News: Seabees, sailors team up to provide friendship, training to Timor-Leste
Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Chris Fahey
DILI, East Timor - Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3’s Timor-Leste Civic Construction Action Detail (CCAD) teamed up with Sailors from USS Denver (LPD 9) for a day-long sports exchange with local Timorese children, Aug. 30.
The warfighter, sea-faring team met with roughly 50 children at a community athletic field to play Frisbee, soccer, American football and baseball.
"I couldn’t get over the children, and how they thought everything was new, special and exciting," said Utilitiesman 1st Class Todd Feltus from NMCB 3’s CCAD who is on his eighth deployment with the Seabees. “It never gets old to see the difference we make in the communities where we work; it keeps all troubles I may think I have in perspective.”
According to Denver sailors, the day promoted a positive competitive spirit amongst the Navy brothers and sisters who said they appreciated the break from underway life to meet those families benefiting from the Seabees’ humanitarian mission in East Timor.
“I feel extremely fortunate to be on the ground with here for six months,” said CCAD Timor’s Embassy Liaison Officer Navy Lt. j.g Marc Guida who organized the event. “I wanted to give the Denver Sailors the best experience I could in the four days they had.”
During their four days, Guida worked with members from the U.S. Embassy to Timor-Leste to coordinate four community relations activities including a music class and sing-a-long with a Timorese primary school, a community clean-up with a local environmental group and a two-day basic lifesaver course taught to newly certified doctors from East Timor and other Southeast Asia countries.
“Lives will definitely be saved due to the medical training provided during the Denver’s port visit,” said NMCB 3 CCAD Medical Provider Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Joseph Pica.
According to USS Denver Chaplain Navy Lt. Robert Spivey, the four-day port visit couldn’t have ended more ideally.
“The sports day was the perfect way to cap off an amazing week of community outreach projects,” said Spivey.
The CCAD’s mission is to execute engineering civic assistance projects, conduct formal training with the host nation and perform community relations events to help enhance shared capabilities and improve the country’s social welfare.
The Denver is an amphibious transport dock berthed at U.S. Naval Activity Sasebo, Japan. The Denver is on patrol with the USS Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group, commanded by Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 11 and is currently participating in Exercise Koolendong with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.
One of the first battalions commissioned during World War II, NMCB 3’s legacy stands strong in its ability to build and fight anywhere in the world as either a full battalion or as a group of autonomous detachments, simultaneously completing critical engineering and construction missions.
For this deployment, NMCB 3 has split into 9 details to perform critical construction projects in remote island areas such as Timor-Leste, Tonga, Cambodia and the Philippines. The teams will also conduct operations in Atsugi, Yokosuka and Okinawa, Japan; Chinhae, Republic of Korea and China Lake, Calif.
The Naval Construction Force is a vital component of the U.S. Maritime Strategy. They provide deployable battalions capable of providing disaster preparation and recovery support, humanitarian assistance and combat operations support.
NMCB 3 provides combatant commanders and Navy component commanders with combat-ready warfighters capable of general engineering, construction and limited combat engineering across the full range of military operations.