By MC1 Daniel Garas
BUCM2 Christopher Beeler (left) and BUCM1 Jeremiah Shuemaker, NMCB 15 measure plywood floors while building a compound for an Army Combat Service Support (CSSB) Brigade. Photo by MC1 Daniel Garas
NMCB 15 Seabees began construction on a compound for the United States Army on August 14.
The compound in Shindand Afghanistan includes 20 Alaskan tents on elevated platforms with covered spaces between the tents and will serve as the headquarters for an Army Combat Service Support (CSSB) Brigade.
“The CSSB has a compound here which has been expanded upon a few times. As a result, they have some electrical and some life health and safety (LHS) issues,” said Lt. Steven Hunt, Detail Officer in Charge for the Seabees in Shindan. “They wanted to relocate, so they asked us to build this compound. The location is great because it gives them a good staging area for their vehicles. Plus, it’s right next to their berthing.”
The Seabees were selected to construct the camp due to their experience in expeditionary construction and their reputation for building such structures quickly.
“We can get a lot more accomplished with less people,” said Builder 1st Class Chad Reigel, the assistant project supervisor. “Our main function is expeditionary construction, so this is right up our alley.”
The work request came on extremely short notice. Hunt was able to task-tailor the project and get plans for the compound made up within a day.
The project came with a few additional requirements that the Seabees incorporated into their design, including elevated wooden platforms and enclosed hallways between the structures.
Reigel added that building enclosures and hallways to connect the areas between the tents was mission-essential for the Army unit.
“This compound contains their communications department, therefore the ability to transport documents between buildings securely was important,” he said.
Despite the added requirements, the Seabees demonstrated their can-do attitude and flexibility and are expected to complete the mission on time.
“This came at us pretty quickly,” said Hunt. “The crew hasn’t blinked at any project we have thrown at them.” “All of them have jumped right in and knocked it out. “
“These guys have done a great job,” Hunt added. “It’s a pleasure to be here with them.”
NMCB 15 is currently deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and is an expeditionary engineering element of U.S. Naval forces supporting units worldwide through national force readiness, humanitarian assistance, and building and maintaining infrastructure.
NMCB 15 Seabees sleep under the stars as they convoy from Shindand to Camp Bastion. Photo by MC1 Daniel Garas