Story by Lt.j.g. William Mitchell, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11
Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia- The school plans to use the building as a woodworking shop for the 875 students at Chuuk High School, enhancing the school’s curriculum and providing the students with general knowledge in trade skills.
The Seabees coordinated with the Chuuk High School staff to ensure their needs were met, minimal disruptions occurred during school hours and that the project was completed in a safe manner.
In addition to the classroom, the Seabees provided military preparation tutoring to the students, taught practical medical skills to local professionals and completed several additional smaller construction projects all while immersing themselves in the local culture and strengthening relationships.
“We had the pleasure of building not only these projects but building relationships with the community and learning their culture and way of life,” said Builder 2nd Class Hilary Lemelin, Project Crew Leader.
The Seabees had the opportunity to attend local ceremonies, culture days at two different schools and multiple community clean-ups.
Builder 2nd Class Corey Hedman summed up the experience best when he said “from the moment we got here, we felt welcomed; everyone was so supportive of us and we established relationships we will never forget.”
The Seabees of NMCB-11 CCAD FSM’s efforts during their six month deployment were aimed to improve the quality of life for the students while strengthening Host Nation relationships, providing educational infrastructure improvements and displaying the U.S. commitment to the Federated States of Micronesia.
NMCB-11 is homeported in Gulfport, Mississippi, and is part of the Naval Construction Force (NCF). They currently have personnel assigned to more than 15 locations world-wide performing a variety of missions in support of the Navy and the Department of Defense.