Story by CE2 Zapien and Builder CN Jessika Corwin, NMCB 11 Public Affairs
KWAJALEIN, Marshall Islands – Fifteen Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 Construction Civic Action Detail (CCAD) Marshall Islands (MHL) deployed from Gulfport, Mississippi to the Marshall Islands to relieve NMCB 133 and execute construction tasking for six months in support of the local populous.
Five members of NMCB 11 and six members of NMCB 133A conducted a week-long inspection and review before Lt. j.g. Lars Swanson, NMCB 133’s officer in charge (OIC), gave the helm to Ensign Daniel Hulse, NMCB 11’s OIC, for Seabee operations in the Marshall Islands.
Now, NMCB 11’s Marshall Islands Seabees are hard at work consolidating tools and materials from islands all throughout the Kwajalein Atoll in preparation for their upcoming projects.
Turnover from one Seabee unit to another includes detailed and thorough examinations of civil engineering support equipment (CESE), tools, materials, facilities, supplies, and operations. Luckily, for both battalions, turnover was a seamless transition.
“This turnover has gone a lot smoother than the ones I have been a part of in the past,” said Construction Electrician 2nd Class Joshua Zapien.
The hard work contributed by both battalions during turnover set the tone for the effort NMCB 11 Seabees began shortly after they took charge.
“Our priority of effort is getting all our tools and materials back to Kwajalein before we begin our work on the outer islands,” said Hulse.
To do this, the typically land-based Seabees had to transport tools, materials, and CESE by boat. Using a Landing Craft Mechanized (LCM) provided by the Army, Seabees traveled between Kwajalein and Ebeye twice in one day to return tools and materials back to Kwajalein, where Steelworker 3rd Class Matthew Pearson took the lead in consolidating and inventorying everything the Seabees need to begin their work in the Marshall Islands.
Over the next few months, the Marshall Islands Seabees will build on seven different islands to support Phase 0 Theater Security Cooperation operations in the Pacific. Their projects include two water catchment systems, a school fence, and two school renovations, all of which will improve the quality of life for the Marshallese population and enhance relationships that are critical to supporting their mission.
NMCB 11 will remain deployed until they are relieved and have delegated project responsibility to NMCB 1.
Homeported in Gulfport, Mississippi, NMCB 11 is part of the Naval Construction Force (NCF). The NCF is a vital component of the U.S. Maritime Strategy and is comprised of deployable battalions capable of providing contingency construction, disaster preparation and recovery support, humanitarian assistance, and combat operations support in support of regional partners and combatant commanders.
For more news from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/nmcb11/.