By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Dominique Lasco, Task Force 75 Public Affairs
OKINAWA, Japan – U.S. Navy Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 4 began conducting deployment operations on Camp Shields, in Okinawa, Japan as part of their regularly scheduled six-month deployment.
The Seabees commenced construction on concrete pads, gravel access roads and six K-spans; installing a drainage and seepage system; and demolishing and reconstructing two pre-engineered buildings (PEB).
“Along with moving the PEB’s, we are going to replace all the roofing; we are currently excavating for the footers and gray beams. Once that’s complete we can start pouring concrete,” said Project Supervisor, Steelworker 1st Class Zebulon Nelson. “This mission gives junior troops a chance to work on an actual project site to gain knowledge and training they need to be successful.”
The project gave troops the opportunity to work outside of their rates, gaining skills in other Seabee community ratings.
“The equipment operators are excavating out a pit so we can put new asphalt,” said Builder Constructionman Vincent Gianfala. “I am cross-training and working with the steel workers to form rebar for the concrete forms. I feel my skills have improved with all the training and practice I had on the form work.”
Homeported out of Port Hueneme, Calif., NMCB 4 has more than 560 Seabees supporting 11 detail sites throughout the United States and Pacific area of operation, including Diego Garcia, Guam, Japan, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Timor Leste and Ulithi.
“We are operating as far west as Panay, Philippines and as far east as Guam,” said NMCB 4 Command Master Chief Jason Holden.
The battalion is also schedule to participate in several joint exercises in the region, to include Cobra Gold 2018 and Pacific Partnership. During these exercises, the Seabees will be working to increase interoperability with the participating nations by working together on a variety of projects.
“We are doing everything from humanitarian operations such as building schools and clinics in the Philippines to mission support facilities on bases,” said Holden.
The battalion arrived earlier this month and formally assumed authority of Camp Shields, relieving NMCB 3 of all duties and responsibilities in the area of operation. During the ceremony, NMCB 4 Commanding Officer, Cmdr. James Cho stated NMCB 4 stands ready to defend whenever and wherever they are needed.
Holden further upholds this statement, knowing his Seabees are ready to support the Navy mission in the region.
“It’s challenging, but we are willing to support the missions that we are here for,” said Holden. “Our Sailors are motivated and ready to do what they need to do to support the Navy.”
NMCB 4 is a forward deployed pacific NMCB ready to support Major Combat Operations and Humanitarian Assistance/ Disaster Relief operations and to provide general engineering and civil support to Navy, Marine Corps and joint operational forces.