OKINAWA, Japan (NNS) -- Seabees of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133 lifted a brand new transformer into place on Kadena Air Force Base (AFB), Okinawa July 25.
This particular lift came with a few challenges.
"During the majority of the lift the operator of the crane could not see what he was doing due to trees and bushes obscuring his view," said Equipment Operator 1st Class (SCW) Jose A. Martinez, the crane crew supervisor. "However, as with anything the Seabees do, excellent communication can make an impossible task merely tedious."
"I trust my signalman because he has been in the seat [of the crane] before, and he is a good operator," said Equipment Operator 2nd Class (SCW) Mark M. James, the crane operator during the lift at Kadena AFB.
Using nothing but radio communications to guide James in, Equipment Operator 3rd Class Anthony R. Heider, the crane crew signalman, gave James clear communication that resulted in an excellent lift and placement.
The mission of the Seabees this day was simple -- swap out the old transformer with a new one.
"They tell us where they want it, [and] we do the rest," said James.
"This whole evolution took about two weeks to plan out, which included site surveying, planning the logistics of equipment needed, site clearing which included coordination with the Air Force at Kadena and setting up the convoy to get all the equipment there," said Martinez.
The Air Force provided a translator for the Seabees to communicate with the Japanese, and they overcame the language barrier to ensure a successful lift.
The new transformer is in place providing power to about 54 buildings on the northeast side of Kadena AFB. This mission was accomplished due to the Seabees' skill with a crane, excellent communication and lots of elbow grease.
NMCB 133 is deployed to Camp Shields, Okinawa, for seven months, providing construction support in order to improve military facility readiness in Okinawa. NMCB 133 is homeported in Gulfport, Miss.
For more news from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133, visit www.navy.mil/local/nmcb133/.