Military


Camp Moreell

Camp Moreell is a military compound in Kuwait, Southwest Asia. The facility was home to U.S. Navy Seabees operating in the Arabian Gulf region under Task Force Charlie as of early 2003. As of April 2003, Task Force Charlie comprised Seabees from several Naval Construction Force commands, including NMCB-5 from Port Hueneme, Calif., NMCBs-74 and 133, homeported in Gulfport, Miss., and Reserve NMCB-21 from Lakehurst, N.J. Naval Construction Force Support Unit 2, also from Port Hueneme, and Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 303 from San Diego were also assigned.

The camp was constructed by Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5 in November 2002, in many ways exceeds conditions during field exercises. Secure behind lines of concertina wire, the Seabees live in 12-person tents with plywood floors and lumber reinforcing the top and sides. They have heating/air conditioning units and electrical power. The Seabees get three hot meals a day. Mail and telephone services, and shower and laundry facilities are all optional.

For recreation, the Seabees have computers with Internet access, cable television and movies available in the morale tent, as well as sports equipment and board games.

As of April 2003, working seven days a week, the Seabees ran convoys of people and supplies to other camps. They maintained and repaired construction equipment and camp facilities. They also had construction projects on and off camp, and the sound of bulldozers and trucks was heard day and night. The primary focus of their efforts was to provide contingency construction support to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.

Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 7 moved three or more times since the battalion arrived in the Middle East in March 2003. With each move, they packed up their belongings, put their battle gear on, and piled into whatever vehicles are moving out that day. The first task for the Seabees was taking over Camp Moreell from NMCB 133, who returned home mid-August 2003. Mess specialists, utilitiesmen and individuals from each of the rates within the battalion assumed responsibilities of the galley, camp maintenance and the many other functions at the camp.

Personnel from the camp maintenance department oversee the electrical and basic living needs of camp personnel. They ensure running water for the showers and electricity for the air conditioning units, a vital function, considering the temperatures average between 120 and 140 degrees in the region. Showers, cold water, air conditioning and laundry facilities keep the troops moving and happy.

Seabees with the biggest task before them at Camp Moreell were the equipment operators, construction mechanics and other personnel selected to work in Alfa Company. Over two months, the Alfa Company crew had the duty of washing and staging more than 600 pieces of civil engineer support equipment. As part of the washing process, members of the crew used a high-pressure spraying system to wash large vehicles and equipment. After the wash, Seabees moved the equipment and vehicles, so civilian and military inspectors can conduct agricultural inspections on the vehicles.

Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 74 used ingenuity and initiative to fabricate vehicle protection for convoys heading into harm's way during Operation Iraqi Freedom in April 2004. Steelworker 1st Class (SCW) Jeffrey Ballas and a crew of eight other steelworkers from NMCB 74 developed an enterprising armor concept and presented the cardboard templates to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Engineer Group (MEG) for review. Once the brainstorm was approved, steel was worked around the clock in two shifts to outfit 100 trucks with armor inside and out.

As of early-June 2005, SWA huts were under construction at Camp Moreell to replace aging tents commonly used to house troops throughout Kuwait and Iraq. Construction of an estimated 50 to 60 huts were expected to be continue until October 2005. The SWA hut, more sturdy, durable and able to withstand the scorching sun, dust devils and sandstorms common to Kuwait. This, and other projects at the facility were being undertaken as a result of the planned closing of Camp Doha and subsequent relocation of units stationed there, including Camp Doha's Troops Medical Clinic which was scheduled to move to Camp Moreell. Able to handle up to 550 personnel, Camp Moreel would be able to handle upwards of 3,000 Sailors and Marines, following completion of the projects.



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