Story by Cpl. Karis Mattingly, Marine Corps Installations Pacific
Day in and day out U.S. Navy Seabees work to fulfill their motto “We build, we fight, we do”, training General Facility Marines in a joint-effort to help protect and maintain III Marine Expeditionary Force and Marine Corps Installation Pacific facilities.
When a service ticket is issued on Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, GF Marines shadow Seabees to learn their side of the job. Seabees are trained to build and maintain permanent structures while Marines are trained in expedient construction and maintenance. The training is hands-on, teaching Marines how to build, plumb and power structures for long term use.
General Facilities provide services to III MEF forward deployed forces while in garrison, service members, and families working and living on Marine Corps Installations. Within GF, Seabees help cross-train Marines on various aspects of the job to stay equipped for mission success.
“My role is a trainer and supervisor,” said Construction Electrician 2nd Class Ira Mozee, with GF Headquarters and Support Battalion, and a native of Saint Lucie, Florida. “I am in charge of the Marines’ safety and ensuring the job is finished in an efficient and timely manner.”
According to Lance Cpl. Junel Rex Coloma, a desk clerk with GF, and a native from Waipahu, Hawaii, fog of war is always a potential threat within an operating force. However, continuous training with Seabees helps turn knowledge into instinct and alleviate possible tendencies that follow fog of war.
“We are the backbone to expeditionary construction forces,” explained Mozee.
As one of the most well-known fields in the Navy, approximately 7,000 active duty Seabees assist in wartime construction, aid in humanitarian efforts worldwide and are responsible for emergency and corrective maintenance.
“I like working with the Marines and building that foundational relationship with them,” said Mozee. “Working together strengthens camaraderie between the forces, and when a task needs to get done we are more equipped to complete the mission by working with our force counterparts.”
GF provides engineering, utilities management, real property maintenance and repair support. As engineer and utility Marines, their primary focus is expeditionary construction. Mission success for GF Marines is acquiring the skill set to build structures in a timely manner while using tools that are closely accessible.
“We build up this brotherhood with the Navy and get a broader perspective on how inter-branch relations work within our job,” said Coloma. “Learning from Seabees makes me more confident and effective than if we were to only work within the Marine Corps. In the military, we are first responders and being prepared for any sudden contingencies is vital.”