In the wake of multiple earthquakes that occurred on July 4-5, 2019, Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, Calif., sustained damage to multiple facilities and loss of utilities to numerous base services.
As many departments work hard to restore the base back to normal working condition, NAWSCL Public Works, in conjunction with the base Emergency Operating Center has been prioritizing and executing the restoration of the base utilities and repair damage.
As of 11 July 2019, some utilities (e.g., water, sewage, or electricity) have been restored throughout the main side of the base, though minimal outages may continue, and are tied to additional repairs. Outages are in flux on the operations side of the base, and are being assessed and repaired by Public Works. Potable water containers are in place for consumption at two locations: China Lake Propulsion Lab (400 gallons) and Weapons Survivability Lab (500 gallons) for mission essential personnel and will remain until water services have been restored.
Ensign Andrew Quan, EOC production officer, manages the priorities of the EOC with those of the NAWSCL Public Works dept. in support of the recovery efforts.
“We make sure the work getting done around the base is in the right sequence so we can bring the base back online and start letting people back on,” said Quan.
Damages from the earthquake have affected essential base services, including base fire department buildings.
“There was a time the fire department lost water to its main fire houses,” said Quan. “We were able to get water back on line so they did not have to worry about their current living conditions and could handle what the fire department needed to go do.”
According to Quan, the first priorities of restoration are to bring water and power back to the emergency services, including the fire department, police station, and the base administration buildings.
“We started restoring things to housing and now we’re starting to look at making sure we can get power and connectivity back to our mission critical buildings so we can resume normal operations,” added Quan.
The base is also receiving help from around the region.
“Our Public Works dept. is usually about 175 personnel and we’re being augmented by roughly 80 additional tradesmen who have come from other regions to help us,” said Quan.
Quan also said, “The team effort across the board here at China Lake has been very integrated. Everybody’s been really helpful. With help from augmented base personnel and Public Works department, we’re hoping to restore everything back to the way it was.”
With a week since the occurrence of the first earthquake, diligent military and civilian personnel have worked together to get things back in order.