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NMCB 4 Seabees Build a New Forward Operating Base

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS071030-08
Release Date: 10/30/2007 3:48:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SCW/SW/AW) Ronald Gutridge, 30th Naval Construction Regiment Public Affairs

AL ANBAR PROVINCE, Iraq (NNS) -- Sixty-five Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 4 have been constructing Forward Operating Base (FOB) Sedgwick, south of Lake Habbaniyah in Western Iraq for II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) and the Iraqi Army, beginning early August.

NMCB 4 was tasked with building 42 South West Asia (SWA) huts, two dining facilities (DFACs), 20 four-hole burnout bathrooms, nine field showers and two entry control point swing gates.

"Even though we've been working long hours with very little downtime, the troops are very enthusiastic and motivated," said Builder 1st Class Ramises Mamhot, mission supervisor. "We know that what we are building and accomplishing will improve the quality of life of the coalition forces and the Iraqi Army conducting operations in this area."

The operation began with Seabees from Alfa Company turning a barren spot of desert into a force protection perimeter for counterinsurgent operations, quickly erecting earthen beams to provide security for the FOB.

Meanwhile, the sounds of hammers, saws and other various power tools filled the air as Delta Company's Seabees built eight of the 42 SWA huts to provide their own living quarters before starting to build the rest of the FOB.

"Being assigned to work on this project gives me the chance to further my skills in all the Seabee construction rates," said Builder 2nd Class Michael Kelly. "Seeing all the rates working together to accomplish the mission makes me look forward to our future projects."

The FOB Sedgwick project was scheduled to take 90 days to complete, but due to the determination and hard work of NMCB 4, the battalion will complete the project early before returning home to Port Hueneme, Calif., after its seven month deployment.

"It is inspiring to watch all the hours of planning and fabrication pay off in the incredible pace of construction of the SWA huts, DFACs and force protection," said Lt. j.g. Benny Volkmann, Delta Company Commander and NMCB 4 FOB Sedgwick officer-in-charge.

"The dedication of the troops to put forth such a great effort despite the heat, dust and wind has been more than admirable," said Volkmann. "They have been so motivated and dedicated all deployment and to keep this momentum until the end — it's a great feeling. This company is incredible and their ability to adapt to any mission and complete it is phenomenal."

NMCB 4 is part of nearly 1,100 Sailors and Marines supporting critical general engineering and construction efforts in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq.

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