Seabees Construct Road for U.S. Border Patrol

By Lt. j.g. Caroline Perruci, Joint Task Force-North Public Affairs

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Seabees assigned to NMCB 11 compact an all-weather road using rollers in support of the U.S. Border Patrol, Rio Grande City, Texas, April 12. Photos by Lt. j.g. Caroline Perruci

Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 deployed to Rio Grande City, Texas, from April to May to construct a road in support of the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP).

The 5,069-foot-long road will aid in executing the USBP’s mission of border security along the Rio Grande River in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV).

“RGV Sector welcomes and appreciates the assistance,” said Danny Tirado, operations officer, Rio Grande Valley Sector, USBP. He added that the work NMCB 11 did “allows quick response from agents to degrade criminal organizations operating in that area.”

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EO2 Joseph Sperry (right), NMCB 11, records elevations as EACN Sanrrley Oliveira measures the elevation of the centerline of an all-weather road, April 15.  Both recently deployed to Rio Grande City, Texas, in support of the U.S. Border Patrol.

Despite returning in February 2014 from a six-month deployment overseas, the 35 Seabees from NMCB 11 who volunteered for the mission spent the past two months dedicated to the project. For many, the mission was an exciting chance to see a new place and execute a project that would make a meaningful difference and demonstrate their capabilities.

“I’ve gotten the chance to work with a lot of great people out here, including the agents with U.S. Border Patrol,” said Equipment Operator Constructionman Mackenzie Oflaherty, NMCB 11. “I’ve learned more about how USBP works and what they do. I’m happy to be here.”

For others, the mission is also an opportunity to gain more experience in the construction trade.

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EO3 Wesley Fox, NMCB 11, compacts an all-weather road in support of the U.S. Border Patrol, Rio Grande City, Texas, April 15.

“I’ve learned so much on this mission, I don’t even know where to begin!” said Equipment Operator Constructionman Lorisha Reece. “There are many pieces to this project [and] each step is important.”

Completing the project required equipment operators, engineering aides to survey the road, a logistics specialist to coordinate berthing and construction materials, and construction mechanics to maintain the equipment.

NMCB 11 is based in Gulfport, Miss. The naval construction force, a component of the U.S. Maritime Strategy, includes deployable battalions capable of providing contingency construction, disaster preparation and recovery support, humanitarian assistance and combat operations support.

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EOCN Justin Miller, NMCB 11, cuts the road to its proper elevation using a grader, April 19. Battalion members recently deployed to Rio Grande City, Texas, in support of the U.S. Border Patrol. 

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