Story by MCC Matthew White, 30th Naval Construction Regiment
TINIAN, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands – The Seabees of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1 honored a fallen shipmate by naming their Super Typhoon Yutu recovery base camp in Tinian after him.
Camp Adams is named after Steelworker 3rd Class Curtis Adams, from New York, who was killed on the side of a highway while being a good Samaritan and offering to help a stranded driver.
“He was volunteering to help someone he didn’t know get out of a difficult situation being stranded on the side of a highway. It’s only fitting that we named this camp after him because we’re in Tinian helping people we don’t know out of a difficult situation,” said Chief Builder David Parker. “He embodied the Seabee mentality to the fullest extent.”
Adams was assigned to Amphibious Construction Battalion (ACB) 1, but some NMCB-1 Sailors knew him through prior interaction. Builder 2nd Class Hector Juarez knew Adams before arriving at NMCB-1 and remembered him as always trying to help others out, whether it was completing a job or helping someone get a nice haircut.
“As he looks down from heaven, [I think] he feels honored to have a camp named after him and also happy that his brothers and sisters are carrying out something he truly believed in, which is helping others,” said Juarez.
The Seabees are often the first military community to respond to a disaster, lending a helping hand to strangers in need. Those who knew Adams remember him as epitomizing the service to others before self attitude.
“[Adams] died doing what we profess to stand for every day, which is serving others,” said Chief Equipment Operator Hank Stoddard, 30th Naval Construction Regiment, who previously served with Adams at ACB-1. “He was an amazing young man and his name will remind us of our service to others and set the tone for successful humanitarian assistance missions in the future. We are blessed to have people like Adams serve in the Seabees,” he said, adding, “I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
NMCB-1 Det. Guam was directed to Tinian following its direct hit by Super Typhoon Yutu. Yutu is the second strongest storm to ever hit U.S. territory. Sustained wind speeds of more than 150 mph, with gusts exceeding 200 mph ravaged the island. NMCB-1 has returned running water to the island, cleared thousands of square yards of debris and set up FEMA-provided emergency shelters for families around the island.
Service members from Joint Region Marianas and Indo-Pacific Command are providing Department of Defense support to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands’ civil and local officials as part of the FEMA-supported Super Typhoon Yutu recovery efforts.