Wednesday, June 01, 2011
Seabees Take to the Night to Beat the Afghan Heat
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class(SCW) Christopher Carson
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan (NNS) -- The Seabees of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3 have started to work at night May 27 in order to eliminate heat injuries associated with the high heat of Afghanistan during summer days.
NMCB 3 has been deployed to Afghanistan since October and the Seabees have endured the harsh cold of the winter and now the brutal summer heat, reaching temperatures greater than 100 F.
The direct sunlight itself is not the only danger, it also heats up metal tools and materials.
"The metal building we are working on gets hot under the sun and increases heat casualty risk," said Chief Builder (SCW) Benjamin Campbell, the battalion safety officer.
Campbell also said that in this environment, skin contact with metal tools or material could result in burns and the high temperatures and direct sunlight also increase the risk of dehydration, heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
The night projects include a 90 foot by 40 foot metal building called a K-span that is being built to house tools and materials in the battalion supply yard. The battalion is also remodeling a building that will serve as the new medical office and treatment spaces. At these projects the Seabees use an outdoor flood light known as a light plant for night time illumination.
Structural projects are not the only items being worked during the cooler night conditions. Alfa Company handles heavy equipment operations and maintenance and have been working during night to repair their equipment, as well as complete routine preventative maintenance.
"Working at nights makes it easier to keep going at a steady pace," said Construction Mechanic 3rd Class (SCW) Bobby Brown. "Since we have been working nights repair and maintenance completion for equipment has increased."
The battalion communication shop has also placed and buried more than 3000 feet of fiber optic cable in order to improve the computer-network performance throughout the camp. Placing the cable at night has not only helped beat the heat but it also made it easier to work with less foot and vehicle traffic in the way.
NMCB 3 is an expeditionary element of U.S. Naval Forces providing construction, engineering and security services in support of national strategy, Naval power projection, humanitarian assistance and contingency operations.