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Seabees increase fresh water storage capability in Marshall Islands

02 May 2018

From Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11

Seabees from NMCB 11 recently landed on Carlson Island to begin the construction a second water catchment project in the Marshall Islands.

CARLSON, Marshall Islands - Fourteen Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 Construction Civic Action Detail (CCAD) Marshall Islands landed on Carlson Island to begin the construction of their second water catchment project April 17.

The structure consists of a 31 foot by 15 foot 6 inch CMU foundation, corrugated roofing, and a PVC piping system that funnels water into eight fresh water storage tanks. The project is led by Construction Electrician 1st Class Marc Artache, who is responsible for the quality and safety during construction, and Builder 1st Class Joshua Vanblarcom, who oversees the project and overall construction operations.

The project began on April 17, 2018 with the movement of project tools and materials from Kwajalein to the nearby island of Carlson on a Landing Craft Mechanized (LCM). LCM movements continued again two days later when all 14 members of the CCAD offloaded the project's tools, materials and equipment. The Seabees moved over 19,000 pounds of CMU block, 10,000 pounds of wood framing, 1,300 pounds of sack concrete and various other supplies up the beach and through the island's thick vegetation all by hand.

"This is what Seabees are built to do," said Construction Electrician 2nd Class Joshua Zapien, the project's crew leader. The move-in on to the island demonstrates what makes the Seabees such a unique construction force.

With several days of beach landings complete, seven of the 14 Seabees assigned to CCAD MHL will remain on Carlson for two weeks to complete construction. When the project is completed the island will have over 12,000 gallons of fresh water available - a substantial amount for a population of 50. The design of this project will not only have a permanent lasting impact on Carlson, but will also be used as a baseline for other communities throughout the Marshall Islands to use for fresh water storage.

"All of the hard work is worth it when you see the direct impact your work has on a community that doesn't have things we take for granted," said Builder 3rd Class Briana Garcia Cuevas, a key team member in the construction of this project.

NMCB 11 is homeported in Gulfport, Mississippi, and is part of the Naval Construction Force (NCF). They currently have personnel assigned to more than 15 locations world-wide, performing a variety of missions in support of the Navy and the Department of Defense.

The NCF is a vital component of the U.S. Maritime Strategy and is comprised of deployable battalions capable of providing contingency construction, disaster preparation and recovery support, humanitarian assistance and combat operations support.

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