News: Seabee takes lead in haunted house
CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti – Construction Mechanic 2nd Class Ronald J. Casasanta Jr., assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11, led 24 enlisted U.S. service members in staging and executing a Halloween haunted house on the mezzanine level of Club 11 Degrees North on Camp Lemonnier, Oct. 31, 2013.
Casasanta, who is president of Joint Forces Five, an association of E-1 through E-5 service members on Camp Lemonnier, said that the prospect of getting the JFF involved in the haunted house was brought to his attention by the association’s vice president, Electronics Technician 2nd Class Jamie A. Bratton, assigned to Camp Lemonnier’s N6 department.
According to Casasanta, Bratton was approached by Camp Lemonnier’s Friends of Africa Volunteers group to assist with a Halloween event.
“They came to us first because JFF has a reputation of being able to come through when something is asked of them; and doing it pretty big,” Casasanta said.
Casasanta’s crew of JFF members, Friends of Africa Volunteers, and a few additional Navy Seabees assigned to Camp Lemonnier constructed a path of connected hallways with various props to scare visitors as they walked from entry to exit.
Several participants wore masks, face paint, fake blood, and costumes and staged themselves along the darkened hallways to enhance the visitors’ experiences. Screams could be heard coming from the haunted house for the two hours it was open.
“We only got positive feedback,” said Casasanta, who thanked every visitor as they exited the haunted house. He estimates that about 200 people attended including American, Japanese and Italian military personnel, civilians and locals.
The JFF seeks to improve morale and promote the general welfare of all junior enlisted service members. Each member is encouraged to actively participate and to set the example in all leadership roles.
The naval construction force is a vital component of the U.S. maritime strategy. They offer deployable battalions capable of providing contingency construction, disaster preparation and recovery support, humanitarian assistance and combat operations support.
With its homeport in Gulfport, Miss., NMCB-11 is currently deployed to multiple locations in support of U.S. Africa Command, U.S. European Command, U.S. Central Command and U.S. Pacific Command areas of responsibility.
NMCB-11's Detail HOA is a CJTF-HOA unit whose mission includes stabilizing and strengthening security in East Africa through military-to-military engagements with partner nations.