NMCB 1, ACB 1 Sailors Cut Ribbon on Medical Facility in Tacloban

Story Number: NNS140807-02Release Date: 8/7/2014 7:03:00 AM
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By Ensign Kyle Widhalm, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 1

TACLOBAN, Philippines (NNS) -- Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1, deployed as part of Pacific Partnership (PP) 2014, along with members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) held a ribbon-tting ceremony at the Tacloban City Hospital Outpatient Building, July 31.

Tacloban government officials, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and representatives from the Philippines Department of Education also attended the ceremony.

"The Tacloban City Hospital sustained serious damage from a typhoon and the outpatient building was completely destroyed," said Lt. Cmdr. Michael Guzzi, 30th Naval Construction Regiment operations officer. "The facility is required for outpatient care, vaccinations and animal bite care and currently has 12,000 outpatients per month and 30 to 40 inpatient newborn deliveries per month."

The facility will serve 400,000 residents and recently provided care for 495 animal bite patients over a three-month period.

"The new building that stands in front of you is a result a true partnering effort between multiple units," said Guzzi. "Two U.S. Navy Seabee units [NMCB 1 and Amphibious Construction Battalion (ACB) 1] and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, worked on this project. These three units teamed together and demonstrated the definition of partnership."

For the engineers on the project, it was more than just construction. They had an opportunity to work with other countries, as well as with other battalions on the same jobsite.

"It is a truly humbling experience to be a part of this exercise," said Steelworker 1st Class Federis, ACB 1 project supervisor for the outpatient building. "Being part Filipino, it has been an incredible experience to be able to give back to the Filipino community in such a monumental way. I will forever remember working with the local military engineers to give back to the society, especially after such a natural disaster."

Many service members said they enjoyed having the opportunity to come and be able to give back to the country devastated by Typhoon Yolanda just a short time ago.

"It has been an amazing experience to work with the Filipino Seabees," said Construction Electrician 3rd Class Antonio Adkins, NMCB 1 project supervisor. "Their hard work and dedication has truly inspired me. We were bonded together by our desire to help a city in need."

Belen Cabiluna, an administrative officer of Tacloban City Hospital, said the hospital staff is thankful for the multinational military engineers coming to their aide in such troubling times.

"Their hard work will never be forgotten," said Cabiluna. "This building will directly help the people of Tacloban for many, many years"

Pacific Partnership is in its ninth iteration and is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Asia-Pacific region. NMCB 1 is currently deployed to 12 detail sites throughout the Pacific.

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

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