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SANTA RITA, Guam - U.S. Navy Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3 assumed authority of Naval Construction Force tasking in Guam following a relief in place/transfer of authority from NMCB-5 to NMCB-3 on board Camp Covington in Santa Rita, June 29.
NMCB-5’s Detail Guam wrapped up an extended deployment due to the unforeseen Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which created a delay in efforts to return home due to stringent local, national, and international protective travel restrictions starting in late March.
Travel restrictions were revisited in late May and NMCB-3 was given permission to deploy. After complementing one 14-day restriction of movement (ROM) period prior to deployment in the U.S. and another ROM period upon arrival in Guam, NMCB-3 was ready to begin a detailed turnover process leading up to the RIP/TOA.
The RIP/TOA marks the official start of NMCB-3 beginning their mission within the Indo-Pacific Region.
“Our mission in Guam is to maintain healthy, ambitious, and combat-ready Seabees while we execute general engineering tasking of the highest quality for the tenants aboard Naval Base Guam,” said Lt. Phillip Moncayo, NMCB-3’s Detail Guam officer-in-charge. “Through this tasking, we will be showcasing our battalion’s ability to execute construction capabilities by delivering safe, quality construction projects, as well as enhancing and perfecting our technical skills that make us the world’s premier expeditionary construction force.”
NMCB-5 turned over three projects and the expeditionary asphalt batch plant on board Naval Base Guam. Operating an asphalt batch plant allows the Seabees to manufacture their own asphalt material as well as the ability to transport the plant to support projects at different locations in the future. NMCB-3 has been tasked with three additional projects for this deployment and will work with the U.S. Air force’s 554th Red Horse squadron.
Difficulties posed by ongoing COVID-19 mitigation efforts are not lost on NMCB-3, but the Seabees are confident they can still achieve mission success.
“NMCB-3 being the relief in place battalion during COVID-19 has its difficulties, and there are many unique challenges with leading Detail Guam,” said Moncayo. “I believe the most challenging aspect about our deployment will be how we handle and deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and maintaining a COVID-19 free workforce. By maintaining our expectations of all our Seabees, we can be safe while carrying out our primary mission.”
Builder 1st Class William Corrigan, a project supervisor assigned to NMCB-3’s Detail Guam, said safety throughout this deployment is his number one priority. He will be overseeing three projects: the completion of an explosive ordnance disposal storage facility, installation of new sidewalks, and completion of a U.S. Coast Guard pavilion.
“My overall goals this deployment is to finish the projects in a safe manner, completing the projects with quality work and to continue the legacy of Seabees in the Pacific,” said Corrigan.
After finally overcoming an uncommon turnover, Builder 2nd Class Micaela Tennant, a project crew leader assigned to NMCB-3’s Detail Guam, is excited for the prospect of interoperability by working hand-in-hand with an Air Force unit.
“I am most excited to be able to work with Red Horse,” said Tennant. “I’m ready to gain and share my knowledge with the team to work better between branches and learn each other’s traits and best practices.”
According to Moncayo, his Detail has a clear vision for mission success, which rests on completing high-quality construction projects while maintaining a healthy force and contributing to the Seabee legacy.
“Our ultimate goal is for our Seabees to take pride in the quality of their work and return home to their loved ones healthy and free of COVID-19,” said Moncayo. “By delivering safe, quality projects, we will leave a lasting impression on the island, not just through structural integrity, but more importantly, our heritage and tradition that the Seabees have been carrying forward since World War II. Maintaining a COVID-19 free workforce will demonstrate our discipline and desire to cooperate with our hosts to mitigate the spread of this disease.”
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 operations.