Three civilian workers received the Department of the Navy Commendation for Meritorious Civilian Service for their efforts during the Hurricane Florence recovery process at a ceremony on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, June 30, 2020.
MCB Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River sustained significant wind and rain damage to facilities caused by Hurricane Florence in September of 2018 and Hurricane Dorian in September of 2019.
“These men and women are the hidden heroes behind the support for thousands of Marines and Sailors that cycle through Camp Lejeune,” said Sgt. Maj. Charles A. Metzger, sergeant major of Marine Corps Installations East-Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. “The Marines and Sailors may never meet them but they are essential to the sustainment of this base.”
Thomas Burton, director of the design branch, Neal Paul, deputy public works officer, both at the Public Works Office and Meghan Hislop, acquisition division director, Naval Facilities Command (NAVFAC) Office in Charge of Construction-Florence, collectively worked together to facilitate the ongoing repair of 378 roofs, over 400 facilities that support the II Marine Expeditionary Force and 350 miles of training roads, culvert repairs and bridge repairs across MCB Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River.
Burton was recognized for opening lines of communication between NAVFAC and Headquarters Marine Corps to prioritize work, design efforts and direction of the Global Contingency Contract (GCC). His efforts led to 44 architectural and engineering design contract actions valued at $7.4 million that has led to $1.6 billon in construction for 1,200 facilities including buildings, bridges, roads, waterfront structures and utilities systems.
“To me, this award is a team award,” Burton said, “I am so proud of my team and the people in the Public Works Office because the amount of work they have put into the recovery effort is an unprecedented amount.” Burton said.
Paul took charge of a team of 300 engineers and other personnel as they orchestrated the clearing of all main roads, conducted power restoration, assessed facility damage and conducted dry-in operations of over 378 roofs and dry-out operations of 245 buildings immediately following the storm. His team enabled leaders to advocate to Congress for $1.6 billon in supplemental sustainment funding and $1.5 billion in Military Construction (MILCON) funding.
Hislop was credited with organizing support ahead of the storm by pre-staging 13 high voltage crews and eight debris crews for immediate base recovery efforts after the hurricane. This aided in the rapid restoration of power on base, which went from 10% to 90% within 24 hours. She directed 65 contract actions to the GCC within the first 15 months of recovery totaling more than $789.5 million. This gave Congressional leadership confidence in funding $1.6 billion for restoration and $1.5 billion in congressionally appropriated MILCON.
The collective efforts of these individuals and their teams were instrumental in the Hurricane Florence recovery on MCB Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River.
“These folks have moved mountains and have really been driving forces for the collective success of the bases over the last 20 months, so we wanted to recognize them and thank them for their hard work.” said U.S. Navy Capt. Miguel Dieguez, assistant chief of staff for facilities and environment, MCIEAST-Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.