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Seabees Renovate Barracks at Guatemalan Peacekeeping Base

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS121121-20

By Lt. Kevin Keenaghan, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 27 Public Affairs

COBAN, Guatemala (NNS) -- Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB)27 completed renovations to a barracks facility at the Comando Regional de Entrenamiento de Operaciones de Mantenimiento de Paz (Regional Peacekeeping Operations Training Command - "CREOMPAZ") military base in Coban, Guatemala Nov. 15.

The 20 feet by 48 feet building was originally built as an open-bay barracks room, unsuitable for accommodating small groups of female guests. The six person crew, led by Builder 1st Class Erik Kowalski, constructed and wired interior partitions with steel studs, sheetrock, and steel frame doors, transforming the space into eight individually lighted dormitory-style rooms.

"The new design is basically a temporary 'hotel' able to house guests, both male and female, for periods of one week up to four weeks," said Lt. j.g. Keith Ferreira, officer-in-charge of the Seabees in Guatemala. "Now, with four individual and four double-occupancy rooms, both male and female guests may be housed in the same building."

The barracks renovations were just one of several infrastructure improvement projects that the Seabees are currently completing at CREOMPAZ. The work, performed in support of U.S. Southern Command's Global Peacekeeping Operations Initiative (GPOI), is ultimately intended to increase the self-sufficiency and throughput capacity of the Guatemalan peacekeeping facility.

"The efforts of the Seabees at CREOMPAZ will not only improve the infrastructure, but will also enable the GPOI Program to divest itself from $350 thousand in support contracts per fiscal year there," said Paul R. Yorio, GPOI operations analyst at U.S. Southern Command. "This is a significant cost savings for the program."

The Seabees in Guatemala are part of a larger group of Navy Reservists from NMCB 27 based out of Chicopee, Mass., who were recalled to active duty in July and deployed throughout South and Central America in support of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command /U.S. 4th Fleet peacekeeping, multinational partnership, and humanitarian assistance missions.

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