BU1 Ken Daberico, NMCB 4, hugs his family in Port Hueneme, Calif., Aug. 5, before departing with the battalion on a deployment to the Pacific. While deployed, the battalion will support construction operations throughout the Pacific Fleet Naval Construction Force, sustain interoperability with regional governments and provide fleet construction support. Photo by MCC Lowell Whitman
Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 4 deployed from Port Hueneme, Calif., in support of ongoing operations in the U.S. Pacific and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility, Aug. 5.
The battalion will serve throughout the countries of Japan, South Korea, Philippines, Cambodia, Timor Leste and Diego Garcia, with additional detachments in California.
“NMCB 4 is deploying to provide expeditionary construction [support] in order to demonstrate U.S. commitment, develop enduring relationships and improve host nation engineering capacity and infrastructure,” said Cmdr. Jeff Lengkeek, commanding officer, NMCB 4.
While deployed, NMCB 4 is tasked with building projects such as warehouses, a teen center, generator facilities, and other training and operational facilities across Pacific and Northern Commands to support Navy and Marine Corps installations.
“Our Construction Civic Action Detail (CCAD) sites in Cambodia, Timor Leste and the Philippines are tasked with Theater Security Cooperation and community relations projects which include the building or improvement of schools, clinics, maternity wards and restroom facilities,” said Lengkeek.
Theater security cooperation and community relations activities consist of a wide variety of activities performed during military exercises and training events which focus on relationship building with the host country. They promote interoperability with the coalition forces and provide U.S. forces with peacetime and contingency access.
“All of our deployed Seabees are focused on enhancing relationships with our partner nations,” said Lengkeek. “At our CCAD sites in Cambodia, Timor Leste and the Philippines, we will focus on military-to-military partnerships through our projects and subject matter expert exchanges. Our goal is to demonstrate U.S. commitment and enhance public infrastructure while building local engineering capacity and strengthening U.S. and host country alliance.”
Seabees have had a continual presence in the Pacific theater since their inception in WWII, and have been performing similar missions supporting U.S. forces and developing relationships with partner nations in the Pacific for decades.
“The focus of this deployment is a shift from our recent major combat operation support in Afghanistan to Theater Security Cooperation at our CCAD sites in Cambodia, Timor Leste and the Philippines, and construction readiness operations at Navy and Marine Corps installations in Japan, Korea, the Indian Ocean and California,” said Lengkeek. “We remain on standby to support any major combat requirements, humanitarian assistance or disaster relief tasking in the Pacific region.”