News: NMCB 1 making difference in West Africa
LOME, Togo - Seabees assigned to U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 1 Detail Togo recently completed their special construction partnering mission with host nation military engineers in early September, as part of African Partnership Stations 2012.
The mission of African Partnership Stations is to conduct theater security cooperation through a continuum of activities designed to advance maritime security in Africa. Combined Task Force 68 and NMCB 1 are supporting this effort using a task tailored detachment to contribute to the economic prosperity and security on land through humanitarian civil assistance projects with the host nation military engineers.
Completion of the APS mission by the Seabees of NMCB 1 marked the end of a six week humanitarian civil assistance project involving the renovation of a local school compound in the Totsi District of Lome, Togo. The three classroom buildings in the compound were renovated by the joint team of U.S. Navy Seabees and Togo Military Engineers using locally procured materials.
The impact the team made at the school is clear. The failing roof and roof support system has been replaced with new construction including translucent roof panels which bring much needed light to the classrooms with no additional operation or maintenance costs to the school. A new electrical system with fans and lights was installed in the primary school building and will keep the classrooms cool during the day and lit for evening classes. The exposed block walls of the buildings were patched with plaster and then given a skim coat before painting which sealed the school and brightened the compound.
In addition to the work done as part of the mission for the school, the Seabee and their partners had a little extra time and materials to make other improvements as well. The blackboards in the classrooms were all repainted, the classrooms of the main school building were plastered and a shade structure where lunch is served to students was created to enhance the usability of the facility and education of the students attending there.
“This type of mission is why I joined the Seabees, the humanitarian projects have a direct impact on those that need them,” said Builder 3rd Class (SCW) Joshua Stephens.
With the mission in Lome complete, the Seabees of NMCB 1’s Detail Togo are moving onto a school renovation in the neighboring country of Benin on an even tighter schedule and in a more challenging environment.
NMCB 1 is currently deployed to 6th Fleet area of responsibility in support of construction operations throughout Europe and Africa.