By James Johnson, NAVFAC Far East Public Affairs
NMCB 5 Seabees UT3 Seth Taylor, CE3 Spencer Bouchard, and SW3 Brandon demolish the existing Briggs Bay Wall while BUCN Janelle Bencic installs fall protection barricades on board Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan May 21.
Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5 Yokosuka Detachment earned praise from Public Works Department Yokosuka leaders after completing a seven-month deployment, Yokosuka, Japan, Aug. 28.
The detachment served at Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka, Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi and the Negishi Housing Area.
“Working behind the scenes with little to no recognition, the Seabees have had a tremendous, positive impact at Fleet Activities, Yokosuka,” said Cmdr. Ben Miller, public works officer. “Their willingness to take on several quality-of-life projects at the beginning of their deployment is a testament to the outstanding contribution Seabees provide to the fleet and their families. I thank the Seabees of NMCB 5 for everything they have done and I welcome the next motivated group of Seabees scheduled to arrive at our installation.”
The largest project the Seabees took on is the $497,000 Briggs Bay seawall on board FLEACT Yokosuka. The 1,163-foot-long, eight-foot-high structure replaces an older wall and is designed to protect the shoreline from coastal erosion and damage from storm surge. The wall is constructed of concrete masonry unit blocks on a concrete foundation and is finished with stucco and exterior paint. NMCB 5 Seabees did much of the work in challenging conditions during the hot summer months. During this time they experienced no lost-time accidents.
When the FLEACT Yokosuka Qualified Recycle Program (QRP) faced an unusually high number of personnel vacancies, NMCB 5 stepped in.
“The Seabees volunteered to assist the QRP in sorting, classifying and otherwise processing material to be recycled,” said Brad Stevenson, QRP manager. “They were a tremendous help with the daily operations.”
They sorted and processed four tons of electrical cords, worth approximately $12,000 to the QRP, along with 500 gallons of used cooking oil.
The detachment also brought the recycling program home, implementing a plan to collect scrap metals at their workspace. They gathered aluminum cans, nuts, bolts and other unwanted metals for the QRP.
Other work included renovations to the security office and weather protection shed at NAF Atsugi, and installation of residential water heaters at the Negishi Housing Area.
The deployment also provided NMCB 5 opportunities for community outreach. In April, the Seabees participated in a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) event at Yokosuka Middle School. Using “We Build, We Fight,” as a theme, they taught students how to build a six-foot wall, install light fixtures and perform a tactical one-man drag.
“I can’t say enough about our Seabees’ outstanding works and great things they’ve done here in FLEACT Yokosuka, NAF Atsugi, Ikego and Negishi,” said Lt. j. g. Hadi Mirsadeghi, NMCB 5 Detail officer in charge. “We’ve spent 18 months in homeport training for this and we came 100 percent ready and prepared to execute the command’s mission, to construct and build.”
NMCB 3 will replace NMCB 5, starting a deployment to the Far East in September.
NMCB 5 returns home to Port Hueneme, Calif., after deployment to the Pacific, in which the battalion was headquartered in Okinawa, Japan, and sent Seabees to work 41 construction projects in 12 countries, supporting U.S. military infrastructure overseas and maritime security and stability operations.