News: Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 7 Detachment Moreell prepares seabee Camp Moreell for final turnover
Story by Chief Petty Officer Yan Kennon
CAMP MOREELL, Kuwait - A detachment of seabees assigned to U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 7 have begun preparing Camp Moreell, a seabee facility located adjacent to Life Support Area-Kuwait, for its transfer to another military organization June 30.
An arduous task that began in early January with the Battalion’s contingency deployment to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, turnover preparations and procedures will encompass the safe and environmentally efficient close-out of each vertical and mobile structure at the camp, in conjunction with the retrograde of multi-million dollar equipment and tools back to stateside facilities. While the detachment focuses on this tasking, it must simultaneously perform camp maintenance, ensure the proper functions of its facilities, oversee the welfare of the various incoming troops moving to and from Southwest Asia theater of operations and remain self-sufficient for the assigned seabees of the detachment.
“Closing Camp Moreell for the seabees is a humbling task”, said Lt. Cmdr. Sean Dalton, Detachment Moreell Officer in Charge. “It has been a huge part of seabee efforts in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn. Nearly every seabee serving in either theater for the past 10 years has come through Camp Moreell, and it’s an honor to be a part of this namesake location.”
As a main transit hub for Naval Construction Forces, Camp Moreell is a fully operational NCF facility that has coordinated and tracked more than 3,000 personnel transients within the last three months, to include seabees assigned to NMCB 1, NMCB 4, NMCB 7, NMCB 11, 22nd Naval Construction Regiment, and 30th NCR.
Keeping the facility self-sufficient is the primary job of the detachment’s camp maintenance personnel. Since arriving at Camp Moreell, camp maintenance department has logged and completed more than 600 trouble calls, accumulating more than 500 man-days of labor, to include the upkeep on 12 head/shower facilities and more than 80 air conditioning units, which are vital to quality of life within the region due to horrid weather conditions in the summer months. Trouble call tickets range from minor electrical issues to the recent $10K sewage discharge system overhaul, which saw the installation of two grinder pumps and associated plumbing, with minimum impact to daily operations during the upgrade.
Detachment Moreell’s supply department has tracked, received, and outfitted more than 2,000 seabees with Enhanced Small Arms Protective Insert Plates as they deploy and redeploy to and from the region, while maintaining an inventory of more than $7M. During routine inspection and scanning, Detachment Moreell’s supply department identified 30% of its ESAPI inventory that failed to meet manufacturer specifications and removed from inventory, possibly saving the lives of fellow seabees as they venture into imminent danger zones throughout Southwest Asia. The detachment’s supply department has successfully transferred twenty 20-foot conex boxes and more than 4,800 line items, totaling more than $850K, of equipment and materials to LSA Kuwait’s Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office.
The detachment’s ALFA Company has the tasking of preparing major construction equipment for retrograde, while maintaining essential gear and associated support equipment. To date, ALFA has completed more than 150 planned maintenance procedures, while closing out four operational workcenters. ALFA has transferred 11 pieces of Civil Engineering Support Equipment and 16 tractor trailers of excess and non-operational equipment to DRMO for proper disposal. ALFA Company has also transferred a total of 30, fully operational, Mine Resistant Ambush Protected and MRAP-All Terrain Vehicles to the MRAP Support Facility for upgrades and storage.
The Communications department has turned over more than $100K in communication equipment and materials to DRMO, and retrograded more than $120K in calibrated test equipment and communication gear back to Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport, NMCB 7’s homeport, to be re-issued to other operational Seabee Battalions. The detachment communications department continues to monitor and maintain more than $30K in essential and quality of life communication equipment for local tenant use until camp turnover is complete.
“Currently, we are ahead of turnover schedule and have met all deadlines set to date,” said Ens. Matthew Catenese, Detachment Moreell Operations Officer. “Good communication and relationships with 25th NCR (Fwd.), and the new tenant have been critical to our success. This turnover has given these seabees hurdles many of them have never seen before and they are attacking each one and finishing ahead of schedule. Not only are they maintaining this 56 acre camp, they are also looking at the overall turnover of everything within the fence-line and supporting associated exercises, while remaining vigilant on essential training and personal qualifications. No matter what environment you put these troops in; no matter what job you give them and no matter where you put them they always seem to get it done.”
Camp Moreell, which has served as the main seabee ground base and assembly point for all seabee units deploying across Southwest Asia for the last decade, was originally constructed in November 2002. It was named in honor of Admiral Ben Moreell, Chief of the U.S. Navy Bureau of Yards and Docks and of the Civil Engineer Corps. Adm. Moreell is best known as the “Father of the Seabees.”
NMCB 7 deployed to the Combined Joint Operations Area-Afghanistan and Combined Task Group 56.2 (25th NCR-Forward) in Ali Al Salem, Kuwait, from its homeport of Gulfport, Miss., Jan. 4, to provide contingency, mobility, and general engineering support 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 NMCBs in the Naval Construction Force, a military engineering force of nearly 17,000 Active and Reserve Component seabees operating world-wide. Upon completion of their deployment, NMCB 7 will decommission Sept. 30 as part of the Fiscal Year 2012 force reduction plan.
This work, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 7 Detachment Moreell prepares seabee Camp Moreell for final turnover, by Yan Kennon, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.