GEORGETOWN, Guyana (NNS) -- Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) Seven, currently embarked aboard High Speed Vessel Swift (HSV 2), are refurbishing a local school in Georgetown, Guyana, Sept. 1-13.
The current construction project is only one of three the Swift detachment, based out of Gulfport, Miss., completed for the community in support of Southern Partnership Station (SPS) 2010.
"It always feels great when we're able to help people," said Lt.j.g. David Cazares, Detachment Swift officer in charge. "We have so much in the U.S., and it just feels good to give."
The bulk of the detachment arrived in Georgetown Aug. 22, and soon began working on its first project, which consisted of installing new and repairing broken plumbing, replacing toilets and windows, installing new ceiling fans and clothes lines, and clearing debris from the common areas at the Ministry of Amerindian Residence home for tuberculosis patients.
The second project the Seabees took on was at the East La Penitence Health Center, also in Georgetown. In about one week, they rebuilt two entire rooms from the ground up. One will act as a dental office and the other a patient consult room for the clinic. The job required the installation of new sinks and plumbing, electrical and tile work, and a few water pumps needed to be repaired.
While part of the detachment was still putting finishing touches on the new rooms at the clinic, the other members began work on their biggest project yet in Guyana at the Plaisance Community High School.
"During classes, they currently have more than 60 students in each classroom," said Cazares, of the school, which has more than 500 students in attendance each year. "We're building them what we call a 'sea hut' that will be 16-feet by 32-feet. It should provide a lot of additional room for the students."
SPS is a deployment of various specialty platforms to the U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) area of responsibility (AOR) in the Caribbean and Central America, with the primary goal of information sharing with navies, coast guards, and civilian services throughout the region.
Swift is scheduled to continue its support of SPS 2010 in the region until early fall. NMCB-7's Detachment Swift is scheduled to move on to Honduras for similar projects when they leave Guyana, and embark Swift again in late October to begin SPS 2011.
Swift deployed in support of SPS 2010 in May, and has visited various countries in the Caribbean island nations, Central and South America over the last four months. During the ship's stay in Guyana, the crew is also meeting and exchanging professional knowledge with the region's civil and maritime services in the form of Subject Matter Expert Exchanges.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusns/.