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Around The Fleet

Can Do In Cambodia

Seabees help improve a community

As the Cambodian sun pours down on the already sweat-drenched Seabees, they continue to push on, knowing their efforts will not be in vain. They are on a mission to do whatever it takes to complete a new facility for the Sromo Primary School in Svay Rieng Province, Cambodia.

"These projects are helping the Cambodians with their everyday lives," said Engineering Aid Second Class Petty Officer Viktoria Thompson, attached to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5. "We're building bathrooms for the students. It's a younger generation and they're seeing us in a good light - we're just here to help them."

While deployed, the Seabees, assigned to NMCB 5, have built various structures that help assist in humanitarian efforts. So far, they've constructed a maternity ward that services 23,000 people and plan to continue to help the local community.

"We have another COMREL (community relations) coming up teaching kids English, math and physical education," said Thompson. "That's going to be really good; to just get with the community and get to know them."

On top of giving much needed support to a less-fortunate community, the experience has also been rewarding and satisfying to the Seabees.

"This is my seventh deployment and my first real humanitarian-style deployment," said Builder First Class Petty Officer Evan Carlson. "You can first-hand see what your work does and how it improves people's lives.

"That's the biggest thing for me...that I'll remember from this deployment," said Carlson. "The looks on people's faces and how you helped [the] communities."
Three photo collage of Seabees in Cambodia.