News: BK 13 - JCMOTF volunteers give displaced children peace from heat
Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Chris Fahey
ZAMBALES, Philippines - A handful of volunteers from the Joint Civil Military Operations Task Force (JCMOTF) ventured to Shepherd of the Hills Children’s Home to install 15 electric fans in the children’s sleeping areas.
The fans will provide a way for the children to stay cool while sleeping during the balmy summer months.
“When we first walked into the room, there was no circulation at all and the heat just stuck to you,” said Construction Electrician 2nd Class Eric Polito, from the 30th Naval Construction Regiment and JCMOTF HQ staff member. “Once we mounted all the fans and got them going, there was a dramatic change in the overall comfort. All the kids came up and thanked us. It was great.”
The average temperature during the summer months in the Philippines is in the high 90s. Combined with the humidity, the still air makes their open-berth group home very hot.
Volunteers spent all day working with the children to measure, place and mount each fan.
“It was really fun learning to work the tools,” said resident Mark Velrio. “I got to hold the fan and help put it together. My room feels a lot better now. It will be easy to fall asleep.”
The volunteers are all attached to the 30th Naval Construction Regiment, home ported at Naval Base Ventura County, Port Hueneme. Each member is currently deployed to Zambales in support of Balikatan 2013.
Balikatan is an annual Philippine-U.S. bilateral exercise. Humanitarian assistance and training activities enable the Philippine and American service members to build lasting relationships, train together and provide assistance in communities where the need is the greatest.