Royal Australian Engineers from the Australian Defence Force’s 1st Combat Engineering Regiment, Seabees from NMCB 3, and engineers from the U.S. Marine Corps’ 9th Engineering Support Battalion and Timor-Leste Defense Force (F-FDTL) teamed up to build a new school, outside bathroom facility, kitchenette and playground for the local Duyung suko, or neighborhood, in the Metinaro district of Dili. Sapper 13 was the first exercise of its kind ever executed in Timor-Leste. During the 28-day exercise, the joint team shared construction techniques and increased interoperability between the three countries. Seabees from NCMB 3 are also deployed to Timor-Leste 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 nine 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 war-fighters capable of general engineering, construction and limited combat engineering across the full range of military operations. Soundbites from Warrant Officer Bill Fry, Joaquin De A. Soares, Capt. Jose Costa.
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