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NMCB 133's Continues Goodwill Pacific Partnership '08 in Papua New Guinea

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS080817-01
Release Date: 8/17/2008 7:47:00 AM

By Construction Electrician 1st Class (SCW) Frank Higgins, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133 Public Affairs

POPONDETTA, Papua New Guinea (NNS) -- Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133 along with the Papua New Guinea Defense Force (PNGDF) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Aug. 13 in Popondetta after successfully completing several construction projects in support of Pacific Partnership 2008.

Seabees and PNGDF completed three new construction projects - two health clinics and a school house - with a combined area of greater than 4,500 square feet, the addition of a back-up water source for the existing hospital, and a water catchment system at a local high school. The two water projects added a capacity to store and distribute more than 35,000 gallons to local residents in case of emergency or water outages.

"The PNGDF and U.S. Navy Seabees forged a strong working relationship and exchanged cultural ideals, strengthening the bond between the two countries," stated Senior Chief Utilitiesman (SCW) Keith A. Leger.

Landing in Popondetta, the Seabees faced numerous difficulties. The greatest challenge from the beginning was the lack of a highway infrastructure, limiting the ability to receive supplies in a timely manner. All supplies had to be flown or floated into nearby airports and ports.

"The second time that my pump and plumbing supplies were bumped off of a flight in favor of chickens, I thought that I would never get them," said Utilitiesman 2nd Class (SCW/SW/AW) William Mills.

The Seabees are now setting their sights on the next location - Micronesia - where they will be involved in multiple renovation projects.

For more news from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133, visit www.navy.mil/local/nmcb133/.

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