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Swinging Trusses, Just a Night's Work for NMCB 74

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS090930-23
Release Date: 9/30/2009 3:47:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan G. Wilber, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 74 Public Affairs

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan (NNS) -- The Seabees of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 74 completed the trusses on another super Southwest Asia hut (SWA-hut) at Camp Leatherneck Sept. 11.

The SWA-huts are being erected to provide the Combat Logistics Regiment a work environment that is both efficient and comfortable.

The truss operation was executed during nighttime hours to allow the crew to escape the heat of the day, and complete it in half the time.

"They found their battle rhythm," said Chief Steel Worker Roger Baker, Charlie Company Operations chief.

According to Construction Mechanic 3rd Class David Prejean, crane signalman and project safety, the crane was the centerpiece of efficiency.

"A crane is worth its weight in gold out here. Without it you do half the work in twice the time," said Prejean.

During the construction of the 32-foot by 120-foot SWA-huts it is standard to use a crane to place the more than 500-pound trusses. For most of the Seabees on this project it is their first time using this method and working on buildings so large. Using a crane also makes the job a joint company operation utilizing expertise from NMCB 74's Alfa and Charlie companies.

"The integration went really well. We tried a few different things as far as rigging, and we all agreed on what was safest for them up in the rafters bracing the trusses," said Equipment Operator 1st Class Robert Gargus, crane crew supervisor.

Safety is always of primary importance during any construction project, and the use of a crane to hoist the trusses into place on the roof saves the energy of the crew and therefore results in less physical injuries.

The Seabees of NMCB 74 have two super SWA-huts in progress now and one more to erect for this project, and everyone involved expresses confidently that they will complete the job early.

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