partnerships shared between NAVFAC Marianas and the construction community.  She also pledged her team’s continued close collaboration and support during anticipated military growth in the region.

Photo caption: Officers of the National Association of Women in Construction Guam Chapter and University of Guam engineering students gather with NAVFAC Marianas Commanding Officer Capt. Stephanie Jones following a joint luncheon meeting of the Guam Post of the Society of American Military Engineers, Guam Contractors Association, Guam Society of Professional Engineers, NAWIC and a number of other Guam construction-related professional organizations Feb. 23 at Hyatt Regency Guam in Tumon. Jones was the keynote speaker at the luncheon which was held  in  conjunction  with  Engineers  Week  2017.  From  left  are Camille Facun, engineering student, UOG; Shierly Caceres, president, NAWIC Guam Chapter; Jones; Ann Marie Pelobello, president-elect, NAWIC Guam Chapter; Catherine Capati, engineering student, UOG and Narci Araojo, parliamentarian, NAWIC Guam Chapter.

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