Seabee Equipment Delivered to Sao Tome

Story Number: NNS070713-20Release Date: 7/13/2007 5:39:00 PM
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By Gillian Brigham, Sealift Logistics Command Europe Public Affairs

SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE (NNS) -- Military Sealift Command-contracted cargo ship CEC Endeavor began off-loading U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133 equipment in the West African island nation of Sao Tome and Principe on July 13.

The equipment, including forklifts and construction supplies, will be used for two building projects being conducted by Navy Seabees deployed to the region, members of NMCB 133 and Underwater Construction Team 1.

CEC Endeavor loaded the Seabee equipment in Rota, Spain, June 30, before making the two-week transit to Africa's Gulf of Guinea region.

The equipment delivered by Endeavor will be used to renovate the boat ramp at the city of Sao Tome's coast guard base. Currently, the base's only boat ramp is unable to launch patrol boats due to erosion and shallow slope into the water. During their three-month project, the Seabees will widen and steepen the slope of the ramp.

While in Sao Tome, the Seabees will also build a guard house for the base.

Both of these building projects are aimed at strengthening Sao Tome and Principe's ability to contribute to maritime safety and security in the region. Increasing regional maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea is one of the U.S. Navy's top priorities in their growing engagement with Africa.

"MSC ships are a vital piece of the U.S. Navy's ongoing mission in Africa," said Capt. Nick Holman, Commander of Sealift Logistics Command Europe and CTF-63, which oversees logistics in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations. "Every piece of equipment or gallon of fuel our ships deliver contributes to the greater work of establishing freedom and security on the seas around Africa and elsewhere in the world."

MSC operates approximately 110 noncombatant, merchant mariner-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, chart ocean bottoms, conduct undersea surveillance, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners.

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