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Seabees Upgrade Facilities at Camp Moreell, Provide Training

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050608-15
Release Date: 6/8/2005 6:15:00 PM

By Journalist 2nd Class Gino A. Flores, Naval Expeditionary Logistics Strike Force, Forward Oscar Public Affairs

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait (NNS) -- Sailors from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5 stationed at Camp Moreell have been busy building, upgrading and expanding facilities on camp since their arrival April.

The preparations are for the transition of troops scheduled to move in from Camp Doha as it closes and reverts back to the government of Kuwait for public use.

“Camp Doha will soon be closing down, and a few folks will be moved to Ali Al Salem," said Senior Chief Construction Mechanic Ronald Angeles, transportation equipment manager for Naval Expeditionary Support Force Forward Oscar battalion. "[NMCB 5] will be utilizing South West Asia huts to accommodate the [influx]."

At Camp Moreell, SWA huts now under construction are scheduled to replace aging tents commonly used to house troops throughout Kuwait and Iraq. Arid desert conditions and continuous rotations of personnel housed there have taken a toll on the tents. The SWA hut will be more sturdy, durable and able to withstand the scorching sun, dust devils and sandstorms common to Kuwait. The construction of huts on campgrounds are scheduled to continue until October, when an estimated 50 to 60 huts will be done.

Some of the troops moving from Camp Doha will also be transferred to Camp Arifjan, where construction has been ongoing throughout the year by contractors.

Ongoing projects on Camp Moreell has given 11 Sailors with Naval Expeditionary Logistics Support Force Forward Oscar the ability to participate in training exercises and enhance their skill set by working alongside NMCB 5 Seabees.

“We have taken these Sailors under our wing, getting them some 'sticks time,'" said Chief Builder Daniel Parkhurst, assigned to NMCB 5 as the project manager. “Here they are able to train on 'dozers, forklifts and cranes.”

Pitching in and helping out on the field, Utilitiesman 2nd Class Mike Swisher, deployed as a Forward Oscar customs inspector up in Camp Doha, was able to seize the training opportunity and participate during a slow period in customs operations due to the reduction in the number of troops redeploying.

“I was missing the Seabees brotherhood, so I snatched up the training opportunity to help build work benches and desks used in the new air condition and refrigeration shop," said Swisher.

Camp Doha’s Troops Medical Clinic is also scheduled to move to Camp Moreell, said Angeles.

“This is a transition area for troops movement in and out of theater. The camp is capable of currently handling up to 550 personnel,” said Parkhurst, “but we’re building it up to handle upwards of 3,000 Sailors and Marines.”

NMCB 5 is composed of a force of active and reserve Sailors. The reserve half of Seabees are from NMCB 27 and have been integrated into one unit under NMCB 5.

“This has brought west and east coast Sailors together acting as a force of one,” said Parkurst.

NMCB 5 is homeported in Port Hueneme, Calif. The Seabee Reservists from NMCB 27 are homeported in Lakehurst, N.J.

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