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NMCB 3 Builds Iraqi Highway Patrol Station

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS080613-07
Release Date: 6/13/2008 1:54:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Carmichael Yepez, Naval Mobile Constructoin Battalion 3 Public Affairs

IRAQ (NNS) -- Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3 are building an Iraqi Highway Patrol (IHP) station along one of the main highways that leads into the border with Syria in the Al Anbar province of Iraq.

The IHP station is one of several checkpoints being constructed to help deter insurgents.

"This is going to help the Iraqis control safe passageway for coalition forces and the Iraqi people," said Chief Construction Electrician (SCW) Antonio Murray, project supervisor. "We are in a remote location, so the Iraqi highway patrol station will help bring this area under control."

Once completed, the IHP station will house approximately 100 Iraqi highway patrol officers. The facility will allow them to be self sustaining and will provide a base from which to patrol the highway and surrounding area.

When the group of 23 Seabees from NMCB 3's Delta Company arrived at the construction site, their first mission was to build a fortress-like barrier around the perimeter so they could work safely during the construction phase.

"There was nothing out here when we first arrived," said Builder Constructionman Romas Andrijauskas, who said they placed more than 4,000 sand-filled hesco barriers around the square-shaped compound.

According to Andrijauskas, hesco barriers are the equivalent of huge sand bags, but 100 times larger.

The barriers can be up to seven feet tall and five feet thick and can be stacked on top of each other to provide safety from sniper attacks.

Seabees have been working around the clock to finish the IHP station within the 30-day time frame they were allotted. They have placed prefabricated berthing spaces, showers, bathrooms and a small kitchen which were transported to the site and assembled.

"We call them cans," said Lawrence. "They are prefabricated units. Once we offload them from the tractor trailers, we stage them, and put them together in a few hours."

For almost a month, the Seabees made the daily trip from their main base at Camp Korean Village, a compound which at one time housed Korean workers contracted by Saddam Hussein to build his freeways.

As they make their daily journey to the camp site, the Seabees are escorted by one of NMCB 3's convoy security element (CSE) teams. The CSE teams also provide perimeter security while the Seabees work at the site.

"We could not get out here without the protection of the CSE," said Murray.

Murray said he felt confident that when the IHP station is completed and the Iraqis begin to operate it, it will help make conditions safer.

For Seabees like Builder Constructionman Joshua Mcclure, the opportunity to have been selected to work on the IHP project provided him with plenty of experience in and outside his rate.

"I'm learning more than construction skills," said Mcclure. "I am cross training out of my rate."

Mcclure noted this is his first major construction project he's worked on since he joined the Navy, and the first time he has deployed to Iraq.

"It has been a great experience," said Mcclure. "It wasn't only construction skills I've learned, but I've also created a good bond with my fellow workers and our security team. We have been able to create something in the middle of the desert where nothing existed. And thanks to our efforts the Iraqi highway patrol will be able to provide a safer passageway in the area."

For more news from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3, visit www.navy.mil/local/nmcb3/.

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