COVID-19: Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

Written by on April 10, 2020

Author: David Mancilla

Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton’s Facilities Department is hard at work to ensure base personnel receive the essential support needed to continue on with their mission in spite of COVID-19.

The facilities department provides critical support services to I Marine Expeditionary Force as well as Camp Pendleton’s other tenant commands. These services are focused on providing general utilities services such as water, gas, electricity and wastewater management.

Although COVID-19 has impacted many military installations nationwide, the Facilities Department has adapted its strategy to safely continue its services across base while tackling its largest challenge.

“We are keeping a portion of the workforce at home to remain healthy and be available to return to work should part of our workforce become ill or to meet surge requirements,” said Steven R. Wolfe, the facilities manager for Marine Corps Installations West, MCB Camp Pendleton. “Our greatest challenge is determining which requirements are essential in today’s posture and making sure we have the right workforce in place to meet that demand.”

Regardless of what current Health Protection Condition Camp Pendleton employs, the department’s service support stance generally does not change.

“We will continue to provide the minimum, scalable tailored workforce to meet essential missions… our impacts are responsive, once we know what I MEF and supported commands need, we will respond,” said Wolfe.

Base residents can also actively contribute to the mission readiness by prioritizing work requests submitted to the department.

“The biggest way (to help) is to understand the position we are in and to help us understand what is essential work and what is not,” said Wolfe. “It is human nature for us all to think our work is essential, but in the broader scheme, some things must continue and some work can probably wait until the health environment changes. We simply will not be able to answer routine service calls if they do not create an unsafe or unhealthful condition in the home. We will continue to address emergencies.”

As with all aspects within Camp Pendleton, communication is key, specifically when identifying service report requests.

“The more we know about the repair to be completed, the health condition of the workplace and how essential the supported function is, the better we can focus our available resources on the most essential requirements,” said Wolfe. “We will continue to provide lifeline utilities services with a keen focus on safe, reliable drinking water.”

In addition to prioritizing work requests, another key way base personnel can directly assist with mission readiness is to follow COVID-19 guidance provided by their chain of command and exercise good social distancing practices.

Together, Camp Pendleton service members, civilians and their families can flatten the curve.

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