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Pacific Fleet Seabees Deploy in Support of Unified Assistance

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050112-06
Release Date: 1/12/2005 3:58:00 PM

By Journalist 2nd Class (SW) Chad V. Pritt, Commander, 30th Naval Construction Regiment Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- Elements of several U.S. Pacific Fleet Seabee commands are gearing up to deploy to Asia in support of Operation Unified Assistance.

The Seabees will support humanitarian efforts and disaster relief in the wake of a 9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunamis that took place in the region Dec. 26.

The tsunamis have resulted in the deaths of more than 155,000 people, and displaced a million more. One hundred Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 7 have received deployment orders and are scheduled to begin working in Sri Lanka to provide general engineering support.

Fifty more Seabees from NMCB 40 are scheduled to arrive in Indonesia within the week, transiting to the region aboard USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) from Okinawa. An additional 250 Seabees are preparing to deploy. Once there, they will begin restoration efforts, to include road clearance and runway repairs.

Thirty Seabee divers from Underwater Construction Team (UCT) 2 are also departing for Thailand, where they will provide support to the Navy component.

More than 13,000 U.S. Navy, Marine, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard service members are involved in providing relief support as part of a combined support force led by Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Rusty Blackman.

U.S. Pacific Command began planning efforts within 24 hours of the catastrophe by communicating directly with senior military leaders and ambassadors of the affected countries.

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