Seabees ‘Provide Exceptional Building to the Children of Mongolia’

By CE3 Tenisha Wisdom, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 4 

Mongolian Color Guard

The Mongolian Armed Forces Honor Guard marches during the Khaan Quest 2016 closing ceremony at Five Hills Training Area, Mongolia, June 4. Khaan Quest is an annual, multinational peacekeeping operations exercise hosted by the Mongolian Armed Forces, co-sponsored by U.S. Pacific Command, and supported by U.S. Army Pacific and U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific. Khaan Quest, in its 14th iteration, is the capstone exercise for this year’s Global Peace Operations Initiative program. The exercise focuses on training activities to enhance international interoperability, develop peacekeeping capabilities, build to military-to-military relationships, and enhance military readiness. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Janessa Pon/160603-M-TA471-266)

Seabees assigned to U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 4 participated in an Engineering Civic Action Program (ENCAP) project as part of Khaan Quest 2016, May 22- June 4, in Zuunmod, Mongolia.

This is the first time since the exercise began in 2003 that Seabees have participated in this exercise.

U.S. armed forces, along with forces from Mongolia, Singapore and India, constructed the fourth dormitory in Zuunmod for students travelling from nearby cities to attend school. Seabees from NMCB 4, along with U.S. Army and U.S Marine Corps engineers, also made necessary repairs to the schoolhouse classrooms.

“Khaan Quest 2016 meant more than just building a dormitory; it was building relations with the Mongolian Armed Forces, experiencing Mongolians food and culture, and working together with the other armed forces,” said Utilitiesman Constructionman Aaron Toval. “I am pleased with the final product of the building. We had one mission in mind – to help provide an exceptional facility for the children of Mongolia, and we accomplished that mission.”

Ribbon Cutting

Multinational service members and Mongolian locals participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Zuunmod, Mongolia during Khaan Quest 2016, June 3, which commemorated the completion of an Engineering Civic Action Program (ENCAP) school dormitory project by Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 4, Mongolian soldiers and construction workers, U.S. Marines from the 9th Engineer Support Battalion, U.S. soldiers from the 411th Engineer Battalion, and service members from the Singapore and Indian Armed Forces.  Khaan Quest 2016 is an annual, multinational peacekeeping operations exercise hosted by the Mongolian Armed Forces, co-sponsored by U.S. Pacific Command, and supported by U.S. Army Pacific and U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Markus Castaneda/160602-N-WI365-091 )

The dormitory project started in March as a joint effort with the multinational team assisting with laying a foundation and installing windows, electrical wiring and plumbing. A ribbon cutting ceremony officially opened the dormitory, honoring the efforts of the engineers, June 3.

During the closing ceremony of Khaan Quest 2016, U.S. Army Pacific’s Deputy Commanding General of Operations Maj. Gen. Gregory Bilton reiterated the importance of the nations participating in the exercise.

“We must be prepared with a collective solution. We must train together and develop a unified response. We must train together to strengthen our trust. And we must train together to increase our understanding of each other and our shared interests,” said Bilton.

Held annually in Mongolia, Khaan Quest 2016 serves as the capstone exercise for the United Nations Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI) program, which provides pre-deployment training to GPOI partner countries preparing to support UN peacekeeping missions. The focus has been on training activities to enhance international interoperability and readiness, develop peacekeeping capabilities, and build military-to-military relationships.

NMCB 4 supports major combat operations and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief operations, and provides general engineering and civil support to Navy, Marine Corps and joint operational forces. Homeported out of Port Hueneme, California, NMCB 4 has detachment sites deployed throughout the United States and Pacific area of operations, including Cambodia, Diego Garcia, Guam, Japan, Philippines, Republic of Korea and Timor-Leste.

In the middle of nowhere

Wide-angle shot of Five Hills Training Area, Mongolia, where the closing ceremony was held.


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