Story by Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Public Affairs
Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3 and members of the Philippine Army’s 53rd Engineering Brigade dig a drainage system alongside a newly constructed two-classroom school building at Cantipay Elementary school Feb. 22, 2016, in Cebu, Philippines. The project was the last of four school buildings the Seabees constructed during their 2015-2016 PACOM deployment alongside the Armed Forces of the Philippines. (Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lisa Brown/160222-N-EY682-004)
PORT HUENEME, California — Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3 were selected as the 2016 Navy Community Service Program/Project Good Neighbor Community Service Award for large sea going command for volunteering 4,800 hours across the Pacific Fleet and in their homeport of Port Hueneme, California.
Annually, the Chief of Naval Operations recognizes shore, sea, and overseas commands for Project Good Neighbor. The Project Good Neighbor Award, announced Nov. 23, serves to recognize the best year-round volunteer supported program or special project that promotes outreach activities throughout the year to establish and resort hope to the community.
NMCB 3’s year-long community service efforts impacted 21,900 people, of which 12,950 were youth. While deployed from September 2015 through March 2016, NMCB 3 Seabees volunteered in four different countries: Timor-Leste, Cambodia, Philippines, and Japan.
During the award period, NMCB 3 had more than 55 percent of their command of 550 SEABEES participate in community related events. Some of the volunteer projects NMCB 3 Sailors participated in ranged from teaching English to children in Timor-Leste and Cambodia; promoting health and fitness to children in the Philippines; and participating in the Special Olympics in Kadena, Japan.
The Rotary Club of Dili, Timor Leste described the impact Seabees made on the children they assisted during the 2015 deployment.
“Anywhere you saw a Seabee, you’d see a gaggle of shouting, laughing little faces,” wrote Bob Quiggin, president of the Rotary Club of Dili, Timor-Leste.
According to the award submission, NMCB 3 is “committed to the community where it matters, when it matters, with what matters as is evident in our quality of partnership and the impact we have on citizenry.”
“This special recognition highlights our ability as Navy Expeditionary Combat Force to not only execute our challenging missions, but to proactively and compassionately engage our local communities as positive Navy ambassadors and role models, both at home and abroad,” said Rear Adm. Brian Brakke, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command/NECC Pacific.
Cmdr. Laurie Scott, commanding officer, NMCB 3 was extremely proud of his unit for being a Navy Ambassador both in homeport and while deployed across the Western Pacific.
“This award recognizes the tremendous efforts of the many Seabees in NMCB 3 who are passionate about making the lives of others better,” said Scott, who added that NMCB 3’s community outreach program allows their command to be more focused and provide a bigger impact.
Scott added that Seabees benefit from participating in community relations projects because “by our very nature, Seabees have a desire to serve others.”
NMCB 3 is part of the Naval Construction Force which is a vital component of the U.S. Maritime Strategy. The force provides deployable battalions capable of providing disaster recovery support, humanitarian assistance, and supporting major combat operations.