Story by MC2 Kelsey Hockenberger, Commander, Task Force 75
TINIAN, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands- Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1, Detachment Guam, assumed responsibility for ongoing relief efforts on Tinian during a relief-in-place and transfer of authority ceremony with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Nov. 14.
During the ceremony, Lt. Cmdr. Pete Smagur, officer in charge of NMCB-1, Det. Guam, assumed responsibility from Marine Col. Robert Brodie and the 31st MEU as recovery efforts continue in Tinian.
“The Marines did an outstanding job assisting our neighbors and I am proud of the work we accomplished,” said Brodie. “I am supremely confident that Lt. Cmdr. Smagur and his team will knock it out of the park on continuing the mission to repair homes and reconstruct roofs damaged from the typhoon.”
After Super Typhoon Yutu hit the island late last month, Marines with the Okinawa-based 31st MEU and Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) 31, Seabees from NMCB-1, and Airmen from 36th Civil Engineer Squadron, 36th Medical Group and 36th Contingency Response Group began Defense Support of Civil Authorities relief efforts on Oct. 29. During a several-weeks long sprint, the joint-service contingent cleared roads, assembled Federal Emergency Management Agency-provided shelters for displaced families, cleared debris from schools and government buildings and provided water and power for the community.
“We were able to take a truly devastated island and successfully assist the community due to the collaboration between service members from the Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force,” said Brodie.
NMCB-1, Det. Guam, will continue as the command element for Joint Task Group Tinian, constructing temporary roofs on damaged homes across the island.
As Smagur assumed command, he spoke about the work that already occurred and his team’s willingness to continue the effort.
“It’s been an honor to serve along side the Marines and Airmen in the initial disaster recovery phase of this operation. With the routes cleared and temporary life support services in place, we’re looking forward to getting the Seabees out in the field to construct temporary roofs for our neighbors” said Smagur.
Service members from the Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force produced more than 61,000 gallons of potable water, assembled more than 196 emergency shelters, and cleared 62 miles of roadway, moving 160-thousand cubic feet of debris left by Yutu.
Service members from Joint Region Marianas and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command are providing Department of Defense support to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands’ civil and local officials as part of the FEMA-supported Super Typhoon Yutu recovery efforts.
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