SANTA RITA, Guam - U.S. Navy Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5 arrived in U-Tapao, Thailand, Oct. 15, to survey potential construction project opportunities to support the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) and existing U.S. Air Force initiatives.
The Seabees are coordinating with their RTN counterparts and Joint U.S. Military Advisory Group Thailand (JUSMAGTHAI) officials to explore prospective construction projects on U-Tapao Rayong Pattaya International Airport / RTN Airfield. Future projects may include construction in support of exercise Cobra Gold, which is one of the largest theater security cooperation exercises in the Indo-Pacific, assisting with base water and septic improvements, and renovations of existing structures. The Seabees will also explore civic-focused construction that could follow completion of initial construction projects.
“Establishing a Seabee presence in Thailand will provide our most enduring ally in Asia with high quality construction assistance for a wide-range of projects bolstering our longstanding partnership,” said Capt. Steve Stasick, commodore, 30th Naval Construction Regiment. “The U.S. partnership with Thailand covers the full range of political, security, and economic cooperation, which Seabees can support and build upon. We look forward to working alongside our Thai partners to strengthen our mutually-beneficial alliance.”
The prospective construction projects reflect the longstanding navy-to-navy partnership between the two nations. The U.S. Navy and RTN train together during multiple exercises each year, including Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT), Cobra Gold and Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), while the Pacific Partnership humanitarian disaster relief mission visits Thailand each year.
NMCB 5 is forward-deployed throughout the Indo-Pacific region ready to support major combat operations, theater security, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. Seabees provide general engineering and civil support to Navy, Marine Corps and joint operational forces globally.
As Commander Task Group 75.5, 30NCR provides command and control over all Naval Construction Force units in the 7th Fleet area of operations. 30NCR enables the real-time mobility of response for engineering units and other assigned forces to provide expeditionary, general and limited combat engineer capability to respond to major combat operations and contingencies, conducts Theater Security Cooperation Plan operations, and executes Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Response (HA/DR) and Civil-Military Operations within the Indo-Pacific.