Seabees, Philippine Army Partner to Get the Job Done

By CM3 Steven McAlister, NMCB 4

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Seabees from NMCB 4’s CCAD Philippines remove debris following demolition of buildings damaged by Typhoon Yolanda, Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines . Photo by CM3 Steven McAlister

Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 4’s Construction Civic Action Detail (CCAD) Philippines is a small group of Seabees working on the Island of Cebu to assist the Philippine government in school construction and renovation of social welfare facilities. Their joint efforts seek to increase interoperability between the U.S. and Philippine militaries and build capacity of the Philippines to respond to natural disasters.

The crew is assisting the Philippine Army Engineers with renovating the Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Girls and Special Needs Dormitory, Mandaue City in September. These facilities serve disabled, orphaned, and abused women and girls.

Working together is key to the success of completing project renovations. The project scope is extensive and includes roof repair, painting and installation of floor tile. From sharing tools to teaching each other best construction practices in their respective countries, the Seabees partner with the Philippine Army Engineers to get the job done.

“Learning how to lay floor tile differently makes us a more capable team,” said Builder Constructionman Katherine Stinnett, NMCB 4. “It is good to know other ways to get the job done when materials and tools might be limited.

“It’s good that we get to work together with [the Philippine Army Engineers],” said Equipment Operator 3rd Class Adeleida Dacanay, NMCB 4. “We can teach them and in turn they teach us. Working together helps us work faster, be more efficient, and save money and time.”

Working together builds the relationship between the Philippine Army Engineers and the Seabees of NMCB 4. It also allows for possible future projects across the Philippine islands. NMCB 4 is deployed to the Pacific area of responsibility in support of humanitarian assistance operations and to maintain relationships with regional governments through construction projects.

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