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NMCB 3 Convoy Security Element Provide Safe Passageway on Iraqi Roads

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS080618-02
Release Date: 6/18/2008 8:35:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Dustin Coveny, 22nd Naval Construction Regiment Public Affairs

TAQADDUM, Iraq (NNS) -- Convoy Security Elements (CSE) assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3 have been playing a crucial role in providing safe movement for personnel and supplies throughout the Anbar Province of Iraq in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

For more than two months, the CSE has overcome and adapted to the many obstacles which accompany their daily missions. Because of the environment in which they operate, the teams have bonded like a close-knit family unit.

"We are one big family," said Utilitiesman 3rd Class Samuel Lapointe, who is a gunner on one of the convoy vehicles.

"We spend a lot of hours in our vehicles traveling from one place to another providing safe transportation for our passengers, so our team has grown accustomed to each other. Everyone has their differences here and there, but in the end we all pull together as one team."

Their routes take them through ancient cities, many of which sit on the banks of the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers.

Wujcik explained that the teams provide safe escort for coalition equipment, and military, and civilian personnel from one camp to the other.

"The majority of personnel we transport are third-country nationals, and contractors," said Wujcik. "But our main priority is to escort our Seabees and construction equipment to the job sites, so our Seabees can accomplish their construction missions."

Steelworker Constructionman Chantelle Schweiger would normally be driving her Ford Fusion if she was home, but as one of two females on her CSE team she now drives a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle.

"It's an adventure every day," said Schweiger. "We live out of our three-day bags and out of our trucks," she added as she rushed to gear up for her next mission. "But this is our mission, and I am proud to be part of this team."

The bond that has been created has made an everlasting impression on the Seabees of the CSE.

"There is no place I'd rather be, than to be part of this CSE," said Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Christopher Bishop. "It's one fight, one team, and we all stick together to accomplish the mission."

When the CSE teams of NMCB-3 are not conducting escort missions, they maintain their vehicles, conduct training and take some time to call their families before preparing for their next mission.

Seabees from NMCB-3 are providing general engineering support to Multi National Force-West in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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

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