Unit Spotlight: Civil Engineering Unit Juneau
Posted by PA1 Jon-Paul Rios, Friday, March 10, 2017
The need for engineering support in The Last Frontier was first established when the U.S. Lighthouse Service was incorporated into the United States Coast Guard in 1939.
Twelve operating light stations in the Southeast represented prominent infrastructure in the settlement and development of the Alaska territory. In the 1950’s, during the advent of statehood, District Headquarters was moved from Ketchikan to the new State capital in Juneau. Shortly thereafter, in 1965, Coast Guard civil engineering functions moved to the Juneau Federal Building.
The Civil Engineering office has had several names since its inception, from Engineering, Civil (ECV) to Shore Maintenance Detachment (SMD) and on Dec. 12, 1990, the name officially became Civil Engineering Unit Juneau (CEU).
For more than 25 years, CEU Juneau, has supported Alaska. CEU Juneau is made up of 48 dedicated members that include Coast Guard officers (CWO to O-5), civilians (GS-7 to GS-13) and contractors. These members are organized into six divisions assisting the Coast Guard with asset line management and real property, planning and resources, contracting and procurement, environmental management, design development and construction execution.
As one of six CEUs throughout the United States, seeing a CEU or knowing their daily mission is often unheard of.
“I enjoy working in Alaska despite the challenges it brings with its beauty,” said Jim Bowman, architect and longest serving member at CEU Juneau. “Occasional extreme rain and snow plays a role but also the areas where we work that can be rural with lack of resources.”
CEU Juneau prioritizes, plans and executes over $30 million annually in routine maintenance and repair along with $12 million in multi-year environmental compliance and response contracts. These funds are used for engineering and architectural design, contracting, construction, environmental compliance and restoration, energy management, planning and real property to directly support D17 and Coast Guard operations in the Arctic.
The vast area of responsibility CEU Juneau maintains adds to the difficulty for civil engineers in Alaska. The total infrastructure maintained by CEU Juneau is valued at more than $4.5 billion across 47 installations and 4,396 assets. CEU Juneau’s is also a key contributor to the morale of Coast Guard members.
“Medical and dental clinics, child development centers, dining facilities, MWR, gyms, pools and Coast Guard exchange systems, you name it, the CEU most likely facilitates it,” said Bowman.
Without CEU Juneau’s expertise and performance of duty, more than 2,800 personnel in Alaska would be unable to complete every day missions.