Marine Corps Base Hawaii celebrated the opening of its new Waterfront Operations command center Friday.
Waterfront Operations’ three main missions are to provide waterborne search and rescue, serve as the installation’s emergency response team in the event of a hazardous material spill in waters surrounding the base, and assist military police by enforcing regulations in prohibited or restricted waters.
The $13 million project started in November 2012, and consisted of demolishing three buildings and constructing two new buildings with supporting facilities.
The operations building is a 7,400 square feet structure that includes administrative offices, training/lounge room, male and female bunkrooms, and shower and locker room facilities. The maintenance building consists of a 12,550 square feet structure that includes a general maintenance shop, and storage areas for equipment and materials.
Overall improvements to the command center include a fire pump building, hazardous material storage, boat handling and maintenance areas, and reconstruction of the existing drainage system. A new boat ramp is also being constructed to protect the environment at Kaneohe Bay.
The original Waterfront Operations facilities were constructed in the 1970s as semi-permanent structures and once used by the Naval Ocean Systems Center. Due to age and prolonged exposure to the elements, these buildings were deteriorating and structural integrity was compromised.
The base is manned 24 hours a day and has a 500-meter protection zone that extends out into Kaneohe Bay. Along with the Coast Guard, boats stationed at the base can respond to any boating emergencies in the bay.