The culmination of any project overseen by Japan Engineer District is normally a ribbon-cutting ceremony, with flashing cameras and the smiling faces of the military and civilians at the installation that has taken possession of a new state of the art facility. However, if you look at the crowd, you may see a group of people looking more relieved than excited. These are probably the members of the Project Delivery Team that shepherded the project through the planning, design and construction phases before turning it over to the stakeholder.Now one of the PDTs at JED has even more to smile about. The members of the Landing Helicopter Dock Practice Site PDT won the 2020 USACE Project Delivery Team of the Year for Merit.The Marine Corps Aviation Group identified a critical need for an alternate flight training for F-35B Lightning II and MV-22 Osprey aircraft that simulates ship approach, landing, and take-off and the PDT met that need.“We applied all the facets of the project management business process and executed it well enough to be recognized,” said Bach X. Nguyen, project manager. “Providing a one of a kind facility outside of the United States is a great accomplishment.”The LHD practice site brings new capabilities into the Indo-Pacific region allowing the USMC’s III MEF to increase their readiness and lethality, while maintaining the safety and security of the region.The site gives a realistic representation of an amphibious assault ship’s deck that enables nighttime as well as daytime training for Marine Pilots. The practice site delivers the Marines a much more consistent and economical training solution that provides a realistic marine environment that cannot be replicated at any other U.S. based training sites in the Indo-Pacific Region.The PDT overcame many challenges from terrain, unknown building locations, and other local unique concerns.“Communication was the key,” said Thomas Han, JED Navy/Marine Section Chief. “Communicating with the multiple stakeholders, developing a mutual understanding and staying flexible to make it happen.”Through comprehensive discussions, the PDT captured and documented all stakeholder requirements and defined how the factors of quality, safety, fiscal, schedule, legal, communications, change management, and constraints affect the project.The project’s design phase involved “reach-back” to the Alaska Engineer District, POD’s Regional Technical Center (Honolulu), the Huntsville Environmental and Munitions Center, and the Transportation Systems Center (Omaha).One major issue that the PDT had to overcome was discovering large amounts of Metals of Explosive Concern during the site excavation. The presence of MEC halted the majority of the construction effort for about 12 months while the PDT coordinated the approval of the Explosive Safety Submission by the Department of Defense Explosive Safety Board.The PDT leveraged Huntsville’s Environmental and Munitions Center of Expertise to coordinate and secure subject matter experts to provide Construction Support, location, removal, and disposal of more than 17,000 inert training munitions. During the MEC mitigation effort, the PDT kept our partners from MCIPAC and MWLK abreast of progress.“Mike Diaz, JED construction representative, was integral in the success of this project. He lived there, working side by side with the contractors, to make this happen,” Nguyen added. “It is a PDT award, it took the full PDT involvement and participation, it took extra hours, and the hardship of many people to enable this project to be completed as it did and when it did. There are a lot of people that had their hand in this and I’m glad they were recognized with this award.Japan Engineer District is one of four Engineer Districts in Pacific Ocean Division, which focuses on the design, management and construction of various host nation and military construction projects. JED delivers high quality, sustainable, comprehensive engineering and construction services in Japan in support of peacetime and contingency operations throughout the region. It successfully executes the full spectrum of required missions as the United States Forces Japan Construction Agent. To find out more information about JED please visit and