BUDOCKS in Washington DC
The Navy Bureau of Yard and Docks (BUDOCKS) created a District Public Works Office in 1920 to provide facilities engineering and public works services to the Washington Navy Yard. Twenty-seven years later, a presidential commission recommended that government industrial-type activities, such as facilities maintenance, construction, transportation and utilities, consolidate where possible. The following year, 1948, the Navy established its first Public Works Center in Norfolk, Virginia.
In July 1959, the District Public Works Office name was changed to Area Public Works Office.
Naval District Washington Established
On 1 January 1965, Naval District Washington (NDW) was established with its headquarters in the Navy Yard’s Building 200 to provide area coordination. NDW was responsible to the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) to assure economy and efficiency in operation of all shore activities, as well as conformance to service-wide procedures, so the Navy could provide adequate support to combatant forces. The Area Public Works Officer (APWO) served dual roles, reporting to the Chief of BUDOCKS as APWO, and to Commandant, NDW, as District Civil Engineer.
From March 1965 to May 1966, the Area Public Works Office was renamed Chesapeake Division, Bureau of Yard and Docks (CHESDOCKS). In addition to traditional facilities engineering support, CHESDOCKS also provided public works shops and transportation services. During this time, CHESDOCKS also established the first Resident Officer in Charge of Construction (ROICC) office for the Washington, DC area.
BUDOCKS Becomes NAVFAC
On 1 May 1966, The Secretary of the Navy ordered the six Naval Bureaus, including BUDOCKS, to be placed under the command of the CNO. BUDOCKS became the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) and CHESDOCKS became NAVFAC’s Chesapeake Division (ChesDiv).
Until 1971, ChesDiv was unique among NAVFAC components because it continued to include a public works department in addition to its facilities and engineering, utilities, environmental, housing, and ocean engineering business lines. That year, following joint studies with ChesDiv, the NDW Commandant consolidated all public works functions into a single Navy Yard department – an action that would later serve as the foundation for Public Works Center (PWC) Washington.
Public Works Center Washington
PWC Washington was established on 1 August 1992. The command was created through the consolidation of six area Public Works Departments: Naval District Washington Headquarters, National Naval Medical Center, Naval Research Laboratory, Naval Surface Warfare Center (White Oak), Naval Security Station and the U.S. Naval Observatory. Through regionalization activities in October 2003, PWC Washington absorbed the Public Works Departments at Naval Air Station Patuxent River and the Naval Surface Warfare Centers Dahlgren, Indian Head and Carderock.
Engineering Field Activity Chesapeake
In October 1993, ChesDiv became Engineering Field Activity (EFA) Chesapeake, an Echelon IV command reporting to the Norfolk-based Atlantic Division. In 1999, the command instituted a matrix organizational structure with three Integrated Product Teams (IPTs) to better serve its regional supported commanders.
In the early 2000s, EFA Chesapeake transformed its business practices and developed new technical capabilities to address post-September 11, 2001 requirements in the region. Command staff members delivered time-critical capital improvements projects valued at over $777 million, including construction of executive headquarters and intelligence centers of the Defense, Justice and Homeland Security departments, providing urgently needed capability in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
On 23 July 2004, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Washington was established by consolidating the assets of EFA Chesapeake and PWC Washington. This new command plans and delivers best value facilities engineering support, services and solutions in five business lines: Asset Management, Design and Construction, Environmental, Public Works, and Real Estate.
NAVFAC Name Update
On 3 November 2020, Naval Facilities Engineering Command updated its name to Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command to more accurately reflect its well-established nature and mission as the naval shore facilities, base operating support, and expeditionary engineering systems command that delivers life-cycle technical and acquisition solutions aligned to Fleet and Marine Corps priorities.
NAVFAC Washington Today
The Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Washington workforce consists of over 1,300 civilian, military, and contract support personnel that provide a full range of facilities engineering products and services, with expertise in acquisition, base development, public works, design and construction, environmental, and real estate. NAVFAC Washington serves its supported commanders through offices at Annapolis, Bethesda, Dahlgren, Indian Head, Patuxent River, Quantico, Thurmont, and the Washington Navy Yard.
The command’s diverse supported commanders includes 11 major claimants, 23 naval activities, 18 Department of Defense supported commanders, including the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force and Defense Intelligence Agency. Several unique functions are also resident in the command: the Special Programs Office of The White House Military Office, and residential support for the Vice President of the United States. The NAVFAC Washington Commanding Officer (CO) serves a dual role, reporting to NAVFAC Atlantic as Commanding Officer, and to Commandant, Naval District Washington as the Regional Engineer.
Captain Omarr E. Tobias took command on June 9 2023 to become the tenth commanding officer of Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Washington.