News: Seabees partner with squadron, train Afghan engineers
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – U.S. Navy Seabees with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 7 recently partnered with the U.S. Air Force’s 443rd Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron to train and instruct Afghan engineers at the Kandahar Air Wing on Kandahar Airfield.
The training focused on instructing the Afghan air Force civil engineers on how to be self reliant and confident in completing construction projects.
Chattanooga, Tenn., native Lt. Jennifer Elliott, a civil engineer Corps officer with NMCB 7, said, “This project serves as a starting point to an enduring partnership that provides technical expertise and assists with developing the construction skills for Kandahar Air Wing engineers while they are simultaneously supporting their local mission.”
As part of the training, U.S. forces taught the Afghan engineers principles of carpentry, welding and construction of concrete walls and foundations. NMCB 7’s Delta Company camp maintenance electricians also built an electrical training aid for the engineers to use and learn about interior wiring.
Lt. Elliott said the project went very well, and was a great opportunity for the junior sailors to enhance their leadership skills.
“This project was extremely successful,” she said. “They were able to work alongside Afghan air force personnel and help them take ownership and control of construction operations in Kandahar, Afghanistan.”
Lt. Elliott also went on to say that the Afghan engineers were actively engaged throughout the training evolution and were satisfied with their final product.
When all was said and done, the crew of four Seabees that worked with the Afghan engineers put in approximately 1,850 man-hours, or 232 man-days. On any given day, there were eight to 22 Afghan engineers present to learn.
NMCB 7 deployed to the Combined Joint Operations Area – Afghanistan, from its homeport of Gulfport, Miss., Jan. 9, to provide a highly responsive and maneuverable engineer force and resources to conduct contingency, mobility and general engineering support operations across supported commander’s lines of operation throughout CENTCOM, to improve the operational capabilities of coalition forces.
NMCB 7, often referred to as the “Magnificent Seven," is one of the original 10 Seabee battalions authorized by the chief of the Navy’s Bureau of Yards and Docks, in 1942, and is currently one of nine active naval mobile construction battalions in the naval construction force, a military engineering force of nearly 17,000 active and reserve component Seabees operating worldwide.
Upon completion of their current deployment, NMCB 7 will decommission Sept. 30 as part of the fiscal year 2012 force reduction plan.
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For more news from NMCB 7, visit www.navy.mil/local/nmcb7/, www.dvidshub.net/unit/NMCB7 or www.dvidshub.net/unit/ECC-East.