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NMCB 4 Seabees Support Communities in Cambodia

By Lt. j. g. Joseph DeMarzo, NMCB 4

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CM2 Timothy Switzer (right) and BU3 Rudy  Fehrle, both assigned to NMCB 4, discuss project lay out and plan clearing and grubbing operations for a restroom construction project at Sam Dech Chea School in Sihanouk, Cambodia, Aug. 14. Photos by EO3 Alexander Balaoing

Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 4 deployed to Cambodia in August continuing an enduring Seabee presence in-country since 2010, which has delivered maternity wards, restroom facilities and water wells to communities in need. NMCB 4 Civic Construction Action Detail (CCAD) Cambodia is at the forefront of efforts to deliver humanitarian assistance to local populations and support theater security cooperation objectives.

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A civilian contractor guides a local national crane operator while unloading a skid steer for NMCB 4 Detail Cambodia at Sam Dech Chea School in Sihanouk, Cambodia, Aug. 14.

As part of the battalion’s 2014 PACOM deployment, the ‘Bees are constructing a five-stall bathroom facility at Samdech Chea Sim Primary School, Sihanoukville, Cambodia. The school is located in the heart of Sihanoukville, a port city on the southern tip of Cambodia, and serves more than 1,200 students in grades one through six. The detail planned and estimated the project before deployment and began construction shortly after completing turnover with NMCB 1. NMCB 4 is assisted by a “life support” contractor who works with local vendors to procure supplies and materials, both increasing engagement with the community and supporting the local economy in the process. The students are excited and intrigued by their American visitors. Seabees maximize their daily interactions with the students through sports, English classes and simple games such as Tic Tac Toe.

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CE2 Daniel Neal, NMCB 4, plays soccer with local national students at Sam Dech Chea School in Sihanouk, Cambodia, Aug. 14.

Upon completion of the current project the Seabees will deploy to the Cambodian provinces of Kep and Takeo for follow-on work. They are tasked with additional bathroom facilities and maternity wards across those provinces. NMCB 4 will work side-by-side on future projects with engineering counterparts from the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces. The units will exchange best practices and construction expertise as they complete tasked projects in tandem. The military-to-military engagement is a critical objective of the unit to improve interoperability among allied forces.

The detail remains under the operational control of NMCB 4 Main Body located in Okinawa, Japan, and works in close coordination with the American Embassy and USAID in Cambodia.

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BUCN Nathan Soliz, NMCB 4, marks a 2×4 to cut into stakes during a restroom construction project at Sam Dech Chea School in Sihanouk, Cambodia, Aug. 14.

 


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