Story by BU3 Christian Carlson, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5
U.S. Navy Seabees, deployed with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5’s Detail Pohnpei, local students, teachers, and officials attended the closing ceremony for the Pehleng Elementary School renovations Jan. 29.
During the ceremony, the Seabees had an opportunity to show parents and dignitaries around the school rooms that were renovated and discuss the work that went into the activities. Pehleng Elementary School consists of over 270 students from the surrounding area and teaches kindergarten through fifth grade.
“The influence here doesn’t just stop at painting the school or fixing the school. it continues on in the minds for generations to come. Seabees can do!”
Speakers Chief Magistrate Antonio Sarapio, Kitti Municipality, thanked the Seabees and spoke to the impact and longevity of the international relationships that come from their work.
“The influence here doesn’t just stop at painting the school or fixing the school,” said Sarapio. “It continues on in the minds for generations to come. Seabees can do!”
The renovations to the schoolhouse included three of the buildings on the campus. Two of the buildings are restroom facilities that now have new roofs and upgraded utilities.
The second floor of the main schoolhouse has new flooring, repaired ceilings, new partition walls, and a new guardrail, in addition to all three buildings receiving fresh paint. These renovations have aided in creating a clean and sustainable environment for the students to continue their education in a building they can be proud of.
“I hope you have all made friendships at this school because they will last a lifetime,” said Reed Oliver, governor of Pohnpei State. “So, for all the work you have done and will do in the coming weeks and months in [the Federated States of Micronesia] our sincerest respect and thank you.”
NMCB-5’s Seabees are currently renovating Sokehs Elementary School to aid in community building and continued growth of national relations. The renovations to the Sokehs schoolhouse will serve a similar purpose in giving the students an upgraded library facility and a renovated head facility.
NMCB-5 is deployed across the Indo-Pacific region conducting high-quality construction to support U.S. and partner nations to strengthen partnerships, deter aggression, and enable expeditionary logistics and naval power projection. The battalion stands ready to support Humanitarian Aid/Disaster Relief and Major Combat Operations throughout the region.