Navy Region Mid-Atlantic was chosen as the GSIP
prototype because “we have a little of everything, at
the big fleet concentration area at Hampton Roads and
all the way up though New England,” Boensel said.
His approach has two phases. The first is about a
year of “scoping,” or assessing the landscape, and
Boensel is hiring planners with experience in industry
to help determine a process for implementation. Then,
he will develop a process template for the other regions
Conway will not be selecting and dictating the infrastructure reductions, but, as a supporting commander,
will work with the various Navy enterprises (aviation,
surface, submarine, expeditionary, etc.) and U.S. Fleet
Forces Command to address their infrastructure needs.
Once their requirements are determined, CNIC will
help them determine the optimal mix of facilities to
enable them to carry out their missions and decide
which excess capacity can be eliminated by demolition,
with the resulting savings being re-invested.
Emphasis will be placed on maximum occupancy of
buildings. For example, a large building occupied by
only 30 people could be shut down and those people
moved into a building with adequate, unused space,
allowing the evacuated building to be demolished or
put in a lay-up status, thereby eliminating or reducing
the maintenance requirements and utility services.
Conway cites a re-emphasis on
sustaining property as a priority.
“Where we’ve gotten in trouble
in the past is we have not done the
required preventive maintenance
that we should have to the level it
should’ve been done,” he said.
“Because of budgetary constraints,
we also did not [often] get to the
correct restoration and modernization.
“Every building has a life
expectancy,” Conway said. “If you
do your preventative maintenance,
your restoration and your modernization in accordance with that
schedule, just like your car, it can
last and last . … And that’s what we
have to do as part of Vision 2035.”
The Navy will be putting the
responsibility of decisions on
infrastructure reduction at the
lowest level possible, the base
commanding officers (COs).
“He is the one who knows the
turf,” Conway said. “He has to
know this complexity inside and
out. He and his staff work with the region [and] the
enterprises in order to identify and collaborate on what’s
excess and what isn’t, what stays, what needs to go.
“I think that’s been the biggest transformational
change, that we’ve empowered these people. These
COs know now that every decision they make has got
to be balanced between the business side and the operational side,” he said.
Boensel will have his base commanding officers
meet with their tenant commands to “look for opportunities to start consolidating into viable buildings and
empty out buildings not worth capital investment.”
Conway gives the example of a bus stop on a base
that no longer runs a bus service as a logical candidate
Boensel already has identified a large concentration
of buildings, including warehouses, used by the supply
establishment that represent an overcapacity and is
being prepared for demolition.
The Navy also is looking at a notional strategy of
zoning its bases according to the function of the infrastructure. Inside a fenced controlled-access zone
would be such operational facilities as piers, runways,
aircraft parking and hangars. Outside the restricted
zone would be a zone for administrative buildings.
As with private property, waterfront property on a
base is popular with office occupants, but Conway is
The aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman pulls out of Naval Station Norfolk, Va.,
in November. The hub of the world’s largest naval complex will be at the center
of the initial implementation of the Global Shore Infrastructure Plan.