Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jared Walker
CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti – A joint construction project between Marines of Charlie Battery, 1st Battalion, 11th Marines (1/11) from USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) and the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa Seabees, attached to the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133 Detachment took place at the Seabee yard on Camp Lemonnier Sept. 20, 2017.
“This project started September 15th when my boss, Lt. Michael Bock, approached Builder 3rd Class Joshua Williams and I and said that there would be some Marines showing up to discuss the possibility of building them some shoring,” said Builder 3rd Class Charity Galloway, a Seabee attached to the NMCB 133 DET CTJF HOA. “No sooner than he said that, they showed up.”
At this initial meeting the Marines showed the Seabees their plans for what they needed and once it was looked over, the Seabees decided how much material they would need to meet their goals.
But it wouldn’t be the Seabees doing all the work. Part of this effort meant that they would be working together and that meant the Marines needed to become familiar with the tools that the Seabees regularly use.
Galloway said that the Marines weren’t used to the way the Seabees operate. She also said that because of this the Marines had to adopt their approach for this type of work.
“They have been hammering nails, learning how to use circular saws and to utilize tape measures before cutting two by fours. This is new for them so I have been telling them to take it slow,” said Galloway.
One of the most important projects for both groups was the gun carriages for the M777 lightweight 155mm Howitzers. By building these carriages, it ensures that the 10,000lb M777s under the care of the Marines are as stable as possible while transported.
“We built gun carriages for the howitzers so they don’t move during transportation. If the howitzers move they could collide with the each other and the vehicle transporting them. The howitzers could break and even possibly delay the upcoming mission,” said Cpl. Brian Berrios, a Marine attached to Charlie Battery, 1st Battalion, 11th Marines (1/11).
During these four-days both units have come to really enjoy their time together.
“It’s been nice working with the Seabees and seeing the aspects of their job. It’s been a great learning experience,” said Lance Cpl. Jarrett Tuleja, a Marine attached to Charlie Battery, 1st Battalion, 11th Marines (1/11).
The Marines were visiting the region as part of the Alligator Dagger exercise, which offered an opportunity for Navy and Marine Corps teams deployed to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility to participate in rigorous integrated combat proficiency training.
Camp Lemonnier is one of Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia, installations that conducts eight lines of operation to support air operations, port operations, safety, security, housing, MWR, Fleet and Family Support and what is called the core: the fuels, water and power that keep the bases operating.