TARNAK, Afghanistan (NNS) -- Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133's Detail 6 gave others a break this spring by adding creature comforts in an otherwise harsh environment at a remote combat outpost in Tarnak, Afghanistan in early March.
Det. 6's crew of 28 personnel hit the ground with their tools in hand, to improve the living conditions in support of the troop surge.
Dust flew from the ground as a Canadian helicopter carrying the personnel landed at the combat outpost (COP) in Tarnak, Afghanistan. This would be the first of several missions that Det. 6 would be tasked with during NMCB 133's four-and-a-half month deployment to Afghanistan.
Det. 6 was greeted by members of the Canadian Armed Forces as they stepped off the helicopter's back ramp and they were introduced to what they would call home for the next three weeks.
"Upon arrival, I thought, 'this is what it looks like in the Wild West,'" said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Dominic Christofek.
Det. 6's mission was to construct tents with wood frame bases and floors to accommodate more than 150 troops and build several watchtowers around the COP's perimeter to strengthen security for the troops in southern Afghanistan.
Det. 6 consisted of 26 personnel from the Seabee ratings along with a Hospital Corpsman and their Det. officer-in-charge, Ensign Jennifer Knop. They promptly began work within an hour of hitting the ground using limited materials and supplies.
"This is a surreal feeling," said Construction Electrician 2nd Class Wes Keener. "Everything is so peaceful and quiet out here but in reality, we know that the enemy is not far away from our position."
This did not deter Det. 6 personnel as they set forth to complete their mission. They soon had tents erected from the ground up and then began construction of several watch towers, better known in the Naval Construction Force as "Crow's Nests," that would be placed at vital areas on the perimeter to increase observation and security for force protection.
"This is an amazing experience and I like it," said Builder 2nd Class Matt Groening. "Living conditions are tougher here than what we had back in the rear, but the feeling of accomplishment that you get from being down range and carrying out a mission like this more than makes up for it."
Det. 6 returned to Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan after they completed their mission at the COP.
"We're ready to build and fight anywhere at anytime, hooray," said Builder 3rd Class Britton Crawford.
For more news from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133, visit www.navy.mil/local/nmcb133/.