By HM1 Michael Smaltz
Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 74, NMCB 40 and the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) pose for a group photo in front of the Kampung Kreng Health Clinic Maternity building in Kampot Province, Cambodia. The Seabees and RCAF are working together to construct the clinics that will provide pre- and post-partum care for eight villages in the Kampot Province. Photo by EO3 Bethany Spinney
A detail of 11 Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 74 and 13 engineers of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) recently completed construction of a maternity center at the Kampot Health Center, Kampot, Cambodia August 7, 2012 in Support of Pacific Partnership 2012.
During construction, both countries worked side by side, sharing their knowledge and tricks of the trade. The Seabees’ crew leader, Builder 2nd Class Daniel Reckers, said he was impressed with how seamlessly the two units integrated together. “Even with our language barriers, the (RCAF) Engineers are teaching us their trade skills and we are sharing Seabee skills with them,” said Reckers.
The underlying goal of Pacific Partnership is to strengthen relationships between the nations involved and improve their ability to conduct disaster relief operations, humanitarian assistance and medical relief missions.
Reckers said the combined force placed over 25 cubic yards of concrete and approximately 1,600 units of concrete block. The facility will provide a much needed expansion to the current facility doubling access to medical care in the area and enabling theater commander strategic objectives.
Local community leader, Mrs. Somaly, said every member of the community is very excited for the new maternity facility to open and said she enjoyed watching the Seabees and RCAF work together. “I hope to see more joint nation projects in the future,” said Somaly. “We are so pleased to see how well the RCAF and the Seabees work together.”
Dr. Chan Sary, attending physician at Kampot Health Center, said that the new two-room expansion will allow him to double his practice at the center which currently provides services for approximately 400 patients per month.
“The need was great,” said Sary. “Now with this new building I will be able to provide medical services for the two communes in my area instead of just one.” Sary also said he plans to expand his staff of nine nurses to meet the growing patient population.
NMCB 74 deployed in July and is currently conducting theater security cooperation operations, and civic action and readiness construction projects across the Pacific Command area of operations.