War on Terrorism

Friday, April 16, 2010

NMCB 133 Works to Expand Airfield in Western Afghanistan

By Electronics Technician 3rd Class Andrew Brieno

April 16, 2010 - SHINDAND, Afghanistan (NNS) -- Several Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133 arrived at Shindand Airfield in Afghanistan to provide general engineering support for the airfield's expansion in early March.

Seabees bring all the necessary skills and equipment required for the airfield's expansion.

The NMCB 133's team that arrived in Shindand was received by its counterparts from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 22 who have been deployed to the site since November 2009. The 'Runnin' Roos' of NMCB 133 began their turnover of tools, equipment and materials with NMCB 22 as soon as they hit the ground in Shindand. A quality turnover is important because it allows the incoming unit to get a clear picture of what has been going on, what needs to be done and what resources they have available to accomplish the mission.

Current construction operations, support equipment such as bulldozers and trucks, building materials and supplies were smoothly transferred from NMCB 22 to NMCB 133 in only two days.

"NMCB 22's Detail Shindand had a very successful deployment. Their professionalism was obvious during the turnover, and they truly set us up for success" said Lt. Sterling Ingram, NMCB 133's Detail Shindand officer in charge.

Seabees of NMCB 133 were anxious to get to work and quickly picked up where NMCB 22 had left off. Seabees from NMCB 22 had constructed two wooden buildings for an Army aviation battalion but had been unable to install lights and electrical wiring. Construction electricians from NMCB 133 stepped in and began installing the required equipment and the buildings will soon be ready for use by the Army.

Meanwhile, equipment operators were busy with graders and bulldozers preparing more than 150 acres of land to be turned into aircraft parking, a landing pad for medical evacuation and a future camp expansion called a life support area (LSA). Other Seabees worked on a multitude of smaller projects to support base operations such as installing tent floors, improving workspaces and performing camp maintenance tasks.

One crew led by Builder 3rd Class Benjamin Staub built desks and cubicles for computers and phones in a Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) tent being setup by Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR). The Seabee support accelerated the completion of the MWR tent which provided free internet and phone access for deployed personnel at Shindand Airfield. The Seabees' "Can-Do!" attitude was evident throughout the base and impressed many personnel from other branches of service.

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