Story by MCCS Jeffrey Pierce, NCG 2 Public Affairs
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) 202 completed a much-needed restroom facility located near E-Beach on board JEB Little Creek-Fort Story.
According to Lt. Blaine Henning, CBMU-202’s Executive Officer, the project was part of the Naval Construction Force (NCF) and Commander, Navy Installations Command’s (CNIC) Call for Work Program. The Call for Work Program allows installations to submit construction projects for execution by NCF units to further their skill development which will provide a quality end product to the installation. CNIC funds the material costs and the labor is provided through the NCF.
“These projects are absolutely critical to developing and maintaining the technical skill set of the Seabee rates.” Henning said. “The installation needed a restroom in that location, but with the cost of labor and materials a contracted construction project was not viable in the fiscally constrained environment we operate in today. The only way this project would get constructed would be through the use of NCF labor.”
The restroom build was a homeport training project for CBMU-202 where the primary focus was placed on training and quality construction. As such, CBMU-202’s primary mission tasking and their response to hurricanes during both the summer of 2016 and 2017 in support of Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) took precedence and caused unforeseen delays.
According to Builder 2nd Class Serena Lorenzo, Project Supervisor who saw the restroom build to completion, her and her crew persevered, overcame obstacles, but in the end provided the base with a great facility.
“Overall, the project came with many challenges that the crew and I faced together. Having a good crew like we had, made it easier to cope with the hard times and celebrate the good times together,” Lorenzo said. “It was definitely a learning experience for everyone. It was also good training because we had to learn to figure some things out ourselves and learn to ask for help when we needed it. We realize that we built something that brings an added convenience to the people that visit the base and we are very proud of the work we have done.”
Construction Electrician 3rd Class Michael Ellison believes this project provided great training and experience.
“Every project has its ups and downs, but it did benefit us. The way I see it is, it gets a you out of your comfort zone of doing something you already know and challenges you to learn something new.” Ellison said. “In the end I feel we delivered a great project to the customer.”
Construction Electrician Constructionman Matthew Gross benefitted by working in his rate as well learning new skills during the restroom build.
“I was able to work in my rate, and I also cross-trained and learned Builder and Utilitiesman skills. I ran three quarters of the conduit for the project, but I also laid 12,000 bricks and installed copper fittings in the male restroom,” Gross said.
With the project complete, beach patrons and those exercising in the vicinity can now take advantage of the new facility.
“There has definitely been a positive reaction to the opening of the restroom. The golf course, that is right up the road from the restroom, is very pleased that beach patrons are no longer using their bathrooms and depositing sand everywhere. Lorenzo said. “Also, the public is more than excited that they don’t have to use port-a-johns anymore and they have a place to rinse the sand off before they leave the beach area.”
Lt. Cmdr. Micah Kiletico, Commanding Officer, CBMU-202 is pleased with his Seabee’s performance and JEB Little Creek-Fort Story is pleased with the new addition to their base.
“The installation is very excited about this facility and has expressed sincere appreciation to CBMU-202. I am very proud of our crew for not only delivering a top quality product but for embracing the many challenges that ultimately allowed them to grow professionally and gain invaluable technical experience. Their contributions will have long lasting impacts for many years to come,” Kiletico said.