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Seabees Dedicate New Headquarters Facility

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS120629-15

By Daryl C. Smith, Commander, 1st Naval Construction Division Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- The First Naval Construction Division (1NCD) officially dedicated its new headquarters building during a ribbon-cutting ceremony aboard Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, June 29.

The division oversees more than 16,000 U.S. Navy Seabees who deploy worldwide to provide military construction support and humanitarian assistance.

Participants in the ceremony included Rear Adm. Mark Handley, commander, First Naval Construction Division; Capt. Charles Stuppard, commanding officer, Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story; Capt. Paul Odenthal, executive officer, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Mid-Atlantic; and Carol Curtis, president, Noah Enterprises.

The building, which incorporates many energy-saving and environmentally friendly features, was dedicated in honor of Lt. Carl Milford Olson, a Civil Engineer Corps officer who took part in the North African and Sicilian campaigns during World War II as officer-in-charge of a Seabee pontoon causeway platoon.

Olsen helped develop and build many of the fittings and attachments which made the Seabee pontoon causeways successful in landing operations. He was killed on the beachhead at Salerno, Italy, Sept. 13, 1943.

Olson's granddaughter, Luann Olson and her husband, Don Olson, attended the ceremony and helped cut the ribbon.

"From the beach landings of World War II, the cold of Korea, the steaming jungles of Vietnam, to the deserts of the Middle East, Seabees have built bases, paved roads and constructed numerous bridges, airstrips and forward operating bases in the four corners of the world," Rear Adm. Handley said. "Our Seabee legacy became forever etched in our history during the early days of World War II by the likes of Lt. Carl Milford Olson....As we recognize Lt. Carl Milford Olson today, we also recognize our recently fallen heroes in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Heroes from within our battalions, heroes that were individual augmentees, heroes that paid the ultimate price for freedom."

The 28,330-square-foot Operations Control Facility will provide the staff with improved functional workspaces to support subordinate Naval Construction Force units to meet the operational needs of Seabees deployed around the globe. The lead contractors for the $11.5 million contract were Noah Enterprises and Mid Eastern Builders, Inc. with design by RRMM Architects.

The Lt. Carl Milford Olson Building will house about 150 military and civilian personnel. It will enhance the operation of 1NCD by providing modern, well-configured work spaces capable of handling computer and communications technology. The building was designed and built to achieve high performance in human and environmental health, sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, environmentally preferable materials selection and high indoor environmental quality. It has been submitted for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

The facility mirrors the Navy's goals of environmental sustainability and incorporates many unique features. Photo-voltaic panels on the roof partially offset the building's electricity consumption. Rainwater collected from the roof is filtered and stored in an 8,000-gallon tank and used for flushing toilets, reducing consumption of city water.

Extensive use of natural daylight in building design reduces the need for electric lighting in office spaces. Water-permeable parking lot paving and landscaping design reduce rainwater runoff into storm drains. LED lights in the parking lot also reduce energy consumption, and the facility gets its heating and cooling from geothermal wells in the ground.

"It will serve as a showcase for the Navy's energy and environmental initiatives for years to come," Capt. Stuppard said.

The facility also serves as a showcase for Seabee heritage. The hallways and common areas include a wide variety of historical images alongside photographs of modern day Seabees in action, reflecting the connection between past and present, with an eye on the future. The "Heritage Trail" was designed by Qnexis, Inc.

The Lt. Carl Milford Olson Building replaces Building 3006, a wooden structure originally built as a temporary barracks in 1943, and currently the oldest building aboard the base.

"For years the Seabees have been taking care of everyone else in the Navy and other services all over the world, but not themselves....Today, with the opening of this new facility, our Seabees will have the best-looking building on campus," said Stuppard."

The First Naval Construction Division was established in August 2002. Its mission is to organize, train, operate and maintain the Naval Construction Force, to command and control naval construction regiments and Seabee readiness groups, and to develop, coordinate and implement policy and requirements to man, equip and train Seabees. At any given time, more than 2,000 Seabees are deployed around the globe supporting military operations as well as humanitarian and disaster recovery efforts.

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