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TINIAN, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands - Rear Adm. John Menoni, commander of Joint Region Marianas, Capt. Eric Correll, commodore of Task Force 75, and CNMI and Tinian government and civilian leaders joined U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3’s Detail Tinian for a ground-breaking ceremony to kick off infrastructure improvement projects on the island, Aug. 10.
Menoni and Correll arrived ahead of the ceremony to visit multiple construction projects and sites around the island. They also visited Tinian Mayor Edwin Aldan to discuss the specifics of projects slated for construction on the island.
Tinian is going through a rebuilding process just two years after the devastating effects of Super Typhoon Yutu. The construction expertise the Seabees provide has proven essential to helping get the people of Tinian back on their feet.
“I am very proud to say that the Seabees are coming back to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands,” said Menoni. "Their deployment to Tinian demonstrates the Department of Defense’s commitment to regional security, being good neighbors and cultivating our already strong relationship with the people of Tinian. The Seabees are excited to work side-by-side with local civilian and government partners to do great things for Tinian. We’re not only talking about increased port and transportation capacity; we are talking about positive economic impact that results from these military activities.”
The DoD is working to provide assistance to the citizens of Tinian while fostering a lasting relationship with leaders and the community. Seabees have begun the ground work to move this process forward by beginning construction on Camp Tinian, which will provide berthing and life support facilities to support joint training operations on the island. Whether the Navy, Army, Air Force or Marine Corps operates on the island, the construction efforts of the Seabees from NMCB-3 will enable their success.
The current scope of work is estimated to employ Seabees on Tinian through next year. The Seabees deployed to Tinian will rotate along with their respective NMCBs, meaning multiple battalions will conduct work in Tinian during the course of the project. Future projects will be identified through continued partnership and dialogue between Tinian and DoD officials.
While addressing the crowd for the ground breaking ceremony, Aldan said the projects will be a “catalyst for jumpstarting Tinian’s economy while also providing job opportunities.”
As the DoD, Seabees and Tinian community continue to push forward to aid in the island’s revitalization, Menoni reflected on the history of the Seabees in Tinian as well as the progress that has been made thus far and the outlook for the future.
“I’m really pleased with what I saw here today,” said Menoni. “It’s amazing to see what Seabees can accomplish when given the tools, the time, the resources, and the training to get after a project. It’s also very impressive to see the young men and women making a positive impact not just locally for the community, but at a strategic level as we work through a great power competition toward an end goal of a free and open Indo-Pacific. I’m super happy with what I saw, and I look forward to coming back and seeing them again.”
Throughout their history, the Seabees have provided relief around the world to sustain not only the U.S. Navy’s mission, but to provide help for those who need it most. The construction projects in Tinian range from construction of a camp to support joint military operations, underwater construction training, to road and infrastructure improvement, and add to the historical humanitarian efforts made by the Seabees.
In respect to the current and future support from the Seabees in Tinian, CNMI Lieutenant Governor Arnold Palacios said, “in times of peace, Seabees played a significant role in humanitarian efforts. This [project] will improve the lives of people who live in Marpo Heights and Tinian residents in general.”
Correll also believes that the work he has seen during his most recent visit continues to contribute to the DoD’s mission.
“It was great coming back here,” said Correll. “I’ve been here many times to see different Seabee units out here doing work, and I will tell you, as I see the camp being built here on Tinian to be able to support future projects, it’s good to see the Seabees repeat history as being part of the community on the island here again.”
NMCB-3 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 complete assigned tasking, support humanitarian aid/disaster relief and major combat operations throughout the area of responsibility.