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Home : Media : News
NEWS | Dec. 18, 2023

NSWC PCD’s Infrastructure Division foundationally supports the force behind the fleet

By Jeremy Roman, NSWC PCD Public Affairs

In order for Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City (NSWC PCD) to Dominate the Littorals, it needs the people and places to achieve that mission. This would not be possible without the professionals from NSWC PCD’s Infrastructure Division (Code 102) who support the Navy Lab workforce.

Whether you are driving by the installation—Naval Support Activity Panama City (NSA PC)—or driving on it to get to work, the buildings and projects may be out of sight, but they are not out of mind for this essential team.

“The [entire] workforce needs buildings that are set up to do their jobs. That might be regular office space, a computer lab with raised flooring and special air conditioners that keep servers properly cooled, or a high bay with adequate ceiling height and roll-up doors large enough to bring in a surface vehicle for at-sea test prep,” said Kelley Close, NSWC PCD Facilities Branch head. “If they don’t have the space they need, it’s very hard to do the work. If the air conditioning goes down in their computer lab, the servers are going to overheat and now they’re at a work stoppage. In a way, our main job is to keep them working.”

This division consists of four branches—facilities, infrastructure support, environmental and safety—staffed by more than 40 personnel ranging from civilians to contractors to military service members from the Personnel Force Innovation Program who operate within a dynamic arena.  

“When I say every day is different [for us], I mean that to the fullest extent possible,” said Close. “One day we might spend the morning in meetings with Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) ensuring a $12 million dollar construction project meets its deadline, and by the afternoon, [we] will be…planning temporary office space for a renovation project that needs to clear out the whole building. The next day, we may get a maintenance issue reported in one of the bathrooms, and that afternoon, we’ll sit in a space allocation meeting with NSA PC and all the other Panama City tenants trying to make sure a new building isn’t going to infringe on another’s future plans or operations. The spectrum is wide.”

With so much responsibility and very little control over what real life can throw at an organization, each team brings their specific proficiency* to aid all business and technical codes and remembers what’s important.

“My proud moments are when I’m genuinely helpful for another group. Being on the support side of the house, everyone can sympathize with getting a problem dumped in your lap. We get a lot of groups that bring us a problem that needs to be solved,” said Close. “But sometimes, we get folks who are looking for help in figuring out their problem. Sometimes we’ll figure it out, other times we only come up with a way forward. But at the end of those meetings, they say, ‘Thanks… you were really helpful and I really appreciate you.’ Boom! That’s all I need... just to know that I actually helped someone.”

Whether it’s the day-to-day needs of the workforce or new building construction projects, this Navy Lab’s Infrastructure Support Division remains innovative and resilient to support the needs of the fleet. 

“I’ve been with NSWC PCD for almost 15 years [within the facilities division]. A lot of things have changed and a lot of things are still the same. When I started here, we worked a few Sustainment/Restoration/Modernization (SRM) projects and one construction project each year. Currently, we have more than 10 major construction efforts in the works and several SRM projects going on,” said Close. “Despite the everyday cost, labor and supply chain challenges, we continue to remain flexible when navigating to deliver solutions. For example, we have a program that authorizes the command to award construction projects through the NSWC PCD Contracts Department. Our infrastructure support branch works with our contracts department to develop the project, get it awarded, and also provide oversight and management during the construction phase. This is a fairly new capability for Panama City, but we’re having a lot of success with it.”

Their proficiency and success translates to the literal foundations needed to support the warfighter.

“[As a facilities member] I’ve learned that most people are doing the best they can. It doesn’t matter where they’re working or what they’re doing, for the most part, they’re trying to do their job the best they can,” said Close. “Whether it’s supporting a building project, engaging a service request, ensuring environmental compliance, performing site inspections or certifying that the general workforce is working in safe spaces, what we do matters because the scope of our mission has a direct impact on the personnel, projects and systems that help keep our service members safe.”


*NSWC PCD Infrastructure Division branches consist of:

-Facilities is responsible for maintenance, oversight and NSWC PCD facility Sustainment/Restoration/Modernization (SRM) projects to include buildings, structures, some utilities, and even equipment. They also manage major construction efforts, new construction projects, as well as the weight handling equipment program.

-Infrastructure Support is responsible for those SRM projects that aren’t awarded through NAVFAC. They work with NSWC PCD Contracts Department to develop a project, get it awarded and also provide oversight and management during the construction phase.

-Environmental provides support to the technical codes to ensure test efforts are in compliance with environmental regulations. They also perform day-to-day functions to ensure command personnel are complying with hazardous material requirements, storm water requirements, and other environmental requirements. They provide support to NSWC PCD’s contract awards ensuring environmental checks are in line.

-Safety supports NSWC PCD in-house contracting efforts by ensuring contractors are abiding by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards as well as certifying the general workforce is working in safe spaces. They oversee the medical surveillance program and also oversee and follow up on accidents that may happen to personnel while working (on base and abroad). They conduct annual inspections on every building to validate safety compliance.