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Official U.S. Navy photo of Cmdr. Elizabeth Durika, CEC, Public Works Officer, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine. (Right) Official U.S. Navy photo of Cmdr. Crystine Good, CEC, Public Works Officer, Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Virginia.

NORFOLK, VA – Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Mid-Atlantic, Civil Engineer Corps (CEC) officers recently assumed duties as Public Works Officers (PWO) at Public Works Departments (PWD) at two Navy east coast shipyards.

 

Cmdr. Elizabeth Durika is the PWO onboard Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNSY), Kittery, Maine, and Cmdr. Crystine Good is the PWO onboard Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY), Portsmouth, Virginia.

 

Durika, a Falls Church, Virginia native who is in her 18th year of serving in the Navy, said being a PWO is a capstone billet for CEC officers.

 

“It brings together the skills and jobs I have held throughout NAVFAC to provide product and service delivery directly to the fleet,” she said. “Leading such an incredible team of professionals at PWD Maine is an honor and a privilege.”

 

Durika noted that the largest challenge facing PWD Maine is the incredible influx of work required to support the Navy’s Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program (SIOP) coming to the yard, including immediate construction efforts, the planning for future projects, and sustainment for the future.

 

“The projects coming to the shipyard are incredibly complex and require lock-step coordination between the submarine overhaul schedules, the OICC (officer in charge of construction) project execution teams, and the public works team,” she said. “As the PWO, my primary responsibility is to the shipyard commander to enable fleet readiness by ensuring the facility support to the warfighter.”

 

While Durika is the new PWO at the Navy shipyard in Maine, she said she couldn’t be more excited for her PWO shipyard counterpart in Virginia.

 

“Cmdr. Good and I were Navy ensigns together at CECOS (Civil Engineer Corps Officers School) and it is exciting to be both assuming the roles of (shipyard) PWOs at the same time,” she said. “Both of our organizations have recently experienced significant reorganization with SIOP on our installations. One of the great parts of working as a PWO in the Mid-Atlantic region is I’m able to pick up the phone and call any one of my fellow PWOs and share best practices, discuss processes, and leverage each other’s experiences.”

 

Good, a Vienna, Virginia native, is in her 24th year of serving in the U.S. Navy. She joined the Navy as an enlisted Electrician’s Mate in 1997, but later became a commissioned CEC officer in 2003.

 

“I am so excited to be a leader in the Navy right now, particularly working at a shipyard that was built in 1767,” she said. “From the highest levels of the Navy, there are not only discussions on pushing out legacy practices, but actions backing them up. As an enterprise, we have some of the brightest people working for NAVFAC who all want to make a difference each day they come to work. Being able to help navigate this while (being) at the shipyard is very rewarding.”

 

Good added that discussions of the Navy’s Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program (SIOP) and the standup of the Program Management Office, along with the Resident Officer in Charge of Construction, has set up a very dynamic and collaborative work environment.

 

“One that you can feel all the way up the NAVFAC chain of command, as well as the NAVSEA (Naval Sea Systems Command) chain of command,” she confided. “I am very fortunate to have a deputy who has been around for a while and is such an outstanding leader.”

 

Good said some of the current and future challenges facing PWD Portsmouth are funding and people thinking SIOP’s money stream will be a “catch-all” to get things funded at the shipyard.

 

“In reality, SIOP has a clear definition,” she said. “We cannot rely on those funds to take the place of standard project planning or facility sustainment.”

 

Good also acknowledged the personal connection and professional similarities between her and her east coast shipyard PWO counterpart.

 

“Cmdr. Durika and I met in Croatia on a midshipmen cruise for the first time, but actually grew up just a few miles down the road from each other,” she said, referring to them both being from neighboring towns in northern Virginia. “Now we’re in the same command, both working as PWOs at Navy shipyards on the east coast!”

 

NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic provides facilities engineering, public works, and environmental products and services across an area of responsibility that spans from South Carolina to Maine, and as far west as Indiana. As an integral member of the Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic team, NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic provides leadership through the Regional Engineer organization to ensure the region's facilities and infrastructure are managed efficiently and effectively.

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