Story by CM2 Justin Ott, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3 Public Affairs
PALAWAN, Philippines – Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3, Construction Civic Action Detail (CCAD) Palawan and members of the Municipality of Aborlan community celebrated the completion of a two-room school house for the Magsaysay School with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Feb. 6.
NMCB-3 Seabees partnered with Philippine Navy Seabees assigned to the second NMCB to build the school house in order to provide some relief to the over crowded classrooms that the students currently attend. The classrooms were built to accommodate the typical class size of 40 students with enough windows and high flow fans to ensure that the temperature stays comfortable for the students throughout the school day.
The principal, Roque F. Badenas, expressed his appreciation of the quality of construction the Seabees provided.
“The building has been built sturdy enough to withstand the storms prevalent on the island long enough to serve the grandchildren of its first students,” said Badenas.
Constructing the school house was more challenging than similar projects due to the initial state of the land it was to be built on. Once the land was cleared for building the foundational pad, it was discovered that the ground was swampland with ground water present from ground-level and penetrated four-feet down. With the combined expertise of NMCB-3 Seabees and their Philippine counterparts, the group was able to work hand-in-hand to overcome the challenge and construct the school house to serve generations to come.
“Despite several setbacks, the crew worked hard; and with their dedicated resolve they were able to overcome the obstacles and were able to complete the school on time and under budget,” said Lt. j.g. Curtis Weis, officer in charge of NMCB-3, CCAD Palawan.
CCADs are small detachments of personnel that are placed in areas of need throughout the NMCB’s area of operations. The CCAD’s mission is to execute engineering civic assistance projects, conduct formal training with the host nation and perform community relations event to help enhance shared capabilities and improve the country’s social welfare.
Being part of a CCAD is a unique work environment that appeals to many Seabees for the ability to work with allied nations, give back to communities, and learn more out of rate skills.
“The small number of Seabees assigned to a CCAD creates a camaraderie amongst everyone involved so that when there were challenges with the construction of the school house it brought the team closer together, and therefore the challenges were able to be overcome,” said Steelworker Constructionman Apprentice Kalub Walker. “It also creates an environment where everyone becomes more well rounded by gaining a basic knowledge of the other Seabees’ rates.”
CCAD Palawan Seabees have broken ground on an identical schoolhouse 1.5 hours southwest of the first schoolhouse location. This location will provide numerous challenges to the CCAD due to the travel time it takes to get to the site and its lack of amenities and infrastructure around the site, but it will serve as an opportunity for the Seabees to further demonstrate their skills and interoperability with their counterparts.
NMCB-3 is forward deployed throughout the Indo-Pacific region and United States ready to support major combat operations, theater security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. Seabees provide general engineering and civil support to Navy, Marine Corps and joint operational forces globally.
For more information about Seabees and NMCB-3, visit http://seabeemagazine.navylive.dodlive.mil or https://www.facebook.com/NMCB3/