NMCB 1 Helps Renovate Wounded Warrior Unit

Story Number: NNS110704-05Release Date: 7/4/2011 7:05:00 AM
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By MC1 (AW/NAC) Aron Taylor, Naval Mobile Construction Unit 1 Public Affairs

KANDHAR, Afghanistan (NNS) -- The Wounded Warrior Unit (WWU), located on Kandahar Airfield (KAF), held a dedication ceremony June 29, to reveal new renovations to the barracks which house Soldiers wounded in Afghanistan.

Navy Seabees with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1, from Gulfport, Miss., built a ramp and covered roof and boardwalk-style deck around the facility, which is used as a transition between the NATO Role III medical hospital and the Soldier's unit. The new walkway will help KAF's wounded warriors get around the facility with ease and comfort, and especially out of the blistering Afghan sun.

The renovation idea was originally brought up as a call for volunteers at a meeting of KAF's senior enlisted leaders. NMCB 1 jumped at the project even though the battalion deployed to KAF only a few weeks ago.

Builder 2nd class (SCW) Michael High was one of the Seabees who volunteered for the project. He said he was very excited to get the chance to do something which Seabees have been doing for almost 70 years.

"When I was asked if I wanted to help with the project, it was a no brainer for me," said High. "I really like to use my skills as a builder and see the reaction of the people I'm helping."

Originally, the project was expected to take 10 to 12 days, but the Seabees were motivated to get it completed sooner. With a lot of hard work and long hours in the sun, they were able to finish the job in a week. Most of the Seabees who worked on the project were part of NMCB 1's Convoy Security Element (CSE) Team. They were still planning and running their operational missions, but worked on the project during their down time or after hours. There was no reason to even ask for volunteers for this project. The CSE Team knew that it was something bigger than them and for their fellow service members.

The WWU is lead by four Casualty Liaison Officers (CLO) and all are combat medics. They are there to help with administration and the rehabilitation phase for the wounded Soldiers. Sgt. Frank Romanowski is one of the CLOs on KAF.

"The path between the three barracks were littered with rocks and made it difficult for some of our wounded soldiers to get around the compound." said Romanowski. "The Soldiers were really excited about the new deck and covered rest areas, and very grateful for all the support."

The Seabees of NMCB 1 have been in Kandahar for less than a month, and with a long deployment ahead they will surely be called on to build and fight throughout Afghanistan.

NMCB 1 deployed in support of Task Force Overlord. The task force, led by the 25th Naval Construction Regiment, from Gulfport, Miss., is responsible for construction and construction engineering in southern, southwestern and western Afghanistan.

For more news from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 1, visit www.navy.mil/local/nmcb1/.

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