By Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Cook
Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 27
AL ASAD, Iraq - Cmdr. James Robbins, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 27 commanding officer, and Rick Heiland, command master chief, presented six Marines with letters of appreciation and a command coin for their assistance on NMCB 27's Building 10301 electrical project.
Petty Officer 1st Class Mark Tempel, NMCB 27 project crew leader, was responsible for installing a new main transfer switch and running a new underground power cable from the generator pad to the building. His crew also mounted and connected two distribution panels inside the building and made power and fuel line connections into two massive generators to power the facility.
"These guys did an amazing job for us," said Tempel. "They're young and full of energy. They want to learn and they don't stop. They just want to get the job done."
The project was high profile, it was ranked number one on the Marine Expeditionary Force Commanding Generals' Prioritized Engineer Project List. After a slow start because the main power cable wasn't available, Tempel and his crew quickly made up for lost time. They received assistance from the group of Marines who were on-site as part of the Marine Expeditionary Force G-2 advanced party. Having half a squad of Marines on the project was of great benefit considering that the main cable weighed almost 100 lbs for 4 feet and they had to lay about 300 feet of it.
Tempel requested that the command recognize their efforts, and Robbins was happy to do so. "This is a great example of the Navy-Marine Corps team working together to accomplish the mission," he said. "The difficult site conditions provided the crew with some obstacles along the way, but they figured out a way to resolve them all and were able to connect the second generator shortly after it was lifted into place. The Seabee crew even installed some safety features on the transfer switch, generator connections and distribution panels to ensure the power system will be safe."
Tempels' crew included Petty Officer 1st Class Jamie Richards, Petty Officer 1st Class David Cherry, Petty Officer 1st Class Bruce Nisbet, Petty Officer 1st Class Alma Aranda, Petty Officer 2nd Class Scott Wright and Petty Officer 1st Class Timothy Kelly.