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NMCB 5’s CCAD Tackles Difficult Construction in Timor-Leste

By Lt. James Ambat, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5

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Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5’s Construction Civic Action Detail (CCAD) in Timor-Leste held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Ermera Bridges project in the village of Leimea. Conquering the austerity of the remote project site location, the CCAD constructed two suspended cable bridges, straddling 55 and 111 yards, in order to provide the community access to food, health, and medical services, which are cut off during the rainy season. In order to construct these bridges, the CCAD harvested up to 306 yards of stone from the riverbed, sprawled 831 yards of steel wire rope by hand, manually mixed & placed more than 1,900 cubic-feet of concrete, and installed more than 350 deck planks. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5’s Construction Civic Action Detail (CCAD) deployed to Timor-Leste in February 2015 to execute humanitarian assistance construction projects throughout the nation.

During their seven-month deployment, the 30 CCAD Seabees undertook seven community service projects (COMSERV), construction of a four-classroom schoolhouse at the Tibar Primary School, and the assembly of two suspended cable bridges in the remote district of Leimia. The projects were aimed at improving the quality of life and health of the residents within the growing nation, and developing enduring relationships with the government, military, and people of the country.

The COMSERV projects included constructing the first playground in a school located in the developing district of Meti-Aut; placing a 13,000-gallon water tank liner for the only medical clinic located in the Bairo Pite sub-district; constructing a raised driveway to prevent storm-water runoff from flooding a clinic which nourishes malnourished children and educates their families; installing handrails for disabled children at the Klibur Domin Clinic; repainting and tiling walls at the only maternity ward in the Becora sub-district in order to improve sanitation and aesthetics; and facilitating bi-monthly English tutoring courses for both college and elementary school students in order to inspire enthusiasm and excitement for education and future career endeavors.

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Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5’s Construction Civic Action Detail (CCAD) in Timor-Leste held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Ermera Bridges project in the village of Leimea. Conquering the austerity of the remote project site location, the CCAD constructed two suspended cable bridges, straddling 55 and 111 yards, in order to provide the community access to food, health, and medical services, which are cut off during the rainy season. In order to construct these bridges, the CCAD harvested up to 306 yards of stone from the riverbed, sprawled 831 yards of steel wire rope by hand, manually mixed & placed more than 1,900 cubic-feet of concrete, and installed more than 350 deck planks. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

The construction of the Tibar Primary School transcended more than plain construction of a concrete-masonry site layout necessary to provide the required infrastructure for quality educational services. The CCAD constructed this facility in collaboration with eight Falintil-Forcas Defencas de Timor Leste (F-FDTL) engineering specialists, in order to improve the country’s military construction capabilities, increase their interoperability with U.S.military forces, and demonstrate a joint commitment to education. Together, the CCAD and F-FDTL spent five months constructing up to 65% of the facility before NMCB 5 CCAD turned over with the incoming unit, NMCB 3.

The 30 Seabees that deployed to Timor-Leste left with a lasting impression. Not only did they accomplish a daunting amount of work in only seven months, they made a big difference in the lives of hundreds of people.

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Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5’s Construction Civic Action Detail (CCAD) in Timor-Leste held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Ermera Bridges project in the village of Leimea. Conquering the austerity of the remote project site location, the CCAD constructed two suspended cable bridges, straddling 55 and 111 yards, in order to provide the community access to food, health, and medical services, which are cut off during the rainy season. In order to construct these bridges, the CCAD harvested up to 306 yards of stone from the riverbed, sprawled 831 yards of steel wire rope by hand, manually mixed & placed more than 1,900 cubic-feet of concrete, and installed more than 350 deck planks. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)


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Consolidated by Dr. Frank A. Blazich Jr., Historian, Naval History and Heritage Command

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