By Lt. j.g. Keith Ferreira, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 27 Public Affairs
COBAN, Guatemala (Dec. 27, 2012)Utilitiesman 1st Class Andrew Duquette, assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 27, installs plumbing fixtures during a laundry facility renovation on the CREOMPAZ military base in Coban, Guatemala, as part of U.S. Southern Command's Global Peacekeeping Operations Initiative. Duquette is a member of a detachment of Seabees performing infrastructure repairs and improvements on the Guatemalan peacekeeping base. The Seabees from NMCB-27 are forward deployed throughout South and Central America in support of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/ U.S. 4th Fleet multinational partnership and humanitarian assistance missions. (U.S. Navy photo by Builder 1st Class Erik Kowalski/Released)
COBAN, Guatemala (NNS) -- Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 27 completed the construction of a facility addition at the Comando Regional de Entrenamiento de Operaciones de Mantenimiento de Paz (Regional Peacekeeping Operations Training Command - "CREOMPAZ") military base Guatemala, Dec. 30.
The 15 foot by 18 foot addition to the base laundry facility was constructed between two existing buildings to accommodate four new washers, four new dryers and a slop sink.
The five-person crew that executed the construction project, led by Builder 1st Class Erik Kowalski, poured a raised concrete floor with three culverts below the slab, set concrete block walls, installed a pitched steel roof, and plumbed all necessary piping.
The main building's electrical service was upgraded from an existing 100 amp panel to 200 amps in order to accommodate the increased load of the addition. The addition was finished with ceramic tile flooring, painted masonry walls, and an exterior water supply tank on an elevated steel stand.
"The new addition adds 270 square feet of space to the existing facility," explained Senior Chief Builder Thomas O'Connor, leading chief petty officer of the Seabees in Guatemala. "We have effectively doubled their laundry throughput and cut their laundry service time in half."
The laundry facility addition is just one of several infrastructure improvement projects that the Seabees are currently completing at CREOMPAZ. The work, performed in support of U.S. Southern Command's Global Peacekeeping Operations Initiative (GPOI), is ultimately intended to increase the quality-of-life and operational effectiveness of the Guatemalan peacekeeping facility.
"Wow! Fantastic job to all," said Jack Likens, GPOI assistant program manager at U.S. Southern Command. After seeing pictures of the completed project, he added that it "looks like the final shot from an episode of Extreme Guatemala Makeover."
The Seabees in Honduras are part of a larger group of Navy Reservists from NMCB 27, based out of Chicopee, Mass., who were recalled to active duty in July and deployed throughout South and Central America in support of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command / U.S. 4th Fleet multinational partnership and humanitarian assistance missions.
USNAVSO/FOURTHFLT employs maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations in order to maintain access, enhance interoperability, and build enduring partnerships that foster regional security in the USSOUTHCOM Area of Responsibility.