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U.S. Army South conducts joint humanitarian exercise in Nicaragua

Apr 23, 2010

By Ms. Arwen Consaul, U.S. Army South Public Affairs

FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- U.S. Army South, along with U.S. Navy engineers, are working together with the Nicaraguan National Assembly to construct three waterwells in Los Sanchez, Samaria and La Noria from March 21 until May 21 as part of Army South's, Beyond the Horizon mission.

Beyond the Horizon is a humanitarian and civic assistance mission in Nicaragua, providing focused medical and engineering support to the people of the region. The mission provides an opportunity to work in partnership with the Nicaraguan military, as well as provide a real-world learning environment for U.S. military service members.

The engineering projects for this Beyond the Horizon mission are being conducted by U.S. Navy engineers, better known as Seabees, from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 25, out of Ft McCroy, Wisconsin. The engineers arrived in Nicaragua March 11 to begin preparations for the digging and construction of the three wells.

"The digging of these wells are important because they provide the community with much needed potable water in a central location," Ens. Joe Neal, the officer in charge of NMCB 25. "By digging this well we provided the town of Samaria with a fresh water source. Prior to this the locals had to walk to the river for potable water which was some ways out."

Nicaraguan army Lt. Rodolpho Otero, a force protection officer providing security for the Sea Bee's, spoke with many Nicaraguan locals who stopped by to talk with and both the military and the civilians engineers.

"Everyone agrees that this well was very much needed for this village and the people living in the surrounding area," said Otero. "The locals are all very happy to see Americans working with the Nicaraguan military on this project."

Since construction began on March 21, the engineering detachment, along with support from Army South and the Nicaraguan army, has completed the well at Samaria and has already begun construction on the well in Los Sanchez.

Though the timeline is tight for the construction of three water wells, Neal also points out that this is a great opportunity to meet the people of Nicaragua.

"This mission gives us opportunities to interact with local people and the Nicaraguan Army while at the same time getting real world training for future missions," said Neal. "It also gives us chances to interact with the local populace showing that both countries are working together."

T The construction of the final water well in La Noria is scheduled to be complete in May. The three water wells constructed in partnership with Army South, NMCB 25 and the Nicaraguan army will bring lasting benefits to the local community.

"The Nicaraguan army welcomes the help being provided for this community and has a very positive outlook for this project and the future," said Otero.

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