JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – One military and five civilian engineers from Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast, including three from Jacksonville, have returned from Albany, Georgia to help the recovery efforts at a Marine base after tornados cut through the region on January 25.
The team of six all volunteered to be part of the team.
“The base’s industrial area, which includes the Marine Depot Maintenance Command production plant, sustained extensive damage after a tornado impacted several buildings and knocked out power to some areas of the installation on Sunday,” said Pam Jackson, a spokeswoman for MCLB Albany.
They spent all day Thursday, Friday and Saturday assessing damages to facilities on the base. Now back in Jacksonville, they will determine if the facility can still be used or if it will be restricted based on structural integrity. Those findings will be finalized this week and then submitted to the Marine Corps base so that they can use them to determine the best approach to get the facilities back up and running or replaced.
Sending engineers around the world is not new to NAVFAC. Contingency Engineering Response Teams (CERTs) have Disaster Assessment Teams (DATs) which consist of structural, electrical, and mechanical engineers, architects, roofing specialists, community planners and construction contract specialists that deploy to begin Rapid Damage Assessments. It is during this phase that debris is removed and basic functions are restored such as opening roadways, sanitation, water, electricity and communications.
Typically, these teams are deployed to assess hurricane or other storm damage to military installations such as was the case most recently in October 2016 when teams deployed to the United States Navy's Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC), located on Andros Island in the Bahamas after Hurricane Matthew impacted the facilities there.