Just when you think you’ve done it all, a call comes in out of the blue. Engineering powerhouse Black & Veatch needed a qualified facilitator for partnering on a water treatment project for the US Navy in Diego Garcia (a tiny island in the middle of the Indian Ocean). Could we do it?
We knew we could handle the facilitaion but the logistics proved to be “interesting”.
- Geldner Group had to purchase special “Defense Base Act” insurance. If you ever wonder what can drive up government project costs, this is a prime example. For just two weeks of work, this insurance cost us (and taxpayers) in excess of $3000. It’s a holdover from World War II that’s never been updated by Congress and is really only applicable to workers in hazardous professions (and unions).
- Getting to Diego Garcia is a challenge. You first fly to Singapore (12 – 14 hours), spend a night, then take a military transport flight (6 hours) to Diego Garcia. Needless to say, coordinating this took preparation and planning.
- Once on Diego Garcia, accommodations are very spartan with all sorts of do’s and don’ts about water, restricted areas, environment (don’t disturb the crabs), etc.
- It’s hot and humid. Temperatures are usually in the 90s while the humidity hovers around 80%.
When all was said and done though, the US Navy and its construction partners, San Juan Construction and Black & Veatch, were pleased with our approach and effectiveness at getting all parties on the same page. Our facilitator, Linda Geldner, was praised for her ability to act as an independent, unbiased representative for both customer and contractor sides.
And now we can say we’ve done work literally around the world.