Story by MC2 Joshua Fulton, Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific
TAWAU, Malaysia – Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5 and Amphibious Construction Battalion (ACB) 1 completed three civil engineering projects in Tawau, Malaysia, May 3, as a part of Pacific Partnership 2018 (PP18).
The Seabees worked alongside counterparts from the Malaysia Armed Forces at the three projects, exchanging skills and best practices while developing camaraderie.
“Working with the Malaysians was amazing, as all of their different personalities intertwined with ours and created a really fun working environment,” said Builder 3rd Class Emily Manley. “It was a very unique experience because we had the opportunity to get hands on experience with our host nation partners; we learned from them, they learned from us, and most importantly we learned how to work together.”
At SK Kampung Jawa and SK Kebangsaan Taman schools, NMCB 5 Seabees constructed three open-air halls that will allow students to sit and gather for lunch or outdoor learning, with protection from the heat and rain.
Meanwhile, Seabees from ACB 1 and their Malaysian counterparts painted outdoor walls and welded together water tank stands at the Merotia Clinic near Tawua.
The combined efforts the Pacific Partnership engineering team and their Malaysian colleagues demonstrate PP18’s ability to foster genuine friendships based on trust, unity and cooperation.
“We are building lasting relationships that, years down the road, if we get the opportunity to come back and work with them again, they will still probably remember our names and we will be able to pick up right where we left off, working side by side,” said Manley. “It is truly such a blessing to be out here and be given this opportunity.”
Pacific Partnership, now in its 13th iteration, is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance/disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific. The mission’s objective is to enhance regional coordination in areas such as medical readiness and preparedness for man-made and natural disasters.
Pacific Partnership 2018 consists of more than 800 U.S. military personnel stationed worldwide, working side-by-side with host nation counterparts to be better prepared for potential humanitarian aid and disaster response situations.