War on Terrorism

Friday, May 07, 2010


By Lt. Martin Braud, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133 Public Affairs

May 7, 2010 - KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (NNS) -- Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133's Dental Department found a home in late April among the storage containers, heavy equipment and constant sound of construction on Kandahar Airfield (KAF), Afghanistan.

The Dental Department faced tough challenges upon arriving to Afghanistan. More than $94,000 of dental equipment needed to be inventoried and organized after it arrived in KAF from Gulfport, Miss. There wasn't a dental facility available since NMCB 133 did not turnover with another unit.

The 22nd Naval Construction Regiment provided land and a re-locatable building (RLB) to set up the dental facility and dental equipment.

NMCB 133's Seabees from Echo Company constructed the facility and installed electricity, shelving and desks.

The dental facility consists of three separate areas in one room; administration, sterilization and patient care. Dental capabilities include handling of emergencies, fixing cavities and performing cleanings. NMCB 133 is also one of the first Naval Construction Force battalions to use the new authorized dental allowance list with the Triton, a state of the art piece of equipment that has all the vital dental tools needed to perform most procedures.

One of the main goals of NMCB 133's Dental Department is to support the battalion's detachments before they leave KAF to execute construction missions.

"We want to make sure they are ready before they leave," said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Candace Roden, the primary dental assistant. "We don't want them to run into any dental issues while they are out there."

"It's nice because it is a comfort thing and we are not in a comfort zone," said Construction Electrician Ciara Bartlett, after a recent dental prophylaxis.

"I always look forward to my six-month teeth cleaning," said Steelworker 3rd Class Robert Nelson after his recent cleaning. "It makes my day and smile brighter."

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