DILI, East Timor - Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3’s Timor-Leste Construction Civic Action Detail (CCAD) provided 23 residents at the Ahisaun Foundation Home for physically disabled youth with clean water.
Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Joseph Pica, Utilitiesman 2nd Class Juliet Wilson and Construction Electrician 3rd Class Hezekiah Morgan successfully repaired the home’s degraded water filtration system, which had been providing residents with unsafe water used for drinking and cooking.
According to Wilson, the volunteer repairs also served as a training opportunity, allowing the residents to care for the system long after the Seabees depart Timor-Leste.
“Seeing the dirty water the residents were using for cooking and drinking made me really upset” said Wilson. “I’m so glad we were not only able to repair the system, but train some of the residents on how to prevent this from happening in the future.”
The team removed, cleaned and installed two micron filters to capture the water’s impurities and sediments, making it safe to drink and use for cooking.
Additionally, they successfully mitigated an electrical hazard by removing heavy grease that had developed on the filtration system’s power outlet, and installed a 20-watt power supply to help guarantee proper operating temperatures for the filter's ultraviolet light. The ultaviolet light kills microorganisms and disinfects the water without using chemicals.
Pica, CCAD Timor-Leste’s medical provider, oversaw the operation and tested the water following the repairs, ensuring they were successful.
“To see the Seabees in action, applying their knowledge and skills to help those in legitimate need is awesome,” said Pica. “Work like this goes a long way to improving the overall health of the citizens of Timor-Leste and makes a lasting positive impression on them.”
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.
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.