JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Nov. 5, 2010) – (NNS) -- Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 7 Seabees shifted from Southern Partnership Station (SPS) 2010 to Continuing Promise 2010 Nov. 5 to finish a project delayed by the movement of Hurricane Tomas in the Caribbean.
The 17 Seabees were part of the joint-forces crew embarked aboard High Speed Vessel Swift (HSV) 2 and were scheduled to conduct training and participate in subject matter expert exchanges with partner nations in South America.
Instead, they will deploy to the Republic of Suriname to complete a ten day rehabilitation project at a local girls' boarding school and library begun by another NMCB 7 detachment embarked aboard USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), which is now steaming to Haiti to offer humanitarian assistance.
"We were scheduled to complete a roof repair project in Concepcion, Chile, but unfortunately we won't have the proper amount of time, so we're continuing our support efforts in Suriname," said Chief Steel Worker (SCW) Gene Murphy, NMCB 7 team leader. "This is just another example of our 'Can Do' spirit, because we're committed to supporting Navy efforts in the region by joining Continuing Promise."
The Seabees rehabilitation efforts will include installing a fire escape, electrical system repair, renovating a bathroom, and building bookshelves. The deadline for the project is Nov. 14.
"This is an important job, and the deadline we have is critical, because the young girls who live at this boarding school will be homeless if we don't meet our deadline," said Equipment Operator 2nd Class (SCW) John Rivera. "But they can count on us making sure it all works out."
"This is a testament to the flexibility and capability of the men and women of NMCB 7," said SPS 2010 Mission Commander, Cmdr. Mark Becker. "When called upon to adjust their mission, they were ready and able to move at a moment's notice. My hat's off to them."
Continuing Promise is an annual humanitarian civic assistance operation that provides opportunities to establish new partnerships with other nations, non-government organizations (NGOs), and international government organizations while learning from host nations and civilian experts.
SPS 10 is an annual deployment of U.S. ships to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility in the Caribbean and Latin America. The mission's primary goal is information-sharing with navies, coast guards and civilian services throughout the region.
Commander, U.S. Navy Southern Command (COMUSNAVSO) is the naval component command for U.S. Southern Command and is responsible for all naval personnel and assets in the area of responsibility. COMUSNAVSO conducts a variety of missions in support of the U.S. Maritime Strategy, including Theater Security Cooperation, relationship building, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, community relations, and counter-illicit trafficking operations.
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For more news from U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command & U.S. 4th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusns/.